Machine Head - Unto the Locust (2011)
©Roadrunner Records
United States


  1. I am Hell (Sonata in C#)
  2. Be Still and Know
  3. Locust
  4. This is the End
  5. Darkness Within
  6. Pearls Before the Swine
  7. Who We Are

It's been a long and painful wait for Machine Head to serve up another thrashy offering of metal to devour; but the day has finally come for us to take all our copies of The Blackening out of our stereos and retire them to their jewel cases for a well deserved vacation. Just don't keep them too far away, 'cause you might find yourself wanting to switch them back quite soon...

I'm a little bit baffled at this album and it's hard for me to form a solid opinion. 2011's Unto the Locust is heavy, it's fast, and it's got that distinctive Machine Head sound. Though, something just isn't sticking with me. Perhaps I held The Blackening too high as an unbeatable metal album (seriously read my review, I LOVED it), but Unto the Locust feels rushed, rough, and a tad unfinished. That's not to say that there are no defining moments during the album. On the contrary, a large chunk of Locust is very well performed. Each song has their moments in the sun, yet there are times when a part of a song is pummeling through and suddenly, some really weak guitar chimes in and kills the mood. This is caused mostly by the use of unoriginal, generic riffing and there are quite a few riffs on this album that sound recycled from The Blackening, which is really disappointing to fans who have waited since 2007 to hear new material.

The album's flow isn't as smooth as it should be. There are times when some pretty rough transitions are used mid-track (like from a bridge to a solo) and the song feels ruined. For example, on the very first track I Am Hell: there is somewhat of a decent buildup at the start and suddenly, it quits for a second before the music actually begins to take off. In this reviewer's opinion, a consecutive expansion is crucial in holding a listener's attention. Though to be honest, the more I'm listening to it and getting used to the album's dynamics; I'm finding it easier to like these irregularities. I find myself constantly coming back to this review to add more characteristics that I enjoyed which are beginning to outweigh my negative feelings. This reviewer has a feeling that Unto the Locust is the type of album that grows with time, and so I will be patient with it.

Locust IS an ambitious album sure, and Machine Head really are trying. There's a respectable amount of energy put forth in the album's 7 tracks, but unfortunately there isn't enough material on Unto the Locust to ease my cravings for something new. I really hate to criticize an album that I looked forward to with such hype; yet the sad truth is that Locust simply isn't the grand epic I thought it would be. For the couple of moments that satisfy, there are too many that feel stale, unfinished and even broken. The album is really short too. All 7 tracks clock in at about 45 minutes and the whole ordeal feels like it's over before it had a chance to really begin.

But like I had mentined earlier. I do feel as if it's growing more on me. So for the moment...



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