Machine Head – Darkness Within/Unto the Locust review

Machine Head have just released their latest video for Darkness Within.

Filmed in Prague, we start with the beauty of the city but then things take an…unusual turn for our Robb. Poor guy.

It’s an interesting video but an amazing song, off Machine Heads latest album Unto the Locust. The song is full of passion and pain and you can hear the emotion in Robb’s voice. The acoustic start with the vocals build into an epic bridge and the solo is a more classic solo, not really a Thrash shred but more a Classic Metal shred, which I love! It really matches the tone of the song.

The album is somewhat of a curve ball and I’ll say from the off that it isn’t as good as their previous, The Blackening. However The Blackening was a masterpiece! …And Justice for All wasn’t a bad album but it wasn’t as good as Master of Puppets because Master of Puppets was outstanding! If you have any doubts how good an album The Blackening is listen to Halo, I mean REALLY listen to it. If that song doesn’t take you on a journey I feel sorry for you.

The opening of Unto the Locust starts with the guys clearly still with there heads in The Blackening mode, the brutal intro blends into Machine Head’s more up to date version of a Thrash Metal song, Dave McClain really making his mark. The solo is rather disjointed but it’s an intro that gives you a slap.

Be Still and Know has a touch of 80’s metal, channeling Iron Maiden and Judas Preist, more on them later. The classic Demmel/Flynn duel guitars are present here, but never as successful as in the their truly excellent cover of Hallowed Be Thy Name. If you haven’t seen MH perform this live, Robb and Phil back to back shredding will give you goosebumps and blow your mind! One of the great covers, an up there with Maiden’s original.

Locust is this albums Halo. A tour de force, this albums best use of powerful drumming, a harmonic bridge, into a slow building but colossal solo, as good as any they have ever produced. However this song does miss the rawness of the original advanced mix, but this is but a minor complaint.

The biggest opinion splitter of the album was Who We Are. The children singing gives an interesting dynamic to a metal song, and it’s not used in the creepy kids singing way, which usually freaks me out so I’m glad! They always sound like the kids from the Simpsons episode with ‘The Bloodening’! shudder. The solo in this song makes up for the unsuspected tone, another 80’s Maiden-esque face melter.

The album (special edition) finished with covers of Judas Priest’s The Sentinel and Rush’s Witch Hunt. I hate Rush and have no comment on the song, but Machine Head add their heavier touch to another classic. It’s no where near as epic as the earlier mentioned Hallowed Be Thy Name, but a more modern attempt with a very tasty heavier riff and another awesome solo. I do think the solos carry the album and are Machine Heads strong suite as well as their sweeping harmonies as seen on The Blackening which are sadly missed on Unto the locust.

A good album, but not a match for the monumental The Blackening. If all else fail Machine Head could release a covers album à la Garage Inc. They have the proven skill, with several existing cover under their belt, and another to come on the upcoming Deep Purple tribute album. I just fear they peeked too soon with their flawless Hallowed Be Thy Name.

and before you feel that the content of the video for Darkness Within is dark, please watch the below video for a touching explanation straight from Robb himself


Posted on August 1, 2012, in Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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