Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Machine Head - The Blackening (2007)












Having been considerably absent for some time -- my sincerest apologies, sack of soiled diapers and anything else to alleviate the ponderous lack you must certainly be feeling -- I have decided to begin on a good note and shall fiddle my furor for another day, because believe me, it's so there. And with that, let me tell you, as a purveyor of all things metal, this is an album you need to sink your zoobies into. (I'm tawkin' to youz to you, Master Cianan.) Even if you're not into metal, and you'd like to sample something one day, this wouldn't be your worst candidate.

The albums opens with "Clenching The Fists Of Dissent" -- a ten-minute anthem against our leaders of yesteryear who likened anyone who didn't support their ideas as unpatriotic. What a fucking doozy of a song. When I saw them a few years ago, it was the best opener to start with as well. I love the acoustic intro and the somber ramping up of the massive riffage and delicious solos. Yum yum yum. "Aesthetics Of Hate" was a song written for the murdered Dimebag Darrell after some conservative cockateel declared all metalheads to be mindless dirtbag barbarians and ergo Dime deserved to be murdered for inspiring such shithead followers. I'm careening for lack of practice, excuse my politics. Basically, this album is like a happy completion of your nifty little musical checklist of sorts. Riffage: check. Attitude: check. Solos: OMFG check. "Halo" is the purest example of this. Best song on the album and possibly best song by these guys, period. The solo feels like a modernized medley of "Freebird" and "Green Grass And High Tides" with vintage thrash for good measure. The notes, even among the heaviest riffs, can be described as not so much clean as distinct. I'm pretty much at loss for this one. It's a proggy thrash album with melodies and anthems and gorgeously brutal solos and actually contains meaningful lyrics. Among any genre, that's not as commonplace as you think. So, what in the cannoli are you still reading this for? Welcome back me! A-

9 comments:

Dan said...

Went and watched Halo on You Tube. Not my style. Glad someone can enjoy it though. Maybe Im too old or somethin.

The Mad Hatter said...

Dan,

Yeah, metal isn't for everyone. I think for me when I began to listening to hard-rock (Purple, Sabbath, etc.), it seemed like a logical extension for me. Both my parents love Purple and Sabbath as well, but only my dad can kind of listen to metal; it's just too hard on the ears.

Dan said...

I really enjoy Mettalica though. Do you as well?

Dan said...

Oops, I just looked back at your reviews of the Metallica albums and they werent good. I guess I know how you feel about them.

The Mad Hatter said...

Well, I haven't reviewed the "old" Metallica yet. Off the top of my head I would give their first four albums an A grade -- they used to be completely awesome.

Jeff said...

I saw these guys open up for Metallica, and "Halo" is probably the only song I remember. They were way too heavy for my liking. I can only deal with so much growling. A good majority of the crowd really loved them though so I guess they have a strong following from metal heads. Personally I liked The Sword (also opened for Metallica) a lot more than them, but mainly because there is a lot less growling...

The Mad Hatter said...

They actual aren't heavy into the growling, but fair enough. You miss out!

Strangely enough, this album is kind of a shout-out to Master of Puppets, methinks. That's my feeling, but Metallica was definitely an influence.

Master Cianan said...

OK, you've guilted me into finally listening to it. You were right, it's pretty much completely rad.

The Mad Hatter said...

What I tell you bro? Never doubt me or put my recommendations off again. Check them out live if you can; it's an experience.