Sound — 10
I've been listening to a prommotional CD all week. Well what can I say? This is probaly the heaviest and most brutal machine head album ever made. Throughout the album is a huge thrash metal influence (no doubt from rob and phils Vio-Lence days) with duelling guitar solos, killer druming from dave, and beautiful song writing. Unlike many modern bands, machine head have produced a incredible record with a wide range of inlfluences, whilst still sounding fresh and new. The album starts of with the ten minute opener "Clenching The Fists Of Dissent" an incredibly fast and heavy track with amazing solo's, Imperium seems tame in comparison! Throughout the album is some of the most technical, fastest and heaviest guitar work machine head has ever done. If you loved the old style machine head, you'll love this record! Dave Mcclain has to be one of the most underated drummers in Metal, his playing on the record is flawless, Hopefully when the record is realesed he will get the recognition he deserves!
Lyrics — 10
Rob has Returned to more of a social commentary style of writing (like Burn My Eyes) on this record. The vocals are powerful and angry for the most part. Vocal highlight of the record for me is the track "Halo" the chorus is one of their best MH has done. Another highlight on the album has to be "Asthetics Of Hate" which is a tribute to Dimebag Darrell. In the song robs expreses his disgust with the hatefull article written shortly after dimebags death.
Overall Impression — 10
The Blackening is simply the best album machine head has ever recorded (yes better then BME) no doubt plenty of people will disagree with me, but overall this record is superb, a breath of fresh air to metal. Compared to other bands? Most metal bands (e.g. Trivium and Avenged Sevenfold, KSE) just sound boring in comparison to the Blackening. Colin Richardsons production is Perfect. And the Albums surpases Through the Ashes of empires in every way. I think all fans of heavy metal (not just MH fans) will enjoy this record.