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Machine Head - The Blackening
After the release of Supercharger in 2001 Machine Head was almost left for dead; it was the lowest selling album to date, Ahrue Luster left the band and ties between the band and Roadrunner Records were severed. With Through the Ashes of Empires, released about three years ago, the band made a glorious comeback; an old friend and ex-bandmate (Violence) of Rob Flynn, Phil Demmel, filled in on guitar and from that moment the future was looking bright again. They were re-signed to Roadrunner and made a killer album which had the good old Machine Head feeling again, so all eyes are focused now on the follow up, The Blackening; could they hold on to their killer form?
Just as on Through the Ashes of Empires the opening song of The Blackening, ‘Clenching the Fists of Dissent’, is a long one…a damn long one, which lasts more than 10 minutes! It starts with a nice acoustic guitar which builds up an attractive tension which is brutally interrupted by a real killer thrash riff and when the drums kick in we are simply blasted away. YEAH! This is the good old Machine Head feeling that we missed for so long and it’s even more convincing than the material on Through the Ashes of Empires! The development of more strong melodic aspects, which was started on Through the Ashes of Empires, has been set through and then I’m not talking about the gay-ass nu-metal melodies on albums like The Burning Red and Supercharger. I’m talking about real kick-ass solos; really fast, furious and lasting; multiple times during the song! A little bit strange sounds the hardcore, Hatebreed-like sing-along choirs, but after that we get to hear that also the vocals of Rob Flynn progressed more on the melodic path. When he uses his clean dramatic voice it sounds really sincere and more touching than ever, I was just totally overwhelmed by the force and varied sound of this album and this was only the first song!
Then the second song, ‘Beautiful Mourning’,…Damn! After a real short intro of about 10 seconds hell breaks loose again. An enormous wall of aggression is unleashed which has that furious and relentless drum- and riffingstyle of the Burn My Eyes record. This style is hold on to during the complete album and the doubled solo in ‘Aesthetics of Hate’ is simply of the highest level possible, it’s unbelievable. Also admirable are the transitions, for instance from that great solo to dramatic screaming to a clean guitar part to…I could go on and on, but the most important thing is that it all feels so natural. It’s astonishing and that a full hour long! You just got to check it out for yourself.
I really tried to think of some weak points of The Blackening, but there simply aren’t any. Machine Head is back in its monstrous condition, even stronger than ever, because the power and feeling of Burn My Eyes is combined with the very well executed newer elements of Machine Head, which include real sincere dramatic singing by mister Flynn and breathtaking solos. That’s why I can say with one hundred percent confidence that The Blackening supersedes Burn My Eyes and definitely deserves to get an even greater ‘classic’ status, and I know what I’m saying here, I’m not just fooling around. Machine Head is on the number one spot of bands that has to been seen during the upcoming festival season; they are without a doubt going to be the firework at every festival they play, mark my words!
Machine Head - The Blackening
99/1001Details Roadrunner Records
Released on Tuesday Mar 27th, 2007

Writer @Sledgehammer Messiah on Sunday Mar 18th, 2007

Tags: #Machine Head
Tracklisting 1. Clenching the Fists of Dissent 10:35
2. Beautiful Mourning 04:49
3. Aesthetics of Hate 06:34
4. Now I Lay Thee Down 05:34
5. Slanderous 05:17
6. Halo 09:03
7. Wolves 09:04
8. A Farewell to Arms 10:12
Line up Robb Flynn - vocals, guitar
Phil Demmel - guitar
Adam Duce - bass
Dave McClain - drums
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