I love Machine Head (and was into Robb's pre-Machine Head album Vio-Lence) so I bought this album upon its original release last year. Despite sticking with Machine Head through their "nu-metal" phase and the critical disaster that was "Spercharger", I just can't get into "The Blackening". Yes, its got it all, riffs galore, angst ridden songs like only Robb and crew can dish out but this is album is pretentious and "epic" translates as "overlong". Maybe I've not spent enough time with it, maybe it has to grow on me but more than a year after its release, I'm still skipping tracks. "The Blackening"...even the title is rubbish...has been hailed as Machine Head's "masterpiece". No, "Burn My Eyes" is a masterpiece, arriving at a time when heavy music was much missed and reminding us old thrashers of a lost (at the time - welcome back!) genre of music.
Roadrunner seem to have contempt for fans of their roster of bands with their relentless re-release schedule. However, if you were savvy enough not to buy this album when it came out, there's no complaints as to value for money. The bonus CD scoops up rarities and B sides, although I have these songs from the various special editions of earlier albums, the Demon Knight soundtrack and the Kerrang! CD's, this re-release has all of these curiosities in one neat package. I have not seen the bonus DVD but I have the "Elergies" DVD and that will do me but again, if you don't own that either then this re-release is superb value.
I'm hoping that seeing Machine Head on the upcoming Slipknot and Metallica tours might jolt me into liking "The Blackening", whilst I am not giving up on Flynn and co just yet, this album can't hold a (black)candle to "Burn My Eyes".
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