Machine Head - Unto The Locust (2011)



Heavy thrash metallers Machine Head are back with a brand new full length album entitled "Unto The Locust." This is a strong follow up from there 2007 album "The Blackening," which had raving reviews. There are tons of destructive guitar riffs and pulverizing drum rolls all throughout the album. You will also find the vocal performance interesting as it offers a mix of relentless yelling and clear singing. This definitely keeps a unique tone to the music.

The album is introduced with "I Am Hell (Sonata In C#)" which is one hell of an opening track, as it runs for over 8 minutes long. It starts out similar to a Dimmu Borgir album with soft chanting vocals layered on top of each other adding an eerie yet beautiful feel to the track. This is soon disrupted by rumbling guitar riffs with their quick chugging patterns. Next comes the echoing growls that will make you shit yourself. The verses pick up speed with rapid melodic guitar riffs and complex drum fills. Head bobbing is your only option while this song is blaring. You'll also run into a mean guitar solo completely shredding up and down the scales leaving no time to catch your breath!

Another song that really sticks out on the album is "Be Still And Know" as you will discover its amazing guitar work. the guitars are constantly blasting detailed melodies while double bass pedals switch from fill to fill knocking you on your ass. The refrain consists of a catchy melody delivered with powerful clean vocals that will make you want to sing along immediately. The verses take over with more "beat'em up" vocals and rough lyrics. There is a vicious solo toward the end of the track that will absolutely blow your mind. This is definitely one of the best songs on the entire album.

"Locust" is up next as it starts with calm guitar notes while catchy drum rolls slowly build up in the background. Eventually reckless guitars enter with massive amounts of distortion. This is another song with a catchy chorus that is sung with clean vocals. The verses continue to keep things heavy as the yelling lyrics bash you into the ground. "This Is The End" has got some aggressive screaming vocals as well however some of the clean singing in the refrain doesn't quite seem to fit. It's not a bad performance of the vocals it just doesn't seem like it mix well with the mood of the music. "Darkness Within" adds on to this awkward singing. The song is good its just not what you would expect from a band as heavy and violent as Machine Head. It does start to pick up during the bridge with thrashing guitars and thunderous drumming. This track is good to hear once in a while but it isn't "replay button" worthy.

You're met with a wicked growl at the beginning of the seven minute song "Paerls Before The Swine." The vocals echo sending a haunting chill down your spine. The relentless drumming constantly pounds away while the bass rolls heavily underneath. This is definitely a song that will make you want to spin your head around recklessly. Towards the middle of the song enters monstrous chugging guitars with insane drum fills that are full of detail. This leads right into another heavy verse of wild yelling vocals. As the instruments fade you run into the final track "Who We Are." It starts with a bunch of children singing the chorus of the song in an a'cappella while snares slowly fade in from the background. This switches over to harsh yelling vocals and booming drum fills. Heavily distorted guitars rush in as they chug away to the verse. One of the most impressive parts of the song is of course, the guitar solo. The electrifying melody and clashing of layered guitars will have you wanting to replay this song again and again. and even more, it'll have you wanted to restart the entire album again as well. I must say they really do go out with a bang.

"Unto The Locust" is the seventh official studio album of the bands career, and it is definitely up there as one of their best. Machine Head has really executed with a solid song structure and a solid performance. They have clearly stepped up their game and continue to get better and better with every album. Having to wait four years for this album was definitely worth it!

9/10

Official Site - http://machinehead1.com/
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/machinehead