The promotion package I received for Matt Pike’s album Pike vs. the Automaton states “Matt Pike wrote new rules for the hard rock genre with his Grammy-awarded trio High on Fire and re-invented doom metal with Sleep”. Quite a massive praising for the US-American, who is doing a debut on 18th February 2022: the album is his very first solo release. Pike produced it with Jon Reid and Billy Anderson.
Matt Pike – About The Artist
Matt Pike was born on 3rd June 1972 in Southfield, Michigan, in Greater Detroit. Later, Pike lived in California and Colorado. So far, Matt Pike released albums with four bands. The most important ones are definitely the ones stated in the introduction, Sleep and High on Fire. In 1990 and later in 2007, there were three major releases with Asbestodeath. With Kalas, Mike Pike, just had a single album release.
Matt Pike – Pike vs the Automaton – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 62 minutes.
Abusive is a feel-good-song to me. No, nothing romantic kitsch pop whatever.. You just know from the very first notes that this is simply the kind of song Matt Pike is able to write, where he is great at. The base drum is hammering like crazy, the guitars are roaring and Matt Pike sounds like… Matt Pike. All fine. Feel good. For 5:18 minutes (which is a comparably short one in regards of this album).
2. Throat Cobra
Even though the Throat Cobra is somehow connecting to Abusive, it does not persuade me as much as the thunderous opener. The guitars feel a bit week, the drums are less stomping and Pike sounds a bit like that a lozenge would have been a good choice after performing the first song. Just not as good as the album began.
3. Trapped in a Midcave
8:22 minutes – the first really long track on the album (there are two longer ones later, though. I like the slight Americana-alike swing in this slower song. but I don’t feel that the guys really take the opportunity to turn this long duration into an epic, thrilling, altering storytelling. Great instrumental skills, but the song feels too long to me.
Epoxia can’t be too long, for sure. It is just 49 second, connecting to the riffs of its predecessor as an interlude.
Nashville, Broadway. curfew time. The band had a couple of too many drinks with their fans, so the precision is lacking a bit and the singer is also just roughly hitting the notes of the song he used to sing for the last twenty years. That’s how I would describe the sound of Land. Maybe I am just too dumb to get it. Somebody must have felt it is great, as they selected it as a single release. My thoughts are rather between skipping and the fast forward button.
6. Alien Slut Mum
Alien Slut Mum is rather impressing on the instrumental side again. The song is a bit too doom-ish to me. Hwoever, I enjoy the second half of the five minute song significantly more than its beginning.
Apollyon is already close to ten minutes – but this time, I enjoy the listen much more. The sound is better, there is more variety. Really nice one, which is having a cool dark touch as well.
8. Acid Test Zone (feat. Alyssa Maucere-Pike).
Acid testing does not seem to be that important in the world of Matt Pike vs the Automaton – that would at least explain why this one is the by far shortest song. Matt Pike’s wife is having a guest appearance on the song, which is adding a nice flavor to the fast song.
9. Latin American Geological Formation
The ninth track is going back to very expected sounds. These seven minutes of the Latin American Geological Formation are a nice treat for rock fans.
10. Leaving the Wars of Woe
We are on the final straight of the album – it is just rather a marathon to go than a short sprint. Roughly eleven minutes lie ahead of the listener. The song comes with very wisely set, accentuated sounds. A great finale.
Matt Pike – Pike vs the Automaton – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Matt Pike – Pike vs the Automaton – My View
Unfortunately, the album feels like a roller coaster ride to me. A few tracks are on the top, but there are also some too large drops. Finally, Pike vs the Automaton can thus not reach the really high ratings in my point of view.
2022 US Music Reviews