Release Date: March 22, 2007
Reviewed by Andy Seabright

How often does a metal album come along that presents such an amazing tour de force that metalheads everywhere will appreciate for ages to come? Not to often, but the one thing that’s for sure is that Machine Head’s new masterwork The Blackening definitely will be added to the list.

Machine Head was marked as one of the finest unsung metal acts through the early to late nineties with such albums from Burn My Eyes to The Burning Red, but hit a snag at the turn of the millennia with a few sub par efforts, eventually being dubbed as bromidic clichés of nu-metal. Then came the album that restored righteousness to their persona, 2004’s Through the Ashes of Empires. Now up to speed with things, with are blessed with their newest effort.

The Blackening is a triumphant piece of work reminiscent to the old school days of epic thrash albums from bands like Metallica and Anthrax. But it also maintains its sense of the new, representing the generation of now. It is basically an album for all forms of metalheads to head bang to. It’s starts with the lengthy “Clenching the Fists of Dissent” following right into “Beautiful Mourning”, then the fist pumping tribute “Aesthetics of Hate”, and so on. Rounding it of with the ten minute “A Farewell to Arms”.

The album is heavy, progressive, and just plain commanding. It’s dynamic, powerful, and above all praiseworthy. Machine Head delivers listeners something many can and should sink their teeth into proving they aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Someday, years from now, when you hear the name The Blackening you will think “essential metal album”.

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