While not a band I ever thought I would listen to (for some reason I have always associated them with nu-metal a la Korn and Sevendust), I find myself returning again and again to Machine Head’s The Blackening. It’s stark black and white cover art, depicting the Death tarot card, shall serve as a preview for exactly the type of music that lies inside. It’s brutal, aggressive thrash-metal in the best sense of the word.
The anger in Rob Flynn’s growl on songs like “Aesthetics of Hate” is as pure as that of Metallica in their prime. The song, perhaps the album’s best, is about an article Flynn read just after the murder of Dimebag Darrell in which “The Iconoclast” (a super conservative webzine) writer William Grim basically attacked the character of anyone who would mourn the loss of such a “sinful” man.
“You tried to spit in the eye/ of a dead man’s face/ attacked the ways of a man/ not yet in his grave…aesthetics of hate/ I hope you burn in hell” –from “Aesthetics of Hate”
The album’s only downside is Flynn’s regretable tendency to slip into melodic choruses that just sound completely out of place on such an otherwise heavy album. If you’re as angry as your lyrics reveal you shouldn’t pause for a pretty moment, you should let that animal tear its way out!
Machine Head: www.machinehead1.com