Automaton: Crashdiet’s Strongest Album to Date?

The Swedish glam-metal band have been going a while now, having changed vocalists for a third time before their last album, Rust. Most bands would struggle after losing the frontman that brought the band the biggest fame (heck, just look at Iron Maiden), but Crashdiet have seemed to thrive with Gabriel Keyes at the helm. The singles from this album have got me excited and I cannot wait to review it. Check it out with us!

After a brief intro track, ‘Together Whatever’ rips into a surprisingly heavy riff, sounding closer to power metal than sleaze. However as soon as Gabriel comes in on vocals it is undoubtedly glam-metal. His voice adds somehow both polish and attitude to the instrumentation. A great build through the verse and pre leads to a fantastically catchy chorus. The backing ‘oh’s are great and very glam while the lead and backing vocals are just as catchy. The guitar solo between the second and last choruses is just as fantastic as one would come to expect from the genre, bridging the gap perfectly. Overall a very enjoyable radio hit and one that easily makes the playlist!

‘Shine On’ opens with an 80s electro-style synth before a great, heavy riff comes in over the top. The verse is steady again, focused heavily on the vocals as the drums and guitars are pretty simple and driving. It leads to another catchy chorus, the ‘hey’s most likely being fun to join in with live. After a brief guitar solo it drops down to the electro bit for a moment. Then an almost Iron Maiden-like riff and vocal line builds us back to the final chorus and outro. Another fantastic song!

Next up is lead single ‘No Man’s Land’. Right out the gate we are hit with two fantastic, heavy riffs, somehow combining Bon Jovi and Dream Theater. It follows the same structure as the previous two tracks, dropping down for the verses before building into huge choruses. It’s another good choice for a single as it’s got a stadium-filling, catchy chorus, a great guitar solo and some damn punchy riffs.

Check out a similar review of comedy NWOCR band Bootyard bandits here

‘Darker Minds’ changes the pace slightly, just enough to keep it interesting. It isn’t quite a ballad but it is markedly slower than the previous tracks and the chorus is almost uplifting in its melody. It’s the closest thing to all-out glam on the album so far and is very catchy. I have a weakness for a Bon Jovi/Motley Crue style chorus and this very much delivers that, pushing the track onto our playlist!

‘Dead Crusade’ while still a very good track, is more of the same. I would say the same about ‘Powerline’, but at least it features a fun guest slot from Steal Panthers Michael Starr. The man’s iconic voice is as strong as ever and blends very well with both Gabriel’s and the music behind them!

‘Resurrection of the Damned’ is another fine track. However, it does bare at least some resemblance to the similarly titled Skid Row track ‘We Are the Damned’. It isn’t an issue at all, but I struggled to get the other track out of my head upon the initial listen or two.

‘We Die Hard’ is another track with a heavily Bon Jovi chorus, which I massively appreciated. Outside of that there isn’t much to talk about with the track, though. The opposite could be said for ‘Shell Shock’. While there are better choruses on the album, the riff is incredible and the heaviness was great. Between the solid drumming, multiple great rhythm parts and fun backing vocals, it will most likely go down as an underappreciated gem this late on the album. Playlisted.

Another standard track in ‘Unbroken’ gives way to the album closer, ‘I Can’t Move On’. It’s a ballad, and oh boy is it a slow one. Yes, it picks up and adds some distortion or the final chorus, but before that it was just vocals and a guitar. If this was earlier on in the album it would have been perfect, but why do bands insist on having 10 songs that are all the same one after another and then have the only different one right at the end? A good song but leaves the album out on a whimper instead of a bang, especially when it fades out instead of a big finish.

Overall: This was great. Crashdiet found their stride immediately with Gabriel but this was as strong an output as Rust, arguably better. A band who know what they are about and are very good at writing music around that. I cannot wait to hear it live!

The Score: 8/10

Did you enjoy the review? Keep up to date on all of them from our Instagram here.