Category Archives: Reviews

19
Oct

Review: Machine Head – Locust Vinyl (Metal Hammer)

Today sees the release of  the new issue of Metal Hammer magazine in the UK. The magazine is celebrating 25 years “of keeping it heavy” making this issue a very special edition. No, I’m not on Metal Hammer’s payroll, nor am I receiving commission for advertising the magazine, but as someone who was brought into the digital age kicking and screaming, the “free” Machine Head vinyl really does appeal to me. For years people, friends and lovers, have mocked me for clinging so tightly to CDs under their own misguided delusions that “MP3s are better”. Now I get to enjoy the sweet analogue sounds of Machine ‘fucking’ Head on vinyl and I’m #winning as always.

Damn you Metal Hammer, you made me pick up your “fan pack” magazine in order to get a physical copy of Unto the Locust (fuck digital copies), and now you’ve tricked me into buying your 25th anniversary special. Ah well, so I guess it’s time for me to clean the dust off my (*cough* dad’s) record player and blast some Machine Head goodness.

Machine Head – Locust vinyl (Metal Hammer 25th anniversary exclusive)

1. Locust (Album Version)
2. Beautiful Mourning (Live)
3. Bite The Bullet (Live)

Side A begins with the song ‘Locust’ taken from the band’s latest masterpiece, Unto the Locust. Those that heard the early ‘advance mix’ were no doubt disappointed with the track (I know I was), but the final album version kicked ass with a better mix and within the context of the album. Now imagine what it sounds like on vinyl and with huge Wharfedale professional speakers. The bass destroys and song as whole sounds incredible. Although not the best track on the album (‘I Am Hell’ could have really benefited from the vinyl treatment), it still makes for a great start to the record.

Side B contains the two live tracks. ‘Beautiful Mourning’ is a great track from The Blackening and a good choice since it doesn’t always get as much attention compared to other tracks on the album. The performance is flawless and makes for a phenomenal listening. It’s almost like the band are performing right in front of me. Each riff, each note, and each blast of the drum is played with complete precision. Final track ‘Bite the Bullet’ is also played brilliantly, but makes for quite an odd track choice. The song is far from being a favorite for me, but regardless, Machine Head are once again on fire.

Short, sweet, but definitely worthy of the £4.99 price. For more information on the magazine, click here.


17
Oct

Nektromantheon – Divinity of Death

Nekromantheon were formed in 2005 in some dismal corner of Norway, so I apologize for jumping on their bandwagon this late in the day, however I saw them play at the Live Evil bash at The Underworld in Camden (organized by Fenriz) and they absolutely blasted, so since then I’ve been meaning to pick up their debut album Divinity of Death, and now I finally have it.

When Slayer changed my musical perceptions all those years ago, showing me that there is indeed beauty in brutality I fell in love with thrash – it just seemed to tickle a part of my brain which is rarely tickled by any other form of music. But that was eons ago and over the years Decent thrash has become harder to find than rocking horse shit. Until now.

Divinity of Death really is rather good, and for a debut album it’s even better – yes I know they’ve had an EP and a couple of splits out, but I never heard them and this is their first full length product. Needless to say if you like thrash, you will like this album.

I don’t want to sound picky, but if Divinity of Death has one teensy weensy fault it’s that the singer has a very… Shall we say unvaried approach to his art. Doesn’t really matter as the album is only like 30 minutes longn and what he does he does really well, but it would be nice if he varied his approach just a tad, if only to prove that he can.

A jolly fine album, which easily warrants:


6
Oct

Blast From The Past: Slipknot – Iowa

Ten years ago, one band decimated the hundreds of Nu Metal bands and Pop artists taking up the chart slots. Armed with nothing but dark boiler suits, silly masks and sheer ferocity, Slipknot single handedly managed to bring Metal, real Metal, to the top of the charts with sophomore album, Iowa. Regardless of what you may think now, or what your opinion’s of the quality of Slipknot‘s output, there’s no denying this band have achieved a hell of a lot in their career.

The 13-year-old in me loved Slipknot. They were heavy, they were dark, and they said “fuck” a lot without jumping around like a clown (apart from Clown, as he obviously, erm, was a clown) while sporting a red cap. I hated people, and Slipknot hated people too (see ‘People = Shit’). Ten years later, I still hate people, but Corey whines like Chad Kroeger in Stone Sour now and I’ve discovered “better” bands. Despite this, of course the band are re-releasing Iowa (Read: $$$), so now seems like the perfect time for a retrospective on the album. So what are you waiting for? Hurry up and make the jump.


22
Sep

Review: Machine Head – Unto The Locust

Four years after the phenomenal success of The Blackening, Machine Head return with Unto The Locust. As one of the most eagerly awaited albums of the year, the ‘Head have everything to prove. Can they follow up with a similar successful album or will they lose steam, just like they did after their second studio album The More Things Change?

The band like to act as if The Burning Red, and especially Supercharger, never happened. I can understand that, because as a huge Machine Head fan, I like to act as if that never happened as well. But these two Nu-Metal albums actually did get released, therefore a lot of people doubt the band is able to keep up their momentum.

As much as I love this band, I’ve got to admit that I expected a lot from this album, but feared for the worst. These guys might be the ones that wrote the amazing ‘Descend The Shades Of Night,’ but they’re also the ones who wrote the abysmal ‘American High’ — with the exception of Phil Demmel.

So after all, Unto The Locust could be absolutely killer or it could make me kill myself. Make the jump to read my review of Machine Head’s seventh studio album, and let’s hope it’s not my suicide note.


13
Sep

Review: Whitechapel – A New Era of Corruption

Deathcore is lame, pure and simple. It’s scientific. By mixing the elements of the extreme styles of Death Metal with the gayness of Metalcore, you’re left with something that resembles a farting fish. A farting fish with a hell of a lot of stolen At The Gates riffs in the background.

However, much like the English Language in regards to grammatical rules, for every genre rule, there are at least a million exceptions, if you’re willing to look hard enough.

After hearing a song by Whitechapel earlier this year, and being rather impressed with it, it’s time to review the band’s latest album, A New Era of Corruption (released in 2010), and find out if the band can be one of these so called exceptions. Make the jump, fuckers.


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