Sound — 8
The release of This Machine Runs On Empty by Bloodjinn has been an intriguing thing for the fans -- the album features a new guitarist McKenzie Bell taking place of the departed Hunter McBride. Guitarists have always been the most valuable members in the metal bands, their backbone if you will. The change of the guitarist could mean anything for those bands -- from the defining moment in the career to total failure. Bloodjinn have been telling everyone how happy they were with a new member, former He Is Legend guitarist, and the new album This Machine Runs On Empty, that they recorded together, just proves their words. The band's sound has changed due to the changes in the line-up and their style can now be described as metalcore, best to be compared with the Darkest Hour. Bell's guitar plays the main role on the album. Together with another guitarist Kyle Rakes they create a wonderful dual work, producing hard-edged riffs and stellar metal hooks. The songs feature melodic clean guitar solos that vary the sever atmosphere of the record. These are the tunes defined by Bell's and Rakes' guitars that differ quite the same songs from each other. In the best traditions of metal, drummer Brian Lewis gives most of the songs a galloping rhythm with his double bass-heavy drums, serving music generously with breakdowns. Tempo changes appear pretty often and sometimes it gets too fast to follow. The record is very intense from the first to the very last song. But Bloodjinn gives you two peaceful moments -- beautiful instrumentals -- one at the end of Truth Within with a sitar-like sound and another to close the album in See Through. Bloodjinn couldn't resist some modern trends in music, adding a few electronics to Mirrored Human.
Lyrics — 7
Though their previous album was about how human beings often live their lives without care and concern for others, the current record deals mostly with relationship. Collins is at the stage of heart-searching, asking himself questions like Should I feel helpless? Should I brave? and Was it worth every minute? singing about loneliness and feeling miserable. The lyrics are the weak point of the record. Though it happens too often with metal bands -- paying all of the attention to making music as scary and intense as possible, they put something very mediocre in the poetry. Not that it really bothers the listener -- you can hardly understand a word out of Joel Collins screamo. Collins performs everything a screamo vocalist can only produce -- from very low growling to high-pitched screaming. His vocals are very emotional, but still fail when it comes to diversity. However sad it may sound, but Collins work is just a faded addition to Bell's and Rakes' guitars.
Overall Impression — 8
Even though four years have passed since Bloodjinn's last record (Leave This World Breathing) the new release shows that the band didn't loose its touch and the break that they took in 2003 have paid back. The current album is a tasteful collection of great guitar work and focused production. It's obvious the guys have put a lot of efforts into this CD and everything sounds very thought-out and polished. This Machine Runs On Empty states Bloodjinn are back and are ready to hit with a renewed force.