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Machine Head - The Blackening

Published March 29 2007

=Staff's pick

Clenching the Fists Of Dissent
Beautiful Mourning
Aesthetics Of Hate
Now I Lay Thee Down
A Farewell To Arms
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Battery (Metallica Cover)

Genre Thrash Metal
Robb Flynn
Tracks 8
Robb Flynn
Runningtime 61 Min.
Phil Demmel
Label Roadrunner Records
Adam Duce
Release 27 March 2007
Dave McClain
Country USA
Similar artists Skinlab, Pantera, Slayer, Vio-lence

Oh what a beautiful morning - spring is in the air - the sun is burning red! Then, switch on the TV to realize this is a nation on fire, still at war. Mankind has been enslaved by pathetic hate-filled violence; the blackening of hearts and diminished spirits dominates. Our burning reticent nature to love and forgive, ensnares us, keeping us incriminated by our fears and thoughts erroneous. This world in a world hypocrisy, means we are still believing a thousand lies, concerning God and religion. This is why the metal heads damn the machine, retaliate with full force, clenching the fists of dissent.

I always thought it to be slanderous when Rob Flynn departed Vio-lence, then founded Machine Head with his partner Adam Duce. I owned a three song sampler from their debut; but I was not overly thrilled, so I abandoned the band. Same with Skinlab, I felt betrayed by these once great Bay Area icons selling out and throwing down. Like Forbidden, too many musicians adopted the familiar Panteraesque vibe, which did not appeal to me in the least, or uphold that mettle mandate. This treacherous and lecherous American modern sound sent me en route to better metal horizons in northern Europe.

Now 15 years have passed, and I'm experiencing a resurgence in the machine, headlong diving first into the black ending abyss. With the addition of Phil Demmel to the ranks in 2003, the guitar solo factor has magnified. Drummer Dave McClain - a juggernaut of independence - increases the pernicious bulldozing belligerence. As the saying goes: "The more things change..."

There may only be eight songs on their new CD, half of which clock in at all over nine minutes; yet every song has the desire to fire and strike a nerve. Each of these protracted dirges never lose momentum; maintaining their pummeling pace; puncturing. Six of the select are blistering blast temptations of crisis. The dual guitar harmonizing of Phil and Rob blatantly echo the era of Vio-lence; impressing the masses with eternal nightmarish shredding. Those landmark fills steadied by robust timely riffing, permeate with eccentricity and convolution.

Clenching The Fists Of Dissent - a dissertation of disintegration - resounds the warring example of shonen mercenary, discontent. The pounding metal pulsatians enrapture the infidel, while Rob's sonic bullet belts, bite down hard and chomp with his personified polemical propagations. Beautiful Mourning's black fright decadence, lures with swirling edification and clean vocal interludes. A polished vocal presence reverberates throughout the rotation with hallowed deliverance.

Aesthetics Of Hate remonstrates with Rob's respect for Dimebag Darrell - with his fear being driven hostile by such a traumatic tragedy. Now I Lay Thee Down and Farewell To Arms embrace their dismal euphony and solicitious sessions of epoch proportions. They deal, in depth, in death and disharmony, and embody the juxtaposed Jane's Addiction nuance; simply assuming that nothing's shocking.

Halo and Wolves lower no expectations. All represent a new electric avenue for thrash diversification. Mixing the maladies of hardcore with a cantabile liquidity of traditional renderings, which results in the deliniation of rabid riffing arrangements. Politicians are like Wolves knocking at your back door, with a no reason to exist attack. Halo applies the melodic repast of the glorious ancient Forbidden fruits, as a Testament to the visceral, vestigial, and vicarious sounds of the city of lights.

Slanderous is a slamming and obdurate take on the final judgment, never sallow, woefully opining. The music and lyrics mystify. The subject matter sheds light on the soul - seeing us as being mirrors of iniquity for one another; such that when we judge each other - we essentially condemn ourselves. "Three words decide: I love you!". With this canticle, Machine Head demonstrates that unity is the key to everlasting joy - and an end to the myth of separation.

I commend Rob and his metal command, promoting the new resistance. Machine Head has written an excellent album awakening and calling us to attention, hammerring out the heartache, my scars now healed.

See also review of: Catharsis , Bloodstone & Diamonds , Machine Fucking Head Live , Unto The Locust , Through The Ashes Of Empires
See also: interview with Phil Demmel








7,5 chalices of 10 - Michael the MettleAngel

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