69 CHAMBERS - Machine

69 Chambers - Machine

11 songs
51:04 minutes
***** ***


Swiss alternative rock band 69 Chambers released already two albums in 2009 (War On The Inside) and 2012 (Torque) that I completely missed out on. As the band doesn’t live off their music, it took them until 2018 to come up with their third album Machine. Centre of attention is Nina Vetterli-Treml, who is married with guitarist Tommy Vetterli, who should be better known from his band Coroner. Nina sings, plays the bass guitar and is also writing most of the songs. Third member is drummer Diego Rapacchietti who is half Swiss and half French.

From a musical point of view, 69 Chambers and Coroner don’t have much in common. The music of 69 Chambers is catchier and much more direct. The songs are usually between four and five minutes long, and rather hard to categorise stylistically. The band calls it alternative rock, but there are also elements of symphonic metal, electro, gothic and even some desert rock. As Nina’s vocals always takes centre stage, I dare draw comparisons to Evanescence and Skunk Anansie, as 69 Chambers often sound like a band from the turn of the millennium. Many songs consist of powerful guitar riffs, but as soon as the vocals join in, the pace slows down without losing any energy though. At times this results in actually commercial songs like Little Bird Of Death and Who Am I that both bridge the gap between rock and pop perfectly. You’ll also encounter a couple of darker tunes. Loaded Gun is a quiet and gloomy track which is sizzling with suspense. The concluding Serpent Of Hypocrisy goes in a similar direction although it gets really fierce towards the end. But that’s not the only time the Coroner relationship can be made out. Some tracks contain searing guitar riffs the way Tommy Vetterli used to unleash with Coroner. As Switzerland is a polyglot country, we get with Métamorphose even a song in French language.

Machine is a modern rock album full of pace and mood changes. No matter if you like it catchy, gloomy or even brutal, 69 Chambers pass the test on every level. It’s a good thing that 69 Chambers are no mere spin-off from Coroner, but a separate and autonomous band that may not reinvent music but already knows how to entertain. 69 Chambers are probably also one of the few bands that played the Hellfest and the Montreux Jazz Festival.

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