"What's a long time coming is finally good", or so a German saying goes. I was surprised at the beginning of 2021 when the band had already announced their third album 'Body Machine'. And that was only a few months after the release of the second album 'Cyberhead' and I still thought: "Wow, what a pace of work!". But then there were always postponements and the album kept on waiting. But that's complaining on a very, very high level. Now It's only been 1 1/2 years since the last album release. Respect!
To keep the meantime bearable for the fans, the band released several singles/experiments (Pusher, Orange Forest, Lonely Mansion and Let Your Body Go). At least for the single 'Let Your Body Go' I would have liked a inclusion on 'Body Machine'. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, so here we focus on the regular 10 new studio songs of 'Priest'.
Big references to 'Depeche Mode'
The opener 'A Signal In The Noise' was the first single release from the album 'Body Machine' and was released in December 2021. 'A Signal In The Noise' is not exactly what I would call a typical album opener. It's not a club banger and I don't think it will be the big anthem live either. The song is quiet, profound and extremely melancholic. I draw a parallel to the opener 'Heaven' on the Depeche Mode album 'Delta Machine'. Releasing a ballad as the first single is a brave decision. I love the song 'A Signal In The Noise' and think that 'Priest' has made a good choice here.
With industrial machine sounds, 'Priest' continues the album 'Body Machine' with the song 'Ghost Writer'. This song is rather something for the dance floor! With an EBM beat almost suitable for stomping, you can march nicely in a square. Some subtly used sounds and effects remind me of the 80s classic 'Master And Servant' by 'Depeche Mode'. More machine samples were used here, but the cold tonality is more or less comparable.
'Hell Awaits' starts like a typical 80s New Beat / Acid House song like 'Bomb The Bass' or 'S‑Express'. For all of you who are reading this and have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, just read the article 'A flashback to New Beat'. Especially the voice samples used reference this 80s era. Now don't panic! The song still has enough Priest DNA left to be perceived as such. The bassline is so groovy that I want to dance to it right away. The tempo is somewhere in the midtempo range, but the crisp sounds and dynamics make it feel faster. Hell of a song!
They call it reason
They call it norm
The charge is treason
If you won’t conform Lyrics from ‘Hell Awaits’ by ‘Priest’
Catchy industrial cyber sex – The middle part of the album
The melancholic and super catchy synth pop song 'Phantom Pain' goes deep into the auditory canal from the first second. The extremely melodic chorus has a touch of the 'And One' classic 'Dancing In The Factory'. But much, much darker and with more seriousness. The song is not light fare, but it is a fantastic change on the album 'Body Machine'.
The song 'Blacklisted' is a lot harder sounding than the previous ones. I would almost categorise the song as industrial. Cold hard sounds, a bit bulky in the song structure, but still a good song. I still needed a few attempts to get into it.
'Perfect Boys Machine' sounds like we have found an awesome lost song from the 80s. The fast vocals alone, with a completely different key, make the song seem almost like a foreign body on the album. The song definitely stands out from the album. 'Perfect Body Machine' has the funky attitude of a 'Hot Chocolate' song and the vibes of an 80s pop song. The sexual references in the lyrics could be a little more subtle, but I have to admit that I like the metaphors used. Above all, it's the groove and the harmony of the words that matter. So keep up the rhythm!
Your very own bionic Don Juan
And keeps you in the groove
While you’re on the hook Lyrics from ‘Perfect Body Machine’ by ‘Priest’
'Techno Girl' is the second single release of 'Body Machine'. Lyrically, the song is a declaration of love to 'Cyberpunk 2077'. The beat is driving and here a little more EBM comes to the surface again. With a lot of pressure and a continuous beat, the song is predestined to fill the dance floors in the clubs. The subtly used and sombrely tuned guitars provide the necessary depth and warmth in the electronic sound construct.
The brightest darkness awaits you at the end
When I first read the track list, I misread the song 'Crystalline Lace' and read 'Crystal Lake' instead. For all of you who are not so deep in the history of 80s horror films, Jason Voorhees from the film 'Friday the 13th' committed his murders in Camp Crystal Lake. And now it's getting really creepy! As I listened to the song for the first time, I immediately think: "That sounds like a typical 80s horror movie song.". I don't know if it's a coincidence that my reading manifested itself in my brain or if there's something more behind it.
My inner question after the first few seconds of 'Nightcrawler': "Is this a 90s techno anthem?". The first drop on the bassline calms me down a bit. By the time the first chorus comes in, I'm already on fire for the track. The song is super catchy and almost tends towards electro pop. For me, the song is one of the highlights on the album 'Body Machine'. It's really such a super weird but fantastic mixture of this hyped piano techno bridges and super melodic and soft Top10 electro pop sound. Kind of totally sick, but it works.
The mood of the song 'Keep On Burning' can best be described with the summer hits and the associated lifestyle of the 'Pet Shop Boys' of the early 90s. I mean songs like 'Being Boring', "I'm Not Scared" or 'Domino Dancing'. Now the song isn't directly comparable to those hits, but 'Keep On Burning' gives me that vibe and nostalgic feeling. The text also exudes this youthful naivety that touches me so happily that my eyes get wet and my heart sings along. Thank you for this great song.
Cause I belong
In your heartbeat
Dancing in neon lights Lyrics from ‘Perfect Body Machine’ by ‘Priest’
'Body Machine' is essential for every synth pop collection.
To keep it short: 'Body Machine' is a must-buy and that without any argument! The physical album also contains the bonus track 'She's Already A Queen', which I unfortunately didn't have with my promo copy. I am looking forward to the Priest album 'Body Machine' like a little child to Christmas.
I also hope that the title of the last song 'Keep It Burning' symbolises that Priest (in whatever constellation) will continue to produce such musical gems in the future. Thank you very much for connecting the synth roots with new influences and breath life into this genre.
Track by track rating for: Priest – Body Machine
Priest – Body Machine
A Signal In The Noise
Perfect Body Machine
Keep On Burning
A Signal In The Noise
Perfect Body Machine
Keep On Burning
Typical album cliché list for: Priest – Body Machine