Thursday, December 21, 2017

Review - The Maschine Wars: Songs of Solomon by Noah Archangel & The Band of the Hawk

"Noah Archangel returns with is 3rd installment of his instrumental series, The Maschine Wars. This years will be named Songs of Solomon. The style is more classic then the EDM style from ExitUs in 2016. Featuring the fiery single Black Lotus.

Noah's Maschine Wars always pushes the boundaries of genre and style. With great lines from classic movies and influencers, Songs of Solomon will surely be his most accessible Maschine Wars to date. Featuring verses from The Band of the Hawk's best, Yeaux Majesty, STX, and Juskwam."

This is per the Notes on The Band of the Hawk website

The album starts off with "Old Gods And The New," an intro that more or less confirms that great lines from classic movies and influencers are used. An intro of this nature not only gives you the feeling that you're in for a unique hip hop experience, but you're going to have feelings of nostalgia as well.

"Jamtiquity" is an instrumental that has a nice R&B feel to it. A singer, preferably a female singer/songstress would sound great over this beat. "Blade Runner 2011" is a name that will grab a Blade Runner fan's attention just from the title by itself. Aside from the nostalgic feel from the name, this is an instrumental that can remind you of an instrumental from a video game. That in and of itself can take a person back to the days of Nintendo and Sega Genesis. The instrumental "Wendy & Lisa" does the same thing as well. 

"Kundalini" has sharp lyrical darts being throw all over a real low-key , minimalistic type of beat. These darts are being thrown by Yeaux Majesty, a member of the group, The Band of the Hawk. The way he flexes on this track, it's obvious that he is lyrically gifted and he takes his pen game seriously. 

"Down The Rabbit Hole" is awesome from start to finish the way it flips the Dionne Warwick "Walk On By" sample. It was done in such a creative way that whoever is lucky enough to rap over this beat would need to really do this beat some justice. It would be an injustice to not have great bars over such a great beat. A rapper who is subpar or flat out wack shouldn't even entertain trying to rap over this beat. "Moo View" is definitely a different type of beat. It borrows from the Blackbox song "Gonna Make You Sweat" and brings you back to a time where house music dominated the airwaves. "Transgressions of Trismegistus" has a well-played piano sound/sample throughout and seems to be the type of beat that would make you want to go down memory lane. Whoever raps over this track would need to reminisce about the good 'ol days. "Pillow Talk" has a late 80's R&B/pop feel to it while "Rogue 777" is more on the grungy underground hip hop side.

"Nebuchenezzar" is a track where rapper, Juskwam gets busy with a stop-and-go type of flow. His cadence is unique the way he approaches the beat. At 2 minutes and 21 seconds, the track is short, but still worth a listen.

The instrumentals continue to come relentlessly with instrumentals like "Intermission" (having an outerspace, otherworldly sound), "Those. Hoes. Over. There." (the instrumental title has a good play on words with the acronym for one of today's popular slang terms, "thot" while having a sample that possibly sounds like Tina Marie singing), and "The Watchmen" (minimalist beat with a hollow inside of a cave/tunnel sound).

"Curses" and "No Fools" features STX. "Curses" is just an instrumental without him rapping while "No Fools" has him rapping over the instrumental. "No Fools" is very short, succinct and straight to the point with both the instrumental and bars.

"Jus Enuff" has a beautifully blended sample of Levert from the New Jack City movie and soundtrack. You can hear where they sing "just enough" and the way their harmonization is blended smoothly into the instrumental. "The Macknificent Breath," and "Miles Head" keeps the flow of straight instrumentals going while "Fall 4 Nuttin" gives you a break with some effortless rapping taking place on the track. "Dievergent" is a synth-heavy instrumental that is well-placed towards the end of this project as a closer type of track.

Speaking of the end of this project, "Black Lotus" is the very last track. Yeaux Majesty along with Juskwam are back for this go-round. Yeaux Majesty takes care of the rapping duties while Juskwam handles the hook. This track sounds like a signature Band of the Hawk song, vivid raps full of colorful punchlines and metaphors throughout. After listening to this project, I've come to the conclusion that Noah's Maschine Wars definitely did push the boundaries of genre and style. This isn't your typical hip hop project, especially the ones coming out nowadays. If you need something refreshing to listen to, this album would be it.

Click here to listen.

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