Oh Machine Head?, do you like good music?… then probably you don’t know Machine Head too well hehehe since hummm since The Burning Red… i just don’t give a fuck, their albums sounded like thrash, but they were mostly… how can i put this gently… shit? a big pile, well more because they had such an interesting first album, that everything after that should have been at least somewhat good, seems not, so… after 2 or 3 albums, here comes “The Blackening” (and i’m only reviewing this cause a friend told me i should check it out).
“Clenching The Fists Of Dissent” starts if off, and i’m impressed, solid thrash, it kind drags a bit on with 10min and it has a slowish middle… but i kinda get it, sort of “lets just make a freaking kick ass first track”… hell its long because it has a bit of everything, from slow burning trash, speed blasting, some Hatebreed public shouting, short burst guitar solos, hell even time to go for a clean vocal section nearing the end, breakdown head-banging end i mean… sweet ride, “Beautiful Mourning” starts pretty well, shouting and here we go, a bit of thrashing and then we get to some heavy rifting with slow singing, then we get a sweetish chorus with some blasting, ok… not so bad… sounds a bit swedish, but not in a “LETS STOP EVERYTHING AND SING LIKE A GIRL MOMENT”, plenty of hardcore breaks and again a smallish guitar solo, and thats pretty much it, again another pretty catchy track, moving on to “Aesthetics Of Hate” starts off pretty well with pure thrash, with a very big solo… all building up to a clean vocal and pretty old school breakdown… again great, now we get “Now I Lay Thee Down” humm a bit more metalcore i guess.. with clean vocal even trough the chorus, still pretty catchy and it kinda seems to be the softest until now, some guitar solos and it gets a bit heavier to the end… humm its ok.
“Slanderous” is a bit of the same with some groovy drum/guitar work to build up, but again more metalcore, some breakish moments, some guitar solos, ends with a clean vocal buildup to… a bit heavier chorus, ahhh its getting kinda formulaic, “Halo” gets us a groovy blast guitar squeal break moving trough the track, that drive us to (probably) the catchiest chorus yet, pretty sweet clean vocal/guitar work… driving again to the groovy riff, midway we get a sort of breakdown to the guitar solos and even these seem to fit well with the rest of the track and to finish it off … yeah you guessed it… again clean vocal to build up to the chorus, its great don’t get me wrong, pretty sweet, but still more than predictable… a hell yeah for this track, “Wolves” starts off like hardcore should, but then goes into metalcore mode again, and then back to more hardcorish riffs, humm it gets better as we move along, we get midway another characteristic break that then merges with the rest of the track, then we get back into thrash, guitar solo and then back to chorus for the end, and that bring us to the last track “A Farewell To Arms” were we get a slow burning guitar/vocal build to the hardcorish slow burn riffing, then again a clean vocal chorus… still catchy, after the second chorus you get the guitar solos, then we speed along to thrash and eventually it dies out… pretty solid end track.
So what did i think of “The Blackening”? well it seems the expression “time heals all”, does have a use heheheh, Machine Head did a fine album, its not groundbreaking, its a bit formulaic (kinda has always the same song structure and it kinda always revolves around thrash/hardcore/swedish melodic metal), it lacks consistency (starts heavy with loads of thrash and ends more near to metalcore), but in the end, its a pretty slick album, even the not so good tracks are solid and there are some very groovy and heavy tracks throughout, so… if you were a fan of Machine Head or you want to listen to some modern thrash, then give this one a go.
Machine Head – Aesthetics Of Hate