Machine Head - The Blackening (2008)
Roadrunner Records


  1. Clenching the Fists of Dissent (10:35)
  2. Beautiful Mourning (4:49)
  3. Aesthetics of Hate (6:34)
  4. Now I Lay Thee Down (5:34)
  5. Slanderous (5:17)
  6. Halo (9:03)
  7. Wolves (9:04)
  8. A Farewell to Arms (10:12)
  9. Hallowed be Thy Name [Iron Maiden Cover] (7:30)
  10. Battery [Metallica Cover] (5:04)

I don't fucking care if Machine Head used to play Nu-Metal, Metalcore, or whatever else I've seen them labeled as, because "The Blackening" is one Hell of a Thrash assault from start to finish. No fucking around and no bullshit. No dramatic imagery, no stupid breakdowns. What "The Blackening" exhibits is Metal - straight to the core, with nothing 'core slowing it down. I don't care how much of an elitist bastard you are, or I am. The talent proven by the pummeling double bass from the frenetic feet of drummer Dave McClain and the fantastic dual guitar solos amassed with some of the most wicked screams ever introduced into the Metal scene courtesy of vocalist Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel is nothing short of astounding. Shit, even the bass is well played and memorable, courtesy of Adam Duce; which is in contrast to most other Metal acts where it's seldom heard, or even used.

"The Blackening" is ten tracks; about an hour and a half in full, of some of the finest I've heard in a long ass time in terms of (melodic) Thrash Metal. I could give a track-by-track review in which I would, in full detail, explain why each track stands out and leaves a permanent stain in my memory - but I hate that writing format. As a matter of fact. I don't even allow track-by-track reviews on this site. Just take my word on this one. Machine Head have created their masterpiece. I will even go so far as to call "The Blackening" their "Master of Puppets". Honestly, this is the sort of Metal that Metallica should be playing.

Along with just the album, this special edition contains two bonus tracks (mentioned above in the tracklist) as well as a DVD containing full live performances of some of the groups best songs as well as a 'Making Of...' documentary concerning the creation and completion of "The Blackening". On top of all this extra sweet candy, the DVD also sports Machine Head's music videos. All in all, this one's a win/win for the band and the fans.

"The Blackening": Fucking buy it.



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