SINGLE REVIEW: DEATH MACHINE – PAPERCUTS

Death Machine have the ability the make music that is both restrained and urgent and sounds like the swirl of galaxies or a dinghy trying to navigate an angry ocean. They command elemental forces focused into sound washes and plunged into reverb, but Morgen Jespersen’s voice still comes through these atmospheric conditions clear and true. It was due to listening to Talk Talk’s 1997 album The Party’s Over early this week that I realised that there is a handshake across the decades with these two bands as they both explore mood and Moog with a common sound that is rich and dreamlike.

‘Papercuts’ folds light and dark into a mass of ominous clouds that occasionally part to reveal plaintive sections that show a vulnerability in the idea of someone fighting with inner demons and past mistakes. Death Machine were forged in a turbulent time for singer Jesper Mortensen, and though this informs the tone of their albums, it is always an examination of the human condition and never about self-pity. However, ‘Papercuts’ has a sliver of optimism glinting in the dark landscape and gives the impression of someone emerging from their troubles and fighting for themselves by creating new rules to live by.

It’s been over a year since the last album Orbit and I hope that ‘Papercuts’ heralds a new album for the 2021. I listen to a lot of music but over the years since I first heard them, Death Machine have been a band I consistently go back to listen to again and again.

Jesper Mogensen – Vocals & guitar / Morten Ørberg – Bass, keys & choir / Simon Christensen – Keys / Sven Busck Andersen – Drums

Review by Paul F Cook

PAPERCUTS

Railing, all the doors I have shut

Razor tongue, hurt me like papercuts

I will never gush, I will never gush

Now my road is clear

Made up wounds dissappear

Know your fear

Words don’t really impress me

Im free

Knowing roads will never change

All this time, I drove in the right lane

Now the night is shining bright

Igniting my eyes

Burning headlights

I make the rules now

Can you hear me now

I digged my way into the light

I make the rules now, I make the rules now

I make the rules now, I make the rules now

Railing

All the years I have lost

Shadow box

Im the key, keep it locked

How I used to clog. How I used to clog

Now the dark is rear

Know your voice, know your fear

Now I steer

Still you’re trying to impress me

I’m free

Knowing roads will never change

All this time, I drove in the right lane

Now the night is shining bright

Igniting my eyes

Burning headlights

I make the rules now

Can you hear me now

I digged my way into the light

I make the rules now

I make the rules now

I make the rules now

I make the rules now

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