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ROADKILL – Ruled by Machines (Album Review)


In early January of last year (2017), I discovered a band, album, and song that got its hooks in deep. From the first “click” on the video suggestion that popped up in the sidebar while checking something else out on YouTube, I was hooked. I usually ignore those things, but for some reason, I clicked this time. The song was “Ready for War” from Hobart, Tasmania’s Roadkill. I reviewed the album, E X T I N C T, which was actually issued in September of 2016 for Decibel Geek (link below). And now in late 2018, we are served another album: ROADKILLRuled by Machines.

ROADKILL Backstory

Roadkill is comprised of Neil Steel on vocals (also handling press and booking duties), Zig and Jim wielding the axes, with Ted on bass and Squid behind the kit. They formed originally in 2006 in response to, as their Facebook page states, a lack of genuine hard rock bands in Hobart. A year later, 2007 saw Roadkill issue their first album, God Bless America, but tragedy struck the band by 2008. The next two years were filled with turmoil for Roadkill. Things that surely would have made lesser bands well…extinct. Like two members being involved in two separate serious car accidents, while another member left due to health problems!

But the Roadkill was not to be scraped up with a shovel just yet. Regrouping in 2010 Roadkill unleashed their second effort, Profanity & Innuendo, in 2012. In early 2015, Roadkill recorded a show which was released mid-year titled, LIVE 2015. In September 2016 the guys served up E X T I N C T via Melodic Rock Records. Now again brought to the masses courtesy of Melodic Rock Records, Ruled by Machines is available November 9, 2018.

ROADKILL – Ruled by Machines

Roadkill at Steel Assassins (from Roadkill FB page)

Having had a digital copy of Ruled by Machines for a few days now, its been making the hour-long commutes to work more pleasant. Overall Ruled by Machines is a continuation of what I found on the previous E X T I N C T album. Larger than life riffs that are so thick you could have them for dinner. Each track is a hard rocking guitar driven belter. The album has a bit of a heavier flavor which even more so than the predecessor, E X T I N C T, is a head scratcher for Melodic Rock Records.

This eleven track collection of rippers leads out with the title track to set the tone. After a computer-generated voice states several times “ruled by machines” before warbling out, the riffs charge into battle. The thunderous drive is a great start to the album. But it’s the second track, “Last Stop Before Hell” that really breaks things open. The same riffing style is in the forefront now overlaid by an infectious chantable chorus. Not quite the totally compulsive addiction song like E X T I N C T‘s “Ready for War”, but not too far reached! Neil‘s vocals have quite a unique tone to them, I find. Hard to describe, almost nasally and whiny, but not really. In any case, a great blend with the heaviness of the compositions. It all showcases extremely well during the third track, “Breaking all the Rules”.

In the back half, we find more solidly crafted, foot tapping, headbanging working man’s metal! Such as “Looking for Love” that lyrically speaks a message that I understand…all too well! Punky thrasher and album closer “Breakout” thumps by quickly. Too quickly at less than 3 minutes.

ROADKILL – Ruled By Machines

Roadkill‘s Ruled by Machines features a cover that seems to be inspired by the Predator and is fully loaded with barn burning pounders. The whole collection plays well and there are several high points. Employing the age-old philosophy of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, those enjoying E X T I N C T, should be right at home here as well. A great workout album, these beats will push you forward!

BUY: Ruled by Machines

Official Website / Facebook

ROADKILL – E X T I N C T (Album Review)


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