It is hard to believe that it has been four years since the epic release of The Blackening, but it is actually true. With the success of The Blackening and the long waiting period between albums, Machine Head had better be pretty sure that this album rocked. Also, with the release their first single off the new album, Locust, weeks ago, the bar was set even higher for me because Locust was un-frikkin-believable.
To be honest, I do not know the last time that I was this excited about a new album from anyone. Machine Head has come to be one of my favorite bands in the last few years. It is not a popular opinion, but I have never been let down by any of their releases. Even the experimental albums rocked to me. The feeling that I had with this release was almost the feelings that I would get 20 years ago when a new album was coming out. I was as giddy as a school girl.
On top of that, I have talked to Adam Duce about the album and he was pretty stoked about how great the album sounded. I know that would be anyone’s standard response, but from picking his brain, he just said everything right and you knew that he was ready for the public to get this album in their hands.
Okay, let’s finally get to the album. The album begins with I am Hell, which is broken up into three distinct segments. Once the actual song kicks in, it hits you hard and opens up the album nicely. This is Machine Head at their finest. You have riffs on top of riffs, solid solos and, of course, Robb Flynn kicking ass on vocals.
I could pretty much say the same thing about every song on the album. Machine Head just has this formula that is just spot on these days. They are taking metal to a new level and daring anyone out there to do what they are doing.
If you are lucky enough to get the bonus tracks on your album, you will be treated to two cover songs (one of the mighty Priest’s The Sentinel) and an acoustic version of The Darkness Within. Trust me, The Sentinel is intense and I am not much of a fan of people covering Priest because Rob Halford is impossible to duplicate.
Now that I have been going on and on about this album, I should fess up and say that, upon first listening to the album, I was less than impressed by it. After hearing Locust, I was so ready for more of that type of song, but the album was completely different than what I expected. For that reason, I felt let down. It took me a few listens, but I am sold. Thank you Machine Head.
Unto The Locust Track Listing:
I am Hell (Sonata In C#)
I: Sangre Sani (Blood Saint)
II: I am Hell
III: Ashes to the Sky
Be Still and Know
This is the End
The Darkness Within
Pearls Before the Swine
Who We Are