Posted on: July 28, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Machine Head – The Blackening / 2007 Roadrunner / 8 Tracks / / /

Machine Head is a band that has been around for about as long as I have listened to metal. Their first album came out in 1994, and the band was around for a few years before that. So, “The Blackening”, their sixth album, should be a pinnacle with which they can achieve new levels of fame. Well, from the beginning of “The Blackening”, Machine Head comes forth with a confidence that knows no bound.This is because fully half of the tracks on the disc are over 9 minutes, and the band starts off the disc with “Clenching The Fists of Dissent”, the longest song of what is already a long CD. The band struggles at points to continually change up sounds and styles, but come forth with some sizzling guitar solos and interesting arrangements.

The amount of these solos and different sounding arrangements is enough that individuals can belly up to the much shorter (five minute) second track, “Beautiful Mourning”. “Beautiful Morning” is a track that continues the same general trends that were first started during “Clenching The Fists of Dissent”. What seems to be the focal point of this track are the shrill guitars, which tend to veer off at all the right times. The vocals use a little more grunge, Fu Manchu / CKY / Corrosion of Conformity style at points, which just further highlights the scintillating guitar work on the song. While individuals may have struggled a little bit to stick with “Clenching the Firsts of Dissent”, the feelings that the individuals may have had have dissipated by the end of “Beautiful Morning”. “Aesthetics of Hate” starts up with the band going through guitar scales. The band does well in uniting the past with the present, and it feels as if individuals are listening to one of the band’s earlier albums at times.

However, rather than just reveling in the successes that the band through the nineties and early years of the new millennium, Machine Head tries to incorporate some styles and sounds of newer metal. This does not mean that the band throws in a Disturbed influence, but rather shows newer fans that they can still hang with other bands currently touring. Machine Head still has a few albums left in them, and the fact that they can stick together fully an hour of music at this point in their career shows that they have not lost a step. Pick this up if you love metal or Machine Head as a band.

Top Track: Halo

Rating: 6.3/10

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