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Friday, 16 September 2011

Machine effin Head

If there's one album I really can't wait to hear this year it's Machine Head's Unto The Locust. Reviews thus far suggest it's going to surpass their 2007 masterpiece The Blackening which to be honest, is about as big a feat as can be achieved in metal. Having pleaded for a preview copy with the MetalasFuck boss, only to be told Roadrunner Records will only allow certain people from certain brands to listen to their big hitters for a certain period of time, I decided to order the awesometastic ultramega fanboy deluxe edition, which comes with a bonus track, a 130-odd page Metal Hammer Machine Head special, a bottle opener, a patch and a couple of posters. All vital parts of any album, in my opinion.

Machine Head are one of the few bands who are almost universally loved in the metal world. They've had a few stinkers over the years (the cover of The Police's Message in a Bottle is best left unmentioned) but aside from this they've produced some truly seminal metal tunes. I've often said that if someone who had never heard music asked me what metal was, I'd play them Black Sabbath's Iron Man and Slayer's Raining Blood. I'm confident that Machine Head's Take My Scars would also be a worthy inclusion.

Then of course, their live performances. Having first experienced Machine Fucking Head live at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods in 2007, and five or six times thereafter, they are true masters of their art. Robb Flynn is a phenomenal frontman and aside from his shredding and vocal prowess, the fact that he'll often get people up on stage, pass a bottle of Jagermeister into the crowd, and generally make the whole thing a proper fucking party make the whole live experience something to behold.

And the set lists?Always spot on. Since The Blackening, Aesthetics of Hate has been an integral part of Machine Head's live set - the tribute to Dimebag Darrell and "fuck you" to his critics is always emotional and played with such fury that it's no wonder I ended up bleeding from the face in my inaugural Machine Head pit.

So what will Unto The Locust do for Machine Head? Reviews so far have been universally excellent, lead song Locust is absolutely punishing; it seems as if the band who have repeatedly reached a career high are about to do it again.

Now, to patiently wait for the September 27th release date.


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