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The End Machine “The Quantum Phase” Album Review by Curtis J. Dupree

The End Machine band

Sometimes you toss on a new album and it just hits you right. That happened to me with The Quantum Phase, the new album from The End Machine. Not only did it hit right immediately, but subsequent listens drew out even more of the album’s strengths. 

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about The End Machine. The members of The End Machine need no introduction, especially George Lynch and Jeff Pilson. They’re joined by Steve Brown and new vocalist Girish Pradhan. All the musicians bring their A-game to the table, with Steve and Jeff bringing an appropriate bottom end and George shredding on his guitar like only he can. Girish was a great find for the band. He can wail with the best of them, but he also knows how to sing to fit the song, rather than overselling his vocals too much. Tonally, he reminds me a bit of Jeff Keith (Tesla) or Jamie Rowe (Guardian; Adrian Gale). The songs on this album will appeal to those who love classic 80s melodic hard rock/metal like Dokken. I don’t say that just because of Lynch and Pilson’s presence, but because some of the songs on this release are very Dokken-esque—a good thing in my book. However, The End Machine isn’t here to simply recreate Under Lock and Key for 2024, and there are other influences present, as well. The album has more modern touches and some downright bluesy, groovy moments. Fans of hard rock and melodic metal should find plenty to like here. 

The production deserves mention, as well. The album boasts a heavy bottom end and a clear, strong vocal quality. The production sounds modern, but Lynch’s tone keeps it from sounding too sterile or digital. His tone is not too heavy and sounds much more natural than the tone a lot of bands use nowadays. I appreciated that. The only real critique I have with the production is that the background vocals could be a bit louder. They sound good, but they’re often drowned out a bit. 

Kicking things off is “Black Hole Extinction.” What we have here is a solid opener that builds in the beginning before giving us a cool riff with a nice groove. Girish wails here and the prechorus is particularly melodic. A catchy chorus follows. The solo is quite nice and the rhythm section definitely puts in the work. 

Silent Winter”—the album’s first single—follows. The song builds during the intro. Here’s where I would arrange the tracklist a little differently. The first song already had a longer intro that built up in intensity and doing the same thing on the very next track kills the momentum a bit. However, we do hear some great lead work from Lynch during the intro. When the song kicks in the riff is great. The song has a bit of a darker sound with a melodically appealing chorus. 

A forceful, driving rhythm with some great bass work from Pilson highlights “Killer of the Night.” The chorus sports a hooky use of “Whoa-oh” vocals that should bring a smile to the face of anyone who still loves 80s melodic metal. The bridge builds in intensity before a shredding solo from Lynch, who has lost nothing over the years. 

Steve kicks off “Hell or High Water” with some nice drum work. This song is high energy and boasts a great riff and a catchy, energetic chorus. Lynch shows that he knows how to play for the song, rather than just unleashing a flurry of notes with no thought to composition. 

Stand Up” brings a bluesy swagger. The verses are good, the lead work is excellent, and the band sounds great. My only wish is that the chorus was a bit more compelling, as it feels slightly pedestrian. 

Burning Man” sounds a lot like Dokken circa Back for the Attack and boasts a great groove. Girish wails on this track and Lynch plays an emotional solo. 

We get another Dokken-esque track with “Shattered Glass Heart,” a song that could’ve fit perfectly on Under Lock and Key. The chorus will have you singing along in no time. The end of the song features some great shredding from Lynch

Time” boasts nice riffing with some bluesy soloing over top. The verses are rhythmically forceful with a verse that reminds me a bit of Tesla. The chorus is nice and bluesy, as well, and Lynch gives us some of his best soloing on this track. 

The synthesizer beginning of “Hunted” was a nice touch. The riffing is reminiscent of Dokken, and Girish once again wails. The riff in the verse deserves note. The chorus is sing-along in nature. The solo sports great use of tapping. This song is just a solid melodic hard rock tune. 

The pace for “Stranger in the Mirror” is bit more relaxed. I really like the moody chorus on this track. Pilson’s bass stands out in the bridge. The song picks up speed during the bridge before giving us a killer solo. 

Into the Blazing Sun” is a speedy finale with a great hard rock riff. The song is catchy, although I do wish the background vocals were a bit louder. This song is all about the attitude and it works. I also want to note the solo and the great scream Girish gives us at the end. 

All in all, it’s hard to see any fan of melodic hard rock being disappointed with The End Machine’s third album. There’s plenty of Dokken in their sound, but it’s not just a retread by any means. The songs are pretty much uniformly catchy and sport good riff work. Lynch’s solos are as excellent as you’d expect, the rhythm section contributes great work, and Girish proves his mettle with wailing vocals. Other than a few small quibbles, I have almost nothing but praise for The Quantum Phase. Make sure you pick up a copy when it drops. 

Curtis’ rating: 9/10

 Pre-Order ‘The Quantum Phase’ HERE

The End Machine album

1) Black Hole Extinction
2) Silent Winter
3) Killer of the Night
4) Hell or High Water
5) Stand Up
6) Burning Man
7) Shattered Glass Heart
8) Time
9) Hunted
10) Stranger in the Mirror
11) Into the Blazing Sun

Produced By: Jeff Pilson for Pilsound Music Inc
Studio: Pilsound Studios, Santa Clarita CA
Recorded By: Jeff Pilson and Girish Pradhan, additional engineering: Olivia Pilson
Mixed By: Alessandro Del Vecchio
Mastered By: Alessandro Del Vecchio

Band Members:
George Lynch 
Girish Pradhan
Steve Brown
Jeff Pilson

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