Machine Head - The Blackening review


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Band: Machine Head
Album: The Blackening
Release date: March 2007

Disc I
01. Clenching The Fists Of Dissent
02. Beautiful Mourning
03. Aesthetics Of Hate
04. Now I Lay Thee Down
05. Slanderous
06. Halo
07. Wolves
08. A Farewell To Arms
09. Hallowed Be Thy Name [Iron Maiden cover] [bonus]
10. Battery [Metallica cover] [bonus]

Disc II [Special Edition Bonus CD - B-Sides/Rarities 1994-2008]
01. Hallowed Be Thy Name [Iron Maiden cover]
02. Alan's On Fire [Poison Idea cover]
03. Negative Creep [Nirvana cover]
04. Seasons Wither
05. My Misery
06. House Of Suffering [Bad Brains cover]
07. The Possibility Of Life's Destruction [Discharge cover]
08. Ten Ton Hammer (Extended Original Mix)
09. Hole In The Sky [Black Sabbath cover]
10. Colors [Ice-T cover]
11. Hard Times [Cro-Mags cover] [live]
12. Halo (I Want Your Soul) [demo 2005 version]
13. Aesthetics Of Hate (Thrash-terpiece) [demo 2005 version]

Disc III [Special Edition DVD]
01. Clenching The Fists Of Dissent [Live With Full Force 2008]
02. Now I Lay Thee Down [Live With Full Force 2008]
03. Halo [Live With Full Force 2008]
04. Aesthetics Of Hate [Live Rock In Rio 2008]
05. Davidian [Live Rock In Rio 2008]
06. Imperium [Live Download 2007]
07. Old [Live Download 2007]
08. A Thousand Lies [Live Burn My Eyes 10th Anniversary 2004]
09. The Rage To Overcome [Live Burn My Eyes 10th Anniversary 2004]
10. Death Church [Live Burn My Eyes 10th Anniversary 2004]
11. Blood For Blood [Live Burn My Eyes 10th Anniversary 2004]
+ Halo [video]
+ Now I Lay Thee Down [video]
+ Aesthetics Of Hate [video]
+ Making Of Feature For Each Video

Finally... Machine Head released an album in 2007 after four years of absence. Although not one of the biggest metal bands of the last 20 years (at that time), The Blackening was one of the most expected albums by all the fans or non-fans of the band. In my opinion, most of the fans wanted to see the direction the band was going to take. Machine Head had different styles through the years since their formation. In the entire album, one thing I have to say and honor is the outstanding performance of the band but mainly by Rob Flynn, finally he got a grip on his life, learned how to play guitar really well (before he almost never made a solo, in this album he makes solos in most of the songs), changed his life and that reflects in the entire album and his performance.

The Blackening starts superbly with one of the best compositions the band has ever made: "Clenching The Fists Of Dissent", a song that is a 10/10 is so well made from top to bottom, really great intro, amazing vocal performance, great riff and superb solo. I really love the album; it's almost a masterpiece in the metal industry, and outstanding work by the band in the preparation of the album, the composing of the lyrics and instrumental parts makes it a top album anywhere and everywhere. Another strong feature to this album is the capacity it has to be played live. All the album can be played live, with this album the band doesn't need to go after the classics in order to make the show an amazing show to watch and make your money worth while, which is so rare in any album.

The inspiration and will to make this work was definitely immense. Just think of the strength that "Halo" or "Now I Lay Thee Down" have. Machine Head were able to combine power, strength and melody in one album, something they always tried to do but never succeeded at except for three or four songs. Rob Flynn's solos are the best on the album; we can listen to a "battle" of guitars between Rob and Phil Demmel which makes it one the top characteristics in The Blackening. One thing that shows how they found themselves and "grew up" is the length of the songs. We can listen to songs that are longer than 10 minutes, showing the maturity the band reached in the four years of absence. It seems to me that they are trying to make the album a classic and epic showdown.

The Blackening puts the band at another level and puts the bar really high. Not only for the band but also for all the metal industry on how a metal album should be made. It's definitely a warning to every band that Machine Head aren't just a band, that since their formation were confused in terms of musical style. The controversy ended with the The Blackening, Machine Head are bigger than ever. All in all, The Blackening is in my opinion one of the top 5 albums since 2000, alongside Overkill's Ironbound. Both bands showed everyone how a metal band should behave nowadays. It's like I said above, a warning that Machine Head are here to stay in every respect. Now they are "taken seriously" with The Blackening with is very close to being a true masterpiece!!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9

Written by AndMetalForAll | 02.12.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Who said Thrash was on its way out? From the first listen, the first riff of 'Clenching The Fists Of Dissent', you could tell that this was not so. Since Machine Head's début, 'Burn My Eyes' in 1994, they have done what they do best. Playing top-notch Thrash Metal. And their latest effort 'The Blackening' is definitely their best release so far.

published 27.11.2007 | Comments (43)

Guest review by
I absolutely hate hearing people say that whenever they hear an awesome album, they think it's the greatest thing ever to come since sliced bread, and the fact the people consider something perfect is complete crap. This is what bothers me the most about Machine Head and The Blackening: it may very well be the greatest thrash album ever created in this generation (meaning the 2000s only of course).

published 12.11.2010 | Comments (10)


Comments: 3   Visited by: 74 users
02.12.2011 - 23:10
Third guest review of 9+... two over 9.5. consulting the MetalStorm Drinking Game that makes 2+1+2 ... 5 drinks for those playing at home.

nice work on the review, but your time would probably have been better spent shining a light on an awesome album folks missed.
get the fuck off my lawn.
02.12.2011 - 23:15
Troy Killjoy
Thank you for providing this unique view on the album.

Should've reviewed Burn My Eyes.
Prettier than BloodTears.
02.12.2011 - 23:18
Written by BitterCOld on 02.12.2011 at 23:10
MetalStorm Drinking Game

Oh my God, I totally forgot about that.
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