PDA

View Full Version : Album Of The Year - Thy name is "Enter The Locust"



CayugaPosse
09-18-2011, 11:47 AM
But first a quick backstory...

For anyone who hasn't followed the career path of Machine Head, they started out with a classic album, "Burn My Eyes" back in 1994. In 1997 they followed that up with another classic, "The More Things Change". Then they quickly went the way of Avenged Sevenfold, mortgaged everything that made them popular, and churned out several albums of complete garbage that basically saw them fall from grace completely. Then in 2004 they released "Through the Ashes of Empires", and while it wasn't flawless, at least it sounded like Machine Head again. Three years later, they did what many people thought they always would. Release an absolute masterpiece. "The Blackening" was a fantastic album in every way possible...one of the best of the last 10 years.

So how do they follow up their ascent back into greatness?

Simple really. More greatness.

If you've never heard Machine Head before, it'll take about 1 minute for you to realize what you're in for. The opener, "I am Hell(Sonata in C#)", opens with a very eery, layered choir vocal with each layer harmonizing over each other and singing in latin. At about the one minute mark, it just dies off and you're left with Robb Flynn growling as the only noise, before the band roars in with a crushing riff as Flynn screams the opening line of the album, which really couldn't be more fitting in a way, "I, am, death!"

After about another minute and a half of a steady, crushing riff, the tempo changes again and an all out thrash metal song breaks out. After dueling guitar solos, and another quick breakdown of the chorus, the tempo changes again into an absolutely brutalizing, pounding riff. After that's done, it softens to a whisper as the song goes to a quick acoustic guitar breakdown, and then comes back in with a beautiful, rapid-fire guitar solo outtro over a pounding backing riff.

And that concludes song 1.

Long story short, this album is incredible. Whether it's "Be Still and Know" and it's Joe Satriani0-style, layered, echoed guitar opening, or it's incredible solo section in the middle. Whether it's "Locust", which sounds so much better here than the single version which has had the production played with and muddled, because it sounds crystal clear here, a much better sound. Whether it's "This is the End" and it's classic guitar intro, or the rest of the song that features absolute madness on the guitar from Flynn and Demmel with rapid fire, butterfly style guitar through the entire thing. Whether it's "Pearls Before The Swine" which is the most familiar sounding song on the album for fans of Machine Head(well, that and Locust). Or whether it's the gamble on "Who We Are", the children's choir opening, which sounds much more upbeat than the rest of the album and in a way, doesn't fit the rest of the work necessarily, but still works as one giant metal track and does work as a closer thanks to a beautiful outro.

But I guess the big question if you've followed the album's recording process is, how does track 5, "Darkness Within" work? The band has been reluctant to describe the song publicly, and I can see why. There's no way to describe this song that wouldn't cause panic among the fanbase. So here's how I'll describe it, and you'll just have to trust me that it might be the best Machine Head song ever. For about 3 minutes it sounds like Seether somehow got a song on the CD. It's got an acoustic intro, and then it sounds like a Seether style, acousticy rock song as Flynn pours his heart out through the speakers, and then it roars into life nearly 3 minutes in for the 2nd chorus. After that, the band quickly delves into a breakdown complete with trading solos between Flynn and Demmel, and after all that, the real Machine Head comes bludgeoning in finally, for about 15 seconds only, before they quickly transfer back to the beautifully constructed, metal chorus that sounds nothing like anything they've done before, and they outro with Flynn humming a little outro. It's such a brilliant song structure that I haven't really heard in practice before, but it works so well to me.

If there's a complaint, it would be like Megadeth from a few years ago, length. It's short. 7 songs total, 49 minutes. I don't know frankly if that's a good or a bad thing. It's absurdly tight, and brilliant musically, but after 4 years I think people would have expected more than 49 minutes.

What's here is incredible, and what's here is their 2nd straight instant classic. I don't know how this band ever made albums like "Hellalive" but I'll forgive that nonsense since they're back in full force now, making truly great heavy metal again.

CayugaPosse
09-19-2011, 12:09 AM
Sorry, needed to follow up my own review with even more praise after another day with it.

We've seen many bands come and go over the 2000's as "the future of metal". Trivium. Avenged Sevenfold. Several bands have released masterpieces and then just churned out some real crap(Trivium less so, but they've still never lived up to Ascendancy).

This is the band we've all been looking for. The future of heavy metal is a band that's nearing 20 years in the business. This album is this era's absolute masterpiece to date. This is the thing we'll still be listening to 30 years from now.

For anyone who needs to know, here's a sample, this is the 3 song suite that starts the madness, and one of the real standout tracks on a brilliant album.

Machine Head - I Am Hell (Sonata in C#) - YouTube

King_Killah
09-28-2011, 05:45 PM
If there's a complaint, it would be like Megadeth from a few years ago, length. It's short. 7 songs total, 49 minutes. I don't know frankly if that's a good or a bad thing. It's absurdly tight, and brilliant musically, but after 4 years I think people would have expected more than 49 minutes.

What's here is incredible, and what's here is their 2nd straight instant classic. I don't know how this band ever made albums like "Hellalive" but I'll forgive that nonsense since they're back in full force now, making truly great heavy metal again.

Is this official... You are naming Machine Head album of the year???? I definitely have it in the running. I was placing Anthrax in that category, too... I absolutley LOVE the new Anthrax album. Kinda curious as to what it would have sounded like with Dan Nelson on vocals. But, thrilled that Joey Belladonna got the role back. To me, he is the voice of Anthrax (although I'll admit, I liked John Bush, too). We also have the new Megadeth arriving November 1st. Machine Head did get lucky that Testament pushed their release back to early 2012.

As far as album length... I actually think that the 7 songs, 49 minutes may be a good thing. I rather have a "short" album filled with solid tracks than a longer album filled with mostly good tracks and a couple of fillers. This is the problem with Anthrax. I think that album starts off incredibly strong then kinda fizzles. So if they gave us an 8th song, or 9th song...would it have been filler, or would it have flowed and fit with the album?

CayugaPosse
09-29-2011, 06:08 AM
Yes I am. There's no way on this earth that anyone tops this.

Mastodon's new album is great as well, which hasn't gotten any love on the forum.

Disagree about it fizzling though, don't know what brings that on...the best song on the CD is "The Darkness Within", then you've got a straight forward Machine Head metal song, and the more I listen to "Who We Are" the more I love it as a closer, an up-beat athem to close the CD.