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Mystic Force
Man Vs. Machine
October 2001
Released: 2000, Seigen
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Mystic Force is an example of a band that makes me curse the gods of musical fate...why haven't these guys been signed to a bigger label and get the accolades they so richly deserve?! I rank them with many second-tier US metal bands (Forte, Imagika) that have long careers but have yet to break out. There is no logical reason why they aren't bigger. Mystic Force founded in Baltimore in 1985 by Keith Menser have long gone tragically under-appreciated. Man Vs. Machine represents their 6th release overall or 4th full-length studio CD. Founder and bassist Menser is a long-time figurehead of the Baltimore metal scene acting as a producer, member of other bands (label-mates Twilight Kingdom) and part of the hyper-cool Seigen Records label. Enough history. 

Man Vs. Machine is a truly amazing piece of progressive power metal. All essential ingredients are in place, starting with soaring , passionate vocals with fantastic range. I know its a cliché but vocalist William Wren could give Mr. Tate a run for his money. The song writing is complex, with some good time changes yet not inaccessible. The guitar solos shred and the riffs grind. Truly top-notch musical ability. Featuring crystal clear production these 13 songs truly captivate.

Lyrically and thematically, Man Vs. Machine deals with guessed it...ideas about the ever-increasing integration of technology into mankind. Tunes like Terminal, Mechanical and Circuitboard Ministry all touch upon the Man Vs. Machine theme. Not a new idea by any means but topical nonetheless. Gorgeous packaging with lyrics and the cover features another masterpiece by Travis Smith (Sadus, Jag Panzer) Only complaint...three of the four guys in the band have short hair. Just kidding...sort of... A highly recommended buy.
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» Man Vs. Machine
by JP

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