Released By : Roadrunner Records
Genre : Progressive Thrash Metal, Groove Metal
Link : http://www.machinehead.com
1. I Am Hell (Sonata in C#)
2. Be Still And Know
4. This is the End
5. Darkness Within
6. Pearls Before the Swine
7. Who We Are
MACHINE HEAD are the one of the most hotly debated bands to have ever graced the landscape of heavy metal music and in 1994 when they released their debut album BURN MY EYES unto the world it really was a game-changer and still to this day one of THE most important metal albums of the nineties. After than things went a little pear-shaped for the band depending on who you ask and as they struggled to adapt to the nu-metal movement that had taken over a couple of less than stellar albums ensued. Sure these particular albums have their supporters, but they’re generally regarded as the bands darkest days. In 2003, THROUGH THE ASHES OF EMPIRES came along and while not quite a classic it certainly showed that MACHINE HEAD were back in business and hinted at future greatness. But nobody could see 2007’s THE BLACKENING coming, and it has since rightfully become regarded as one the best metal albums of the 2000’s.
It would have been simple for MACHINE HEAD to replicate what they did with the previous album, but to the band’s credit they have once again come up with album that doesn’t sound like anything else but is absolutely awesome. I still thing the base of the sound could be classed as progressive thrash metal, but UNTO THE LOCUST bears a strong neo-classical vibe throughout and while it’s easy to spot as being MACHINE HEAD it’s yet another fresh feather in their cap, and while not quite to the ridiculously lofty heights of its predecessor it definitely comes darn close.
The albums opening track I AM HELL is a three piece sonata that really sets the scene for another kick-ass album. It starts with a really slow, chugging riff, but after a couple of minute the heavy and fast double kick sound kicks in and all of a sudden you’re bang in the middle of another full-on metal assault courtesy of Robb Flynn and his trusty cohorts. LOCUST is a track that has probably been heard already by most people but it’s been edited from the version release earlier and has become a much better track and a real centre-piece for the album. DARKNESS WITHIN is a little different for a MACHINE HEAD and has a more clean vocal style from Flynn, who has actually spent the off-time between albums taking vocal training. It’s not my favourite track on the album I have to say, but in the context of the rest of the songs it sits just fine. WHO WE ARE brings the uniqueness back with a children’s chorus singing the intro section…definitely something that shouldn’t work on a metal album but these guys have pulled it off excellently.
The decidedly neo-classic feeling that runs through UNTO THE LOCUST gives it a great, unique feel and adds yet another element that the band will be able to draw from in the future. If you were a fan of THE BLACKENING (Let’s face it, who wasn’t?), then this follow up should be a day-one purchase for sure. No, it doesn’t actually sound like its predecessor, but UNTO THE LOCUST brings with it the same level of high-quality musicianship, especially courtesy of the guitar work of Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel, the same level of interesting songwriting and the same overall feeling of epic-ness….A classic in the making if you ask me.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 9/10