Tuesday 9 January 2024

Cracked Machine - Wormwood (Album Review)

Release Date: 20th January 2024. Record Label: Kozmik Artifactz. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Wormwood - Tracklisting

Into The Chronosphere

Song Of Artemis

The Glowing Sea


Return To Antares

Burning Mountain

Desert Haze



Instrumental Psych Stoner Rockers Cracked Machine new album Wormwood sees the band take on a fuller Progressive sound which draws into areas of Post-Rock throughout the album. The bands winning style of Space Rock, Heavy Psych and Stoner Rock is quite central to the overall flow of Wormwood with music that should resonate with fans of bands such as Yawning Man and TUBER. 

Cracked Machine focus primarily on Heavy Psychedelic rhythms which allows their music to grow naturally. The Post-Rock creative energy is an inspired touch which allows the band to play sublime different styles of “QUIET vs LOUD” dynamics within the majority of the album. The sound can be quite aggressive within the more spacier grooves on the record on tracks such as: Into The Chronosphere, Song Of Artemis and The Glowing Sea. 

There’s a deep sense of realism heard within Cracked Machine’s music which allows the record to be quite adventurous especially when the Space Rock and Post Rock elements collide for a more surreal journey which becomes ever more apparent on the stunning third track The Glowing Sea. Cool sounding synths allows the other instrumental sounds to drift further into the Psych Rock vortex with an eerie classic electro rock atmosphere starting to form for the band to explore the later stages of the album with.

Fourth track Eigenstate opens with killer Prog Sludge/Stoner Rock fast-paced guitars whilst retaining that haunting Psych Stoner Rock sound. The guitars remind me of Mastodon (Leviathan era) in places but could be my imagination working overtime. Cracked Machine start adding moments of Ambient and Psychedelic sounds for a more “world-building” style of music that is perhaps my favourite track on the entire album.

The second half of the album has a more Synth and Electronic driven score with a haunting Post-Rock energy becoming the most dominant sound on the album with flashes of Heavy Stoner Rock allowing the record to perhaps being the heaviest music that Cracked Machine have released to date on tracks such as Return To Antares, Desert Haze and Wormwood.

Wormwood is a powerful and emotionally driven album with Cracked Machine playing a highly original blend of Instrumental Stoner Rock which should speak huge volumes to the Stoner Rock scene in general and not just the Instrumental part of the global underground scene. With exquisite production values heard throughout the album, Cracked Machine have delivered the goods yet again with Wormwood to prove why they’re one of the essential Instrumental Rock bands the UK has right now.

Words by Steve Howe 

Thanks to Cracked Machine for the promo.

Wormwood will be available to buy on CD/DD on January 20th 2024 from Wormwood.

Kozmik Artifactz will be releasing Wormwood on Vinyl at a later date.


Linktree | Facebook | BandCamp