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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!
How on Earth were Machine Head going to follow The Blackening???? This is exactly how!!!

For their 7th studio set and after a second career high with The Blackening, first being the debut Burn My Eyes, Machine Head storm back with what is likely to become my favourite album of theirs and my album of the year.

Mixing everything thats great about the...
Published on 26 Sep 2011 by hell-oh-kitteh

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MH Collector's pack
First off: the album is very good and although I go on to complain, it is still far superior to a lot of other metal out there. However, it does lack that initial punch in the face that is present on other albums. Despite the fact that this is still a crushingly heavy album, it feels like they have sacrificed a certain level of immediacy for technical proficiency. It is...
Published on 21 Oct 2011 by David Burrows


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!, 26 Sep 2011
This review is from: Unto The Locust (Audio CD)
How on Earth were Machine Head going to follow The Blackening???? This is exactly how!!!

For their 7th studio set and after a second career high with The Blackening, first being the debut Burn My Eyes, Machine Head storm back with what is likely to become my favourite album of theirs and my album of the year.

Mixing everything thats great about the band and adding in some fresh new elements this album just gives and gives for the seasoned metal head. Opening with Rob Flynns' Queen moment on "Sangri Sani", its a gentle, operatic almost, intro to the second section of the 3 part first song "I Am Hell" which crunches in heavily and slowly before giving way to the frantic end section "Ashes to the Sky". Its a magnificent start to the album and its just gets better.

Highlights, outwith the already heard and brilliant heavy groove of "Locust", are "This Is The End" which is just pure Machine Head thrashing, "Darkness Within", an experimental acoustic start with Rob in fine mellow voice eventually becoming a heavy metal anthem to be sung live "LOUD!!" and then the probably controversial album closer "Who We Are" with an intro sung by the kiddies which just becomes another huge metal anthem with an awesome chorus. Rounded off with another couple of great tunes Unto the Locust is a stunning record and a more than able follow up to The Blackening.

Mr Flynn is in a fine vein of form at the moment. Roll on the concert in December.

Superb!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Machine Head - Unto The Locust (CD Edition), 27 Sep 2011
By 
Gentlegiantprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Unto The Locust (Audio CD)
Machine Head's highly anticipated Unto The Locust has the unenviable task of having to follow up 2007's excellent zeitgeist-grabbing The Blackening album, which received stellar reviews at the time, was hailed as one of the best records in their career and has already since become regarded as something of a classic album, something that will only continue to grow as time passes.

If Unto The Locust receives a lot of negative criticism, it is only because it failed to live up to the unexpected mythic status set by The Blackening, much in the same way that The More Things Change was left in Burn My Eye's shadow.

Judged on musical merit, Unto The Locust is a very strong album indeed somehow managing to be both instantly loveable and yet also a grower. Everything on the record is tight and perfectly formed, not a second of the album is wasted... impressive considering how long, dense and complex the record is.

The album officially clocks in at seven tracks, only one of which dips below the six minute mark and the album ends up lasting almost 49 minutes overall despite only featuring seven tracks. Repeat listens will allow you to hear different little touches here and there, such as stylish drum fills or guitar licks you hadn't heard before.

If you enjoyed the band's previous two albums and want more long songs, more high speeds and more guitar solos with dual guitar harmonies, then Unto The Locust ably provides. Tracks like `Be Still And Know,' and `I Am Hell,' are absolutely full of impressive guitar moments from Rob Flynn and Phil Demmel (and of course not forgetting the usual incredible drum fills from Dave McClaine)

It seems pointless listing highlights on an album that only has seven tracks, all of which are great but special mentions should be made for `This Is The End,' is a brilliant mix of crushing heaviness, big grooves a little melody now and again, has a lot of ideas in its time span as well as featuring one of the best (brief but perfectly formed) guitar solos in the band's career.

On top of the superb songwriting and performances, the production is absolutely fantastic on the record and really captures the Machine Head sound perfectly. A version of near-title-track `Locust,' was available for a while before the album's release with a different production style, but the actual version on here is much deeper, more energetic sounding and with a different feel on a few of the leads; now the track actually feels a bit more like the band's first two records than it ever did one the advanced mix version.

The only significant misstep that the band made is the inclusion of a children's choir on the otherwise excellent album closer which I'm sure a lot of people will hate, and which I'm sure will draw much criticism. The song itself is strong and thankfully this children's section is actually very brief all things considered (even if it does take a few listens before it stops being annoying.)

In summary; Unto The Locust is a very good album indeed, and gets better with repeat listens. Machine Head are absolutely on form in terms of songwriting and musicianship and do their best to mix adding new ideas and retaining what made their last two albums so good, the only thing that might stand in the way of this record meeting universal praise is simply the fact that The Blackening already did that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Grower, not a Show'er, 10 Dec 2011
This review is from: Unto The Locust (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
I'll be honest, on the first listen of "Unto the Locust" I thought it was just not as good as "The Blackening". but then again there was no "Aesthetics Of Hate" on this album, no song that jumped out at you or said what you felt, especially if you were a Pantera fan. BUT after a few listens this album opens up and that's when it hits you, it's when you realise that this is an awesome album in it's own right, and it does stand shoulder to shoulder with "The Blackening" and "Burn My Eyes".
Lets be honest there are a lot of bands out there who wish they could write stuff half as good as Machine Head (five finger death punch and bring me the horizon spring to mind!) and even Machine Head's worst album (supercharger)is still pretty good.
Maybe some of the people who jumped on the bandwagon after the success of "The Blackening" will jump off again and Robb Flynn and co. can continue to make album after awesome album, as he has done since he got out of Vio-lence and started one of the 3 bands which kept Metal alive through Grunge and Nu-Metal (along with Pantera and Sepultura).
But... despite how good the last 2 albums were, you still feel like they're capable of making the next album even better!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MH Collector's pack, 21 Oct 2011
First off: the album is very good and although I go on to complain, it is still far superior to a lot of other metal out there. However, it does lack that initial punch in the face that is present on other albums. Despite the fact that this is still a crushingly heavy album, it feels like they have sacrificed a certain level of immediacy for technical proficiency. It is not a bad thing that they have all improved as musicians and song writers but sometimes the songs are over-worked and miss the punk attitude of shorter, straight-to-the-point songs. Best not to mention the horrible bit with the children singing.
It would have got a four but I was then saw that the 'special edition' had more songs (including a couple of covers that sound interesting) plus a making of DVD. Surely this should have been in the fan pack instead of the measely live version of 'Locust' on the CD. The fans who bought this edition will probably already have their ticket for the live show and therefore don't really need a live version, no matter how 'exclusive'. The pack should have contained the new recorded material instead. Minus 1 star for shameless record company cash-in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small but perfectly formed, 9 Oct 2011
If you liked Machine Head's last two and first two albums you won't be disappointed with this one.
It seems a little short at only 7 tracks (9 in the bonus track version) but at least there is no filler, better 7 awesome tracks than double the tracks and half of them being mediocre.
It did take me a couple of listens to fully get into it but I love it now I have heard it a few times.

This is an awesome album, if you like Machine Head you'll love it. \m/
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 21 Dec 2011
This review is from: Unto The Locust (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
This new Machine Head Album is so attractive each song is so well built, this album is as good as the others released by Machine Head, the dvd that it contains is a bit short, so, if you want to save money the dvd its not worth that much, for any Machine Head fan i totally recomend this album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sweet, 23 Nov 2011
By 
sean paul mccann "mccanns23" (ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
i bought this version, although a tad pricey because im a machine head mark and wanted the album early and i am a metal hammer reader so what could go wrong, well not alot really,, i like the posters, the patch, the bottle opener and the magazine is classy as one would expect. Thats all well and good, but isnt there something im forgetting, oh yes, the cd, their new album, ah, thats what i really need to single out and review here.
Some people waited longer for the album to appear in the shops and those people got a few new tracks built in, that isnt fair, winge, winge and winge.
Anyway, machine head had a challenge, the blackening remains one of metals nodern masterpieces, riffs a plenty, ideas a million, a classic, instant classic, always classic.
Unto the locust is a great album, it has been played many a time now and i can find the odd wee fault in it, forgivable perhaps but it probably hurts the bands progression slightly. There are 7 tracks here if all be told, the bonus live track is neither here nor there, the album is lean enough at around 45 minutes and there isnt a wile pile of filler, its just that some of this isnt gold.
It is fair to give this album four stars though, it is almost perfect, so much of it is brilliant, there is perhaps a need to revisit choruses one time too many but this album slays in terms of aggression, robert flynn has seldom sounded better, the band are as tight as a county cavan man, its all there to be applauded, almost.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Machine Head are stronger than ever!, 4 Nov 2011
This review is from: Unto The Locust (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
Four years and countless tours after the release of the 2007 behemoth that was 'The Blackening', Machine Head return to set the bar for modern metal, and they've set it incredibly high. Unto the Locust is once again a monster of an album containing all the signature Machine Head elements while introduce some new ones and exploring a number of new techniques. You can expect to hear groove driven riffs, massive hooks, crowd sing-a-long anthems and punishing riffs, solos and drum grooves.

The opening song 'I Am Hell' is an ambitious 9 minute, three part song sets the tone for the whole album. Every song on this album is very distinguishable, each with its own character and feel. The intro riff of the second track, 'Be Still and Known' is reminiscent of the melodic hook in 'Now I Lay Thee Down' and is a comforting experience. In comparison the intro section of 'Darkness Within' proves Machine Head's ability to move outside their comfort zone and explore other genres and succesfully incorporate them into their own style.

The album not only exceeds in the musicality side but also lyrically. The lyrical themes on the album are clear and easy to connect to with simple but hugely catchy choruses. Expect to hear the chorus from Locust being sung loud and proud on Machine Heads up and coming tour!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OOH RAH, 28 Oct 2011
By 
Mr. A. G. Perrie "Mr Noir" (Nottingham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Unto The Locust (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
It is apparently common knowledge that Machine Heads release's 'The Burning Red', and 'Supercharger', where widely criticized and indeed not well liked amongst the hardcore, but, speaking as a complete nu-metal loving bafoon who's top artists are these guys, Korn, deftones, kid rock, spineshank etc, i am one of the few who thought that 'Through the ashes' and 'The Blackening', whilst rather damn good, weren't really my type of thing, it has been a good while since i got up at 8:30 in the morning, just to run down to be the first person in HMV at 9am to buy a new album, admitedly i had work rather hard to avoid listening to this album after its initial release via Metal Hammer, but wait i did, and i really must say, im 26 now, and have been a metal lover since the age of 13, but from start to finish, and especially the tongue in cheeck covers that close this record, no matter who or what you listen to, Rob and co have un-doubtedly written the very definition of a metal album, yes there thousands of sub genre's, hard rock, thrash core, emo, goth bla bla bla, metal is metal, and this, this IS metal, its 10 songs of sheer and utter sonic brutality, it has slow mosh breaks, fast air guitar, fist in the air chants and everything from clean intro's to string quartets, wether your a pantera, or an evanescence fan, or simply just a general whatever, this band i feel may finally be the next generation of festival headliners to take the place of metallica and maiden, and i genuinly mean that, love it, and you will to, OOH RAH MFH!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent follow up to an equally excellent album, 16 Oct 2011
After 2007's The Blackening everyone wondered what Machine Head were going do next, how would they attempt to top an album that won the hearts of so many fans and was even called album of the decade by magazine Metal Hammer? The answer is simple, try something different. Unto The Locust is certainly not The Blackening Part 2 and is all the better because of this. Rather than simply recreate their previous album Machine Head have really challenged themselves as musicians creating one their most technical and complex album to date. With so much variety Unto The Locust never quite going in the direction you think it will and that's why it's brilliant.
Machine Head continue their proud tradition of starting the album with an amazing track, I Am Hell represents everything that makes Unto The Locust a great album. The song consists of three sections. Its first part is a soft opener with Robb Flynn gently singing in Latin before bursting into the brutal second part of the song. This part features almost doom metal riffing and some brutal singing from Flynn, who is drenched in reverb. Needless to say Machine Head have never sounded heavier. Before you can catch your breath I Am Hell descends from slow doom metal instrumentation into intense thrash metal for the last part of the song. This really kick starts the album as drummer Dave Mclain deals out some crazy blast beats as Robb Flynn and lead guitarist Phil Demmel play at speeds that are crazy even for thrash metal. From start to finish I Am Hell is an amazing listen and features a great amount of variety and ideas, an amazing start.

The next song Be Still And Know has a very Iron Maiden like riff sounding almost like a mix between Wasted Years and Back In The Village. From the chilling riff to the epic lyrics this is another great track and clocking in at 5:43 it's also the albums shortest song. Yet its dynamics and structure help make it a stand out track with the last chorus being insanely epic. There's not much to really say but it's a brilliant song.
Locust was the first song released from the album as an advanced mix, if you're a fan of Machine Head you've probably already heard it. It's notable however that the album mix sounds way better, it seems more whole and complete as a mix goes. The song itself is defiantly melodic and has a great opening riff and drum beat. From the chorus to great guitar solo the song really shows off how effectively the band can craft songs. The song also shows off Robb Flynns improved vocal range from his normal voice during the chorus to the small breakdown and then to the short, soft segment you really get to see that he's been working hard these past four years to become a better singer and quite frankly has never sounded better. Overall this is an another great song, if you didn't really care for the advanced mix than listen to the album version trust me it's a lot better.

This Is The End starts out with a classical guitar intro, I was instantly reminded of Rush's a Farewell To Kings and wasn't surprised at all to learn Rush have had an influence on Machine Head. From this quiet piece comes a great, very fast riff that descends into full on thrash as Fylnn lets out an epic cry. This is yet another song with a plethora of ideas from the cool sounding chorus to the slow distorted guitar section this is another song that shows off how far Machine Head come in terms of musicianship. An awesome song.
The next track is the biggest departure on the album, Darkness Within is as, as it is brilliant. Starting with a gentle acoustic section as Flynn softly sings some of his most passionate lyrics to date. Soon though the other instruments kick in and song really comes alive with the solo by Phil Demmel being one his finest since his time with the band. The lyrics themselves help make the song though, they are beautifully personal and really sends a power message. I am aware that this song has divided some Machine Head fans as has the last song on the album and I can see why they are a stretch away from any of the songs from Burn My Eyes but then again this natural progression is what makes Machine Head such a compelling band.

The next song Pearls Before The Swine took quite a bit of time to sink in with me, it's my least favourite song on the album and its strange structure let me a little underwhelmed at first. However as I've really listened to it I can now appreciate much more and think it's a great song, up to par with the rest of the album? Maybe not but it's still better than 90% of modern music at moment. If you're looking for a solid metal song to features a great chorus a number of head bangable moments than you can't really go wrong with this song.

Finally the last song Who We Are features singing children something I'd never thought I'd hear on a metal album let alone a Machine Head album. However much to my surprise it just seems to work. This is another passionate song that really demonstrates how metal and rock goes against the grain resilient, even if we are divided by sub genres and pre conceived notions. The song has great lyrics and vocals along with great guitar, bass and drum work, something that is constant throughout the album. With lyrics such as "into glory we will ride" Who We Are is an empowering song and really makes me proud to be apart of the metal community. From its excellent instrumental work to the epic closure that gently ends with some nice string work this is an amazing closure to the album and is a song I would never expect to come from the band.

So after all my praise does this album top the The Blackening? Well I'm not really sure to be honest it will have to take more time for the album to really sink in. I would say is that whilst this album is shorter than the previous one it features more interesting ideas and the band have never sounded tighter and more comfortable with themselves. It end up not being quite as good as The Blackening but Unto The Locust is still a bold and brilliant album that shows that Machine Head never compromises to anybody's expectations. Now the question is what will they do next?
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