Machine Head – The Blackening Reviews

The Blackening

Bay Area metal masters Machine Head are back with The Blackening, a glorious follow up to the critically acclaimed Through The Ashes of Empires. An evolutionary album, The Blackening features Machine Head staying true to their roots with some of the heaviest riffs ever recorded while incorporating many beautiful, melodic choruses. Produced by Robert Flynn (Machine Head vocalist/guitarist) and mixed by Colin Richardson (Fear Factory, Cradle of Filth, Bullet for My Valentine), (more…)

13 responses to “Machine Head – The Blackening Reviews”

  1. Xander says:

    It was a long uphill battle for Machine Head in the 14 years of his stay in the music industry. Sure, she had on the right foot, with the celebrated Burn My Eyes but after that things seemed to blur for the group. In 1999, along with Korn / Limp Bizkit producer Ross Robinson for Burning Red ;, despite being a great album in its own right, the conditions for the next few years of the bands career. Until 2001, Machine Head had slowly slipped into Nu-metal territory, and the worst kind, and hence we have Compressor , the band is unquestionably the worst efforts. Fortunately, they have the right things and in 2004, Through the Ashes of Empires saw the light of the world and saw Machine Head are once again on the sound, which they in the first place, while all the musical experimentation of the last four albums.
      So, what is the point in the history lesson? To understand why Machine Head is back to form so triumphant. “The Blackening” is hands down, without a doubt the best that Machine Head have since 1994. An opening to the epic “The teeth presses Fists Of Dissent” and you are of the opinion, Machine Head will be forever changed. I hate this review, only mindless hype, but everything you have heard so far is the case. “The Blackening” is a masterpiece. Opening and closing with songs that push past the ten-minute mark ever “the darkness” is a bold statement from a band that finally included in the label, to imitate all the other style, and usually only stopped caring what anyone thinks. “Now I Lay Thee Down” is about the most conventional album, but even that is a stretch. Also, the shorter routes, such as “slanderous” push-Machine Head over the edge as far as musicianship goes. Phil Demmel and frontman Rob Flynn play against each other almost as if their thoughts were. Despite the tendency of metal to show, Machine Head, the work on “The Blackening” is not. Every little sound to it in the stew makes it all the more powerful, more so memorable, and even more so musically.
      It is only March, but I think 2007 is the best metal album already. There will be a long time until someone comes and tops – and from a band like Machine Head, which is so at odds in the past – who would have expected it? Great for them, if. I do not think that every question will be again and again. Machine Head have proved that there second chance in this business and more importantly, have a pure metal album that is just about perfect.

  2. Zahina says:

    For me, Burn My Eyes Machine Head was the album, which is the basis for comparison for the rest of their work. This is now changed, as the darkness is not only Machine Head's best album, it is one of the best metal albums I have ever heard.
      It is amazing that a band can be a sub par album like compressor, a great album, like the Ashes of Empires. I was glad of her return to this CD, but the darkness is even more than a return to form. It is a reinvention. You have the great riffs and precice time Burn My Eyes and met it with a tone that is evil and brutal chillingly haunting at the same time. Many of the tracks have slow, melodic passages with amazing bass lines, acoustic guitar and a chorus of background vocals and then lead into the riffs so brutal you almost forget you are listning to the same song. Also, as with BME and TtAoE they Intermix modern style riffs with catchy style riffs that definitely 80s influenced, so they have a metal band that everyone love. The guitar solos in the songs as more than just talent showcases for the artists, the flow with the song and songs with which they are the best part.
      1) The Cleching Fists of Dissent: Wow! Possibly my favorite song on the album and perhaps my favorite of the band (though Empire is hard to top). The introduction of this song reminds me of “Fight Fire with Fire” on Metallica's “Ride the Litghtning”. It begins with a gentle acoustic passage and then bursts into a brutal riff with angry vocals and texts to make them. This is an epic title clocking at 9:36 with not a second wasted. (I particularly like the part at about 6:30 'FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!) 10/10
      2) Beautiful Mourning: No slow acoustic intro here, this song does not waste time because it starts with a nice fast, galloping riff. I liked this song, but not much of him until he has taken to the choir, which is actually more than half of the song. The choir is a great blend of heavy guitars and on top volcals and texts that you can not help but sing along to. Great track. 8 / 10
      3) Aesthetics of Hate: Perhaps the most easily accessible song, I could see this being a single. It is also the Angri, in retaliation for an anti Dimebag Daryl article written after his death. It reminds me of 'Seasons' era Slayer, it has a very'80s vibe with catchy riffs and hooks and a good mood all around angry. The solo sections are large, as is the slow pace with the section reverbrating singing (May the hand of God strike them … DOWN ……) Another great one. 8 / 10
      4) Now I Lay Thee Down: There is not really a bad song on this album, but I think this can be my least favorite. It has more of a commercial sense than the rest of the tracks and the slower pace. There have been some faster, angrier sections, as everything that is not on this album, but overall it is not my favorite tune. 6 / 10
      5) slanderous: Wow, another crushing track. I do not know how they managed to deal with so many great riffs for this album. This song is on the way through, with the usual mix of modern riffs and old school riffs that this band great. It seems almost a bit of Iron Maiden influence in this song. Great, great stuff.
      8 / 10
      6) Halo: My favorite track after the first. This is EPIC (at 9:03) with so many different areas and not a wasted minute. The choirs, the riffs, the solos, everything is great. 9 / 10
      7) Wolves: An epic, very heavy track. The riffs do not catch me as much as in Halo, but this is a brutal song, almost Halo part II Another great a course. 8 / 10
      8) A Farewell to Arms: Man, this album is no longer fascinates. This song is an epic and the longest of all at 10:12. As the first track, it starts with a Metallica style slow tempo in and busts into the amazing, brutal riffs. A fantastic closer to this masterpiece of an album. 8 / 10
      I can not stress enough how amazing this album is. Five stars are not enough. You can say that the band, all they had in this album as it bleeds with passion, anger and soul. It has definitely made it into my Top-10-metal albums of all time, until it with Metallica's Ride the Lightning, Slayer's Seasons in the Abyss and Anthrax “Persistence Of Time. Metal is alive and can still be as big as it once was. This album is proof. Machine Head, you have just become legend.

  3. Ulmer says:

    Today, it seems, like almost all modern metal band trying desperately to escape being tagged “metalcore” (a genre that is supposedly on the way out). Most have not yet succeeded, but for some bands, “Metalcore” is nothing more than a fast-fading object in their rearview mirror.
      After the release of their debut “Burn My Eyes” (groove / post-metal emblem), in 1994, Machine Head began with their sound through the publication of a series of mediocre albums and uneven, much softer, and also probably nu-metal-ish. As a result, the band lost a large part of their fan base. But then, in 2004, they stormed back onto the scene with a triumphant return to form, “Through the Ashes of Empires”. Unfortunately, heavy metal (and the metalcore genre, in particular) was at the height of his popularity in this year, some fans thought of “Ashes” as only a trend jump. But now, three years after that the Oakland-based quartet have their sixth studio effort, “the darkness”, an album that leaves only “metalcore” and “Groove Metal” in the dust. In fact, ejecting all categories, because Machine Head are now in a class by itself.
      “The Blackening” sounds like a mix of old and new. Frontman Rob Flynn (who was once in a band called nineties thrash violence) features a little of his own past by making these songs with intense tempos, good riffs, and killer solos, an impression of the Bay Area, the glory days . Plus, “the darkness” reconquered much of the same raw energy and emotion, visceral impact and iron-fisted aggression than 2004's “Through the Ashes of Empires”. But in no way is this just a throwback album, because it builds a large part of the Sound Machine Head, musicianship and songwriting skills. T hese songs are friggin 'epics – they range from just under five minutes to more than ten and a half minutes long, and are musically, much more complex, accurate and versatile MH, than anything ever tried. (Flynn plays a major role in the band's growth often with his surprisingly strong vocals and intelligent, inspiring, often politically charged text.)
      Each track on this album is a winner, it's damn well impossible to find a single dud or weak moment anywhere on here. Whether for a brutal and more or simply cautious and slow-building songs, Machine Head is almost always sure that the music bristles with intensity and unpredictability. Opener “The teeth presses Fists of Dissent” begins quietly and slowly, with a mysterious acoustic guitar Strum, but not too long, a breathtaking pace of change in the opening prelude of the listeners into a river of raging riffs. The guitarists (Phil Demmel and Rob Flynn above) throw in a pair of excellent ripping solos at the end too. Then, an explosive barrage of thick, bulky, churning guitars and hard drums Flynn, while he bellows “F you all!” From his gut, indicating the off-moshing for the beginning of “Beautiful Morning”. The next track, “Aesthetics of Hate”, offers a fast, bouncy drum beat, and a wealth of great guitar melodies and harmonies (including a fairly long solo section), before the end of a dark and spine-tingling spoken word Passage, in which Flynn repeated “The Hand of God strike them” several times. “Aesthetics of Hate” is also of note for the lyrical content, because it is a furious tirade against a journalist who wrote a defamatory article about Pantera / Damage Plan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott only a week after his tragic murder of the year 2004.
      Elsewhere, “Now I Lay Thee Down” and “A Farewell to Arms” are both quite a bit of clean, correct singing (in fact, this route also adds some features even borderline sweet crooning), so that they are probably the inclusion of both melodic and restrained cuts. “defamatory” and “Halo” are also important to note because they sport heavy, driving riffs, catchy, grooves and solos trailer Wailing Wall. And finally, track seven “Wolves”, is the cake for “The Blackening” 's biggest highlight. This song is more than nine minutes pure awesomeness! Most of it is super fast and strong (with an absolutely blistering thrash guitar lead, DEFT, thumping drums, and four wild, careening solos), but somehow, the song always be super catchy, and it contains a very catchy and powerful chorus ( “Let the wolves!”), which ranks the top right of the size of the chorus of “Davidian” (the world-famous first titles on the 1994 “Burn Your Eyes”).
      “The Blackening” is a work that is virtually “size” written all over them, and all the metalheads, fall in love with it very quickly. In addition to being the best heavy music release of 2007 so far, this album is undoubtedly the divine MH, epic, masterful, brilliant, complex, expansive, exciting and realized work to date. There silence any doubts and answer all the questions skeptics have ever been on Machine Head. Yes, they are still relevant, yes, they are still inspired, yes, they can still shreds almost any musical pants, and yes, they are still fully capable of a killer album that is sure to go in history as a classic. Now only one question remains: How in the world will they ever top this?

  4. Pagan says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    American Metal Can still Reign Supreme
    Ever since the Gothenburg scene began just before the 21st century, I have had a hard time finding heavy, riveting, melody-strewn American metal that lived up to my new…

  5. Wing says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A “definite” metal classic?
    Yes, we’ve heard all the hype before. But once in a while, an album comes along and just grabs you by the throat and will not let go until you finally pick up a copy.

  6. Anonymous says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Instant Metal Classic
    The Blackening is the album the metal community has been begging for. Always been a big MH fan, but this is by and far their masterpiece.

  7. Durriyah says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great metal destined to be a classic
    Machine Head have had a bit of an up-and-down career, with a few missteps along the way, but when they’re firing on all cylinders, you better get out of their way.

  8. Shoney says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    This album can only be fully described in two words “EPIC MASTERPIECE” and if you love metal this is a must buy trust me I thought nothing would ever get close to my all time…

  9. Rusty says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Epic masterpiece
    “The Blackening” is an epic masterpiece of metal music. It pounds throughout the entire hour, very heavy.

  10. Anonymous says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The last 14 years were worth the wait.
    Machine Head has never really been a band that stood out to me. 1994’s Burn My Eyes is heralded as their best work by many, but it’s got some seriously stiff competition from The…

  11. Mada says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A very big suprise for fans of metal.
    I will admit that I am not very familiar with Machine Head, aside from some of the history I’ve read online about the band.

  12. Syaoran says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    I have had this album a few months and since then i have gotten every thing i could find of MH. I have read about them fallen off since the first album, ok sure I hear a…

  13. Chizue says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Master of Puppets for the new generation
    this album is the best metal album since Master of Puppets only 21 years later who else could start with a ten minute song and end with a nine minute and another nine minute and…

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