With an opening track so powerful, in dedication to the late Dimebage Darell, it’s no wonder that the sixth and latest album titled simply 'The Blackening' won the band their first Grammy award and sold 15,000 within its first week of release.

This album proves that Machine Head truly have come a long way since their debut album 'Burn My Eyes' which was Road Runner Records biggest selling debut album selling a massive 400,000 copies worldwide. This nine track album which brought the band new found respect among fans and artists alike is an amalgamation of Dave Mclain's legendary drum rolls, Rob Flynn's carefully placed harmonic singing and the underlying anger that spits through Rob Flynn and Phil Demmel's fearless guitar playing are all pulled together with the memorable bass lines of Adam Duce.

 

Being an album produced once again by Robb Flynn and mixed by Colin Richardson you can tell just by listening that this is the album the band wanted and needed to create. Through extensive touring and promoting Machine Head have managed to make an album which has become a household name (in any metal house hold at least). With crowd favourites such as the infamous 'Halo' that guarantees a circle pit whether the band ask for one or not and 'Beautiful Mourning' the second track on the album, it is very difficult not to be in awe of the beast that is Machine Head.

 

The opening track 'Clenching the Fists of Dissent' being a whopping ten minutes and thirty five seconds long, is nothing less than a work of art. The passionate and meaningful lyrics that are ever present on every track on this album stem from themes such as; politics, war and anger which beam through the music as well as the lyrics. Rob Flynn has managed to pour his heart and soul into these lyrics and it shows from the opening track. Effortlessly growling into the microphone, his one of a kind voice fluidly slips from a coarse roar to gentle harmonics. At no point throughout this ten and a half minute song is the listener bored. Upon hearing the first track you are compelled to listen on. This is one of the few albums not to be skipped through.

 

The fourth song on the album 'Now I Lay Thee Down' is an album favourite, with its catchy chorus, merciless riffs and spanning a healthy five minutes and thirty six seconds  Machine Head have managed to create a song with a sufficient amount of technicality whilst keeping the well-known groove that the band are best known for.

 

The seventh track on the album titled 'Wolves' seems to be a mark of appreciation of Machine Head fans and the metal community as a whole. With wolves historically sticking to the pack and looking after their own, this song seems to be restoring hope within the metal community after the tragic death of Dimebag Darell, which affected many musicians and fans around the world. The eighth track on the album 'A Farewell to Arms' has an intro that is reminiscent of the 'And Justice For All' Metallica album. Rob Flynn's breathless voice seeping through the speakers at the start, creep into a monstrous barrage of heartfelt gritty lyrics. Which however angry they seem, have barely any profanities, disproving the theory that metal purely consists of profane and angst ridden lyrics.

 

The last track on the album is a cover of Metallica's song 'Battery' off the 'Master of Puppets' album. This is a song of appreciation of the band and however good Machine Head undoubtedly are the song choice could have been better. Being the last song on the album it is a crying shame that the album could not have ended as well as it begins. On the same token there is always room for improvement on every album, therefore the last track must be judged as the album as whole. This album is a joy to listen to and any tracks played at gigs are always well received.

Machine Head have pushed their boundaries higher than ever before and left the public wanting more. Through passionate, well thought out lyrics, ear bleeding solos, three part harmonics and pounding bass lines, the band have created a monster of a masterpiece and proved all negative critics wrong once again.