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On disc: Machine Head

Unto The Locust - Carsten Bahr - 9 stars

Unto The Locust

Unto The Locust
(Roadrunner Records - 2011)

With The Blackening Machine Head already recorded a classic and so the raised the bar high, will they be able to top it with Unto The Locust. But Machine Head only delivered quality releases since Through The Ashes Of Empires and they always showed musical development in a positive way. And Unto The Locust is following this trend. The songs a re a bit shorter, but still about 6-7 minutes long and compared with The Blackening they use less epic elements. Instead they focus on atmospheric sounds and catchy refrains. They show their love for traditional metal and Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel deliver some crazy guitar duels, but they never forget their thrash metal roots and add some killer groove parts - they combine present and past in a way which will please all their fans. After a long intro they deliver a killer thrasher I Am Hell and right from the start it's obvious that Mr. Flynn worked hard on his aggressive and melodic vocals! A killer hook is carved in your gray mass, the song is lashing mercilessly at you and the fast guitar solos slay all and everything on their way. The mid part is a bit slower then fat grooves hail down on you. More epic and with a fat groove they deliver Be Still And Know and I guess that Maiden would sound like this, if they would play thrash metal. A fast passage and melodic guitars make this a metal hymn. With Locust they present the most catchy and commercial song, but they perfectly combine heavy grooves and catchy refrains which make this a killer track. And Robb's vocals are over the top! He's in a league on his own. Slowly This Is The End kicks odd, but then blast beats spice up this thrasher which they enriched with a dash of melodic death metal. They vary in speed at this one. The perfect tune for a circle pit! A semi-ballad is The Darkness Within where Machine Head show their passion for music in general. Everybody who likes emotional stuff from time to time will dig this one. A bit bulky is Perls For Swine, but after a few spins the complex riffing and speed changes are more then just convincing. Machine Head show off their progressive edge and demonstrate perfectly their musical range. A children choir - the musicians kids - kick off Who We Are and they head into a hymn with sing along parts and string arrangement. And this is the end of this album, and it's a killer album! Unbelievable what Robb Flynn and his mates delivered and I have no doubt that this album will make it in the top ten of the 2011 polls! Is Unto The Locust topping the predecessor? No easy question, but as Machine Head managed to write more catchy stuff without changing too much, I think that Unto The Locust is better then The Blackening - and I still think that's a great one! A classic!If I'm right about Unto The Locust? Only time will tell!

9 stars

Carsten Bahr
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


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