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When I listen to Machine Head, basically the first thing that strikes me is the energetic attitude and the powerful appearance. They're steering the locomotive, more or less similar to the two latest releases, The Blackening and Unto The Locust, with heavy and apt riffs, accurate guitar harmonies and Dave McClain's cracking and impressive drumming. The songs are perhaps not so immensely awesome in their entireties as on the two above mentioned predecessors, but on the other hand, the great majority of the material is massive and generates a vigorous force to complete the outcome.
In order to absorb the 71 minutes, which I generally in playing time think is too much of an experience to inhale, of Machine Head's thrash metal inspired heavy metal, it takes a little dedication. Aside from a couple a songs, which might be regarded as semi-ballads or perhaps more mellow material, the music is so intense and full of energy that it takes an additional few spins until I really pick up the contents of this dominant release.
The lead guitar roughly follows the sound presented on the two previous releases and I unquestionably can understand why main man Robb Flynn's unit decides to stay safe in this particular area, considering it was, among a few other things, this attribute that took Machine Head back to a higher level of popularity among the heavy metal masses again. Mr. Flynn's vocals still come out as angry as they usually do, although this is the band's eighth studio release. A new aspect is however proven by the violins in the opening track Now We Die, which is a great feature as far as I'm concerned, although it may actually be just something experimental or just a new thing to separate this material a little bit from the recent efforts.
This outfit continues to maintain a prominent position within the heavier metal music. I have since the band's debut album in 1994, Burn My Eyes, always been a fan and that epithet also applies to the albums released somewhere in the middle of the band's current career, when they took a few steps sideways and followed the trends to a different type of music, which is by many fans also still considered to be a full-on nosedive.
Even this far into Machine Head's life, the guys still have the determination and the capacity to find ways within the music that my heavy metal heart beats for, no matter if it's aggressive, filled with power, a little softer or faster, or tuned down. These heavy hitting songs with suitable and eminent melodies on top and the fact that they still can come out with this type of effort generally prove that this outfit still has many years to come in terms of creating great music.