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“The Blackening” by Machine Head

Artist: Machine Head
Title: “The Blackening”
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 3/26/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

I remembered the first time that I heard Machinehead I had felt that they were a little too brutal for my tastes, but at the time I had been experiencing a slight Metal lameness. It’s on this frame of mind that I am choosing to blame my absolute lack of experience in the overall quality of the group. When “The Blackening” arrived and I spun it once around the changer I found myself almost finding something new and exciting once again. For a band that had been around for some time, there was a good chance that others would find this a new feeling as well based on some of what was happening on the new release. From first track to last, the new CD by these guys is an absolute cruncher of Metal and for the first time we find the band delving into some new territory by expanding the brutality with lengthy tracks. Let’s use the opening number for example with “Clenching The Fists Of Dissent” they clock in at almost nine minutes and while that is dangerously close to that of any top notch Progressive Band, they have not given us any long-winded experimental musical forays. Don’t get me wrong, in Prog its great but Metal it’s a risk. It’s thunderous drumming, on top of thrashing riffs and some seriously angry vocals all around here.
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