Machinae Supremacy

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Machinae Supremacy
Machinae Supremacy Players.jpg
Background information
Origin Luleå, Sweden
Genres SID Metal, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, Industrial Metal, chiptune
Years active 2000–present
Labels Spinefarm Records
Associated acts Masugn, LifeForce, FLAK, Garden of Concrete, Inja
Website machinaesupremacy.com
Members Robert Stjärnström
Jonas Rörling
Andreas Gerdin
Niklas Karvonen
Tomi Luoma
Past members Kahl Hellmer
Johan Palovaara
Tobias Malm
Tomas Nilsén
Johan Hedlund

Machinae Supremacy is a Swedish band that combines modern heavy metal, power metal and alternative rock with chiptunes. Self-defined as "SID metal", many of their songs use a SidStation that features the SID chip of the Commodore 64. They have released a considerable number of songs for free download on their site, 32 original recordings, with approximately 100,000 downloads a month.[1][2]

Deus Ex Machinae, the band's first commercial album was released in 2004 through the independent (and now defunct) MbD Records UK. The band is currently signed to Spinefarm Records, through which they released their second studio album, Redeemer in 2006, followed by Overworld in 2008, A View from the End of the World in 2010 and Rise of a Digital Nation in 2012. Their latest release was Phantom Shadow on 22 August 2014.

Band history[edit]

Origin: 2000–2001[edit]

Machinae Supremacy was formed in Luleå, Sweden during the summer of 2000 by Robert Stjärnström, Kahl Hellmer and Jonas Rörling. The name of the band had existed before this, but it was only a few months later the band decided a specific style they wanted to pursue. Andreas Gerdin, a long-time friend of Rörling, joined on keyboards and Tobias Malm joined on drums. Together they recorded their first song, "Cryosleep."[3]

Defining an original style and being fans of the Commodore 64, they settled on using the SID chip from the machine in their music, later becoming known by the term "SID metal". They described their music as carrying a vibe of self-confidence, enlightenment and encouragement for people to take control of their own lives.[4][5]

Promo: 2001–2003[edit]

Machinae Supremacy's version of the Great Gianna Sisters theme

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The band saw the Internet as the best way to reach a wider audience, forgoing the traditional method of sending demos to record labels. In 2001 their official website was launched, boasting around nine freely available songs. They distributed their music through the free Vorbis audio codec as well as MP3.

The band attempted to reach out to the Commodore 64 community in an attempt to gain a larger fan base. It was during this time "The Great Gianna Sisters" was released, a cover of the theme to Great Giana Sisters composed by Chris Hülsbeck. Releasing this song onto various Commodore 64 remix sites proved to be instrumental in granting the band's early success,[6] which was later increased by the follow-up, the Sidology series. Machinae Supremacy would also go on to perform their first show abroad, at a nightclub in Soho during the Back in Time Live event.

During 2001, Stjärnström and Hellmer, together with friend Tomi Tauriainen formed the short-lived punk rock side-project, FLAK.[7] Intending to express a political side,[8] only three songs were released; parts of which would later go on to influence Machinae Supremacy songs.[9] From an interview with Stjärnström "FLAK is... aggression and pain! :] It's a band, but it's nothing serious, just a means of expression."[8]

In 2002, Tobias Malm left the band and was replaced by Tomas Nilsén, who is a long-time friend (and previous band mate in Garden of Concrete[5]) of Stjärnström's. Over the next few years, they released 25 freely downloadable songs before they began work on their first studio album.

Deus Ex Machinae: 2004–2005[edit]

Excerpt of Machinae Supremacy "Ghost (Beneath The Surface)"

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In May 2004, the band announced the release of their first commercial album Deus Ex Machinae through Music By Design Records Ltd. (MbD).[10] The album's first print of 1000 copies sold out within a year, leading to a second print being released in 2005.[11] Shortly after the release of reprint of Deus Ex Machinae, MbD ceased trading and the band were without a record label for the then-in-development second album. This album would not be released until 2006.

The band would also contribute to other projects that year; they worked on the soundtrack for the video game Jets'n'Guns by RakeInGrass software. The Jets'n'Guns Soundtrack was released for free on December 2004. In that year three of their songs were included in the In the Groove series of dancing games; "Hybrid", "Bouff" and "Cryosleep".

During 2005, the band's focus was directed towards finishing and finding a way to release their second album. "Ghost (Beneath The Surface)" was released, as an outtake from the album.. They collaborated with the German gaming magazine GameStar to produce and release two songs, "Loot Burn Rape Kill Repeat" on 25 June for a World of Warcraft special, and "Multiball" (a medley of themes from the Pinball Dreams series) on 20 November for a Battlefield 2 special.

Later that year, Hellmer moved away from Luleå and could no longer take part in the band. He was replaced by Johan Palovaara.

Redeemer: 2006–2007[edit]

Early in 2006, on 9 January, the band was able to release "Sidology Episode II – Trinity", finally completing their "Sidology" series, as well as announce a sister production company Hubnester Industries, which would handle future soundtrack and commissioned work.[12]

On 18 March of that year they were able to independently release their second commercial album, Redeemer through their own merchandise web site and store using Hubnester Industries as their own record label.[13] Then on 27 September that year it was announced they had signed to Spinefarm Records[14] in a 4 album record deal and would remaster and re-release Redeemer to retail on 8 November.

In late 2006 the band, with Hubnester Industries, worked on the soundtrack to the now postponed PC game War Angels,[15] developed by Moonpod, and their third studio album.[16][17] On 27 November 2006, the band's lineup was changed with the hope of improving the quality of live performances, with Stjärnström's guitar role passing on to Gerdin, allowing Stjärnström to focus solely on vocals, and replacing the keyboard with pre-recorded samples.[18]

In 2007, it was confirmed that the band would produce their first music video for the song "Through The Looking Glass".[19] It was directed by Tomi Tauriainen, and shot by Torbjörn Lindbäck and was released after several delays later that year.[20][21]

Performing at Play! A Video Game Symphony in Stockholm

It was during this year that the band were asked to perform with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra during the Play! A Video Game Symphony concert in Stockholm, part of the world-tour event featuring music from video games. They played during the song "Dancing Mad" from Final Fantasy VI.[22][23] Following the success of this concert, they were asked to return to the event in Oslo, Norway with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Oslo Philharmonic Choir where they played, among other songs, Metallica's "One" during a Guitar Hero segment.[24]

Overworld: 2007–2009[edit]

On 9 October, shortly after the band released their first music video for the song "Through the Looking Glass", it was announced that Johan Palovaara was leaving the band, "Due to different priorities, Johan Palovaara is now leaving the band to pursue other ambitions."[25] It was later revealed it was over the band's decision to perform at events such as Play!.[5] Johan Hedlund was hired as the band's new bassist.[25]

Production began on the third album, Overworld during 2007. The first radio single from the new album, a cover of Britney Spears' "Gimme More", was premiered on the Finnish station YleX in late November.[26]

The album was released on 13 February 2008. Later in the year after a web site redesign the Vorbis audio files were replaced with lossless FLAC files. In October the band released a cover of the title theme from the 1988 video game Bionic Commando for the game's sequel.[27]

In August 2009, Nilsén departed the band due to "personal issues".[28] He was replaced by Niklas Karvonen in October 2009.[29]

A View from the End of the World: 2010–2011[edit]

The band released their fourth studio album, A View from the End of the World, on 3 November 2010. The video for the song "Force Feedback" was later released in 2011.[30]

In early 2011 the band toured Europe supporting Children of Bodom on their Ugly World Tour.[31] A UK-only best of compilation, The Beat of Our Decay, was released on 28 March 2011 to support the tour.[30] After four years of membership, Hedlund left the band on 19 June 2011; Gerdin switched to bass to fill his spot and Stjärstrom returned to performing his role as the band's rhythm guitarist. The band did not release an official statement regarding his reasons.

On 14 October 2011, Machinae Supremacy released a full-length concert video Live at Assembly Summer 2011 as a free of charge Internet-only torrent download through The Pirate Bay. It was recorded at the 2011 Assembly Summer demoparty in Hartwall Areena, Helsinki.[32]

To celebrate 20,000 "likes" on Facebook the band released their first studio album, Deus Ex Machinae, for free online on 13 November 2011.[33][34]

Rise of a Digital Nation: 2012–present[edit]

The fifth studio album of Machinae Supremacy, Rise of a Digital Nation, was released on 19 October 2012. It was featured on the controversial Swedish file-sharing website The Pirate Bay, leading to a significant increase in the band's online profile.

On 5 December 2012, Machinae Supremacy announced on their official Facebook page that Tomi Luoma would be joining the band as their rhythm guitarist, first appearing with them on 10 January 2013.[35]

A music video was made for the album's opening track "All of My Angels" to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.

In 2013, Machinae Supremacy announced that they were working on a new album, due for release in 2014, and launched a fundraiser through their own website for a headlining European tour. The fundraiser, which deadline was extended several times, lasted from 22 September 2013 to 12 January 2014, collecting over €37000 from more than 350 single donations.[36] As a result twelve different European countries were "unlocked", in which a tour is planned to take place during 2014.[37]

On 14 March 2014, Robert Stjärnström announced that the "release [of the new album] won't be until August."[38] The new album, titled Phantom Shadow, was released on 22 August 2014.

Members[edit]

Current members
  • Robert "Gaz" Stjärnström – vocals (2000–present), rhythm guitar (2000–2006, 2011–2013)
  • Jonas "Gibli" Rörling – lead guitar, vocals (2000–present)
  • Andreas "Gordon" Gerdin – keyboards (2000–2006), rhythm guitar (2006–2011), bass (2011–present)
  • Niklas "Nicky" Karvonen – drums (2009–present)
  • Tomi Luoma – rhythm guitar (2013–present)
Former Members
  • Kahl Hellmer – bass (2000–2005)
  • Johan "Poe" Palovaara – bass (2005–2007)
  • "Tobbe" – drums (2000–2002)
  • Tomas "Tom" Nilsén – drums (2002–2009)
  • Johan "Dezo" Hedlund – bass (2007–2011)
Timeline

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Release date Label
Deus Ex Machinae 1 May 2004 MbD Records UK/Hubnester Industries (reprint)
Redeemer 18 March 2006 Hubnester Industries/Spinefarm Records
Overworld 13 February 2008 Spinefarm Records
A View from the End of the World 3 November 2010 Spinefarm Records
Rise of a Digital Nation 19 October 2012 Spinefarm Records
Phantom Shadow 22 August 2014 Spinefarm Records

Other releases[edit]

Title Release date Notes Label
CrapPack 2004 Collection of unreleased tracks Independent/internet release
Live in Lappfejden 2004 Live recording Independent/internet release
Jets'n'Guns Soundtrack 4 December 2004 Jets'n'Guns soundtrack Independent/internet release
Origin 2008 compilation of webography tracks released via website Independent/internet release
Arcade 2008 compilation of webography tracks released via website Independent/internet release
Fury 2008 compilation of webography tracks released via website Independent/internet release
The Beat of Our Decay 4 April 2011 UK best of compilation Spinefarm UK
Live at Assembly Summer 2011 14 October 2011 Video album Independent/Internet release

Webography[edit]

Promotional tracks are released as free downloads on the band's website. Listed by year originally released.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About". Archived from the original on 17 April 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2008. 
  2. ^ "MACHINAE SUPREMACY Signs With SPINEFARM RECORDS". Blabbermouth. Roadrunner Records. 29 September 2006. Retrieved 4 May 2008. 
  3. ^ Stjärnström (24 August 2003). "Re:Fighters from Ninne v1". Retrieved 21 June 2007. 
  4. ^ "Machinae Supremacy – About ...". 9 December 2003. Archived from the original on 23 September 2003. Retrieved 9 July 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c "Biography". Retrieved 4 May 2008. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Great Giana Sisters (C64 Remix by Machinae Supremacy)". Remix64.com. 4 October 2001. Retrieved 21 June 2007. 
  7. ^ "FLAK". 9 March 2002. Archived from the original on 9 March 2002. Retrieved 4 October 2007. 
  8. ^ a b Carr, Neil (12 May 2002). "An Interview with Machinae Supremacy – Remix64". Remix64.com. Retrieved 12 May 2002. 
  9. ^ Stjärnström, Robert (30 May 2005). "Flak? old band...". Retrieved 4 October 2007. 
  10. ^ "Music by Design – News". MDB Records. 3 May 2004. Archived from the original on 10 May 2004. Retrieved 21 July 2007. 
  11. ^ "Machinae Supremacy – News". 6 February 2005. Archived from the original on 15 June 2005. Retrieved 21 July 2007. 
  12. ^ "Hubnester Creative Arts Collective". Retrieved 8 November 2007. 
  13. ^ "Machinae Supremacy "Redeemer Underground" (Independent CD 2006)". Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2007. 
  14. ^ "Spinefarm signs MACHINAE SUPREMACY". Spinefarm. Retrieved 6 November 2006. 
  15. ^ Hamish (3 March 2006). "Feb/March/whatever dev diary". Moonpod. Retrieved 6 November 2006. 
  16. ^ Stjärnström, Robert. "Re: Give us some news on the new cd.". Retrieved 6 November 2006. 
  17. ^ "List of info about the next album". Retrieved 6 November 2006. 
  18. ^ Stjärnström, Robert (23 December 2006). "Machinae Supremacy Line-up Change!". Retrieved 27 November 2006. 
  19. ^ "MACHINAE SUPREMACY Finishes Filming 'Through The Looking Glass' Video". Blabbermouth. Roadrunner Records. 3 May 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2007. 
  20. ^ "MACHINAE SUPREMACY: 'Through The Looking Glass' Video Available". Blabbermouth. Roadrunner Records. 3 October 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2007. 
  21. ^ "MACHINAE SUPREMACY "Through The Looking Glass" Music Video.". Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2007. 
  22. ^ "MACHINAE SUPREMACY to perform Dancing Mad". Play-symphony.com. 23 April 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2007. 
  23. ^ "MACHINAE SUPREMACY Goes Classical". Blabbermouth. Roadrunner Records. 23 April 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2007. 
  24. ^ "PLAY! – a Video Game Symphony – Tickets". Play-symphony.com. 26 October 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2007. 
  25. ^ a b "MACHINAE SUPREMCY/Latest news". Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2007. 
  26. ^ "Soittolista". YleX. Retrieved 10 December 2007. 
  27. ^ Reidy, Gearoid (4 October 2009). "Bionic Commando Rocks (Literally. Well, Figuratively)". Retrieved 18 August 2009. 
  28. ^ "MACHINAE SUPREMACY Parts Ways With Drummer". Blabbermouth. Roadrunner Records. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 
  29. ^ "MACHINAE SUPREMACY Announces New Drummer". BlabberMouth. 
  30. ^ a b "MACHINAE SUPREMACY: 'Force Feedback' Video Released – Mar. 19, 2011". Blabbermouth. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  31. ^ "CHILDREN OF BODOM Announces European Headlining Tour". BlabberMouth. 
  32. ^ "Machinae Supremacy Live at Assembly 2011 (full concert)". Machinae Supremacy. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  33. ^ http://www.thegamingvault.com/2011/11/machinae-supremacy-deus-ex-machinae-album-free
  34. ^ "First Studio album "Deus Ex Machinae" now released as free download". Machinae Supremacy. 13 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  35. ^ "Tomi Luoma joins Machinae Supremacy". Facebook. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  36. ^ "Machinae Supremacy World Tour Fundraiser a.k.a. "MASU WTF"". Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  37. ^ "TOUR STATUS". Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  38. ^ "Announcement by Robert Stjärnström in the "MachinaeTribe"". Facebook. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 

External links[edit]