Machine Head created what is possibly their masterpiece in 2007 with The Blackening. This was quite impressive, considering that it was their 6th release and came out 16 years after the band began their career. The Blackening contains epic length songs, relentless brutality and precision, and lyrical themes dealing with war, religion, and love (and hate), and throughout the thrashing music is an underlying beauty and melodic sense that Machine Head use to set them apart from many other bands in the extreme metal ranks. Rob Flynn is one of my favorite metal vocalists, able to roar with the best of them, but can sing when it is needed for the song. Additionally, on The Blackening, Flynn took a more active role in the lead guitar work, interweaving lots of harmony leads and trade off solos with Phil Demmel. The drumming by Dave McClain is crushingly executed and machine precise. Adam Duce held down the bottom end and contributed great backing vocals. The whole album is fantastic, with Halo, Aesthetics Of Hate, Wolves, Now I Lay Thee Down, and Clenching The Fists Of Dissent being among my “go to” tracks. Machine Head is a band that is not afraid to experiment and change their focus in order to keep growing as a band, and they have my utmost respect for that.
Written By Braddon S. Williams