For Gizmachi, left turns have become a way of life at this point. The band have been around since the mid-’90s, but only really rose to acclaim when Slipknot’s Shawn “Clown” Crahan signed them to his Big Orange Clown label, leading to the release of the band’s 2005 debut The Imbuing. But after touring for the record, including on big treks like Ozzfest 2005, the band went on hiatus — and stayed that way for 16 years.
But one spin of Gizmachi’s new record Omega Kaleid proves that the time off was not time lost. Omega takes the thick concrete riffs and rhythms of The Imbuing and pours on a healthy dose of mathcore and experimental metal, making their sound simultaneously more punishing and more dynamic. Part of this shift is also the pressence of new vocalist Bjorn “Speed” Strid, best known as the frontman of Swedish melodeath game-changers Soilwork, whose mixed bellows and clean vocals add an astral vibe to this bruiser of a record.
We spoke to Gizmachi about how the band’s extended break resulted in their most adventurous album to date.
What led to your hiatus, and what led to its end?
During the touring cycle for The Imbuing, Jimmie (our drummer), developed Dequorveins Syndrome which is a painful wrist injury and was unable to continue touring. We had a few drummers fill in, but were unable to fill his position full time. Without a drummer, we had no choice but to go on hiatus. A few years later, Jimmie’s wrist was healed and it was then we decided to move forward with recording Omega Kaleid.
You launched a crowdfunding campaign for the album back in 2012 — what led to it only being released now?
At the time of the Kickstarter campaign, we were working on finishing some of the music like the leads, solos and a few other parts. We were working on the vocals, not only with lyric ideas but vocal structure. We had a few internal issues arise, where the album kept being pushed back. The completion of certain aspects of the album kept getting delayed. We then split from our original singer and had to find someone who could complete it. We then brought Bjorn into the fold. He needed time to learn the songs. Once he finished his vocals, we then completed the remaining parts of the songs. Lastly, we needed to have the album mixed. We WANTED to release the album late in 2012/early 2013. Luckily, the delay has created a much better album than we could have ever imagined!
How did Bjorn Strid get involved?
We became friendly with the Soilwork guys on Ozzfest in 2005. So when the band made the decision to go in a different direction vocally, we reached out to Bjorn and sent him a few tracks. He quickly agreed and we were off and running! Bjorn is one of our all-time favorite metal vocalists! The thought of him singing with us got us pumped! Our second single “Look What I’ve Become” was the first song Bjorn sent back to us. As soon as the four of us heard his voice with our music we knew this album was going to be special!
Is there a track or performance on the album you’re most excited for fans to hear?
Jay Hannon, guitars: Definitely the title track “Omega Kaleid.” It takes me on a mental journey and is the one song we’ve written that I can separate myself from and just “listen.” I don’t want to sound corny and cliché but I left a part of me in “Omega Kaleid.” It’s a pretty emotional song for me personally.
Listen to our advance stream of Gizmachi’s Omega Kaleid below:
Gizmachi’s Omega Kaleid comes out Friday, March 12th, and is available for preorder.
Words by Chris Krovatin