We’ve been waiting since 2016ish for new material from MACHINAE SUPREMACY… an astoundingly long time for these guys. The silence was broken at last, however, by the release of their cover of “Empire of Steel,” as originally done by ESSENGER featuring SCANDROID. Today we’re looking at this track, which was released independently on June 4th, 2021.
Admittedly, I’m one of those people who has never heard of ESSENGER or SCANDROID, so I had no idea this was a cover on first listen. While the song comes off as unusually synthwave-y for MASU, nothing else about the song suggested that it wasn’t a MACHINAE SUPREMACY song, including the clever and poignant lyrics. Robert Stjärnström is known for writing some truly fabulous lyrical rhymes, so I had no question that “you won’t automate our roles / if we digitize our souls” was one of his lines. Well, it’s not, but that just goes to show how well-suited to MACHINAE SUPREMACY‘s sound this song really is.
While the signature SID sounds aren’t present in this song, everything else that we know and love from MASU can be found from here. The production of the song is really tight, blending Stjärnström‘s voice into the instruments to create a powerful blast that emphasizes the fight anthem lyrics about refusing to kneel to one’s overlords. The realness of Stjärnström‘s voice and the strength of the soloing add a human aspect to the otherwise nicely digitized sound. As well, the original song is far slower than this rendition and I’d go so far as to say that this cover adds some welcome energy into the original.
Want to learn more about the single? We asked MACHINAE SUPREMACY some questions about it on IGTV (it took a few minutes to connect, so you may want to skip ahead)! Also check out our Spotify playlist, where you can find the most recent singles from rising Finnish bands.