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8.10.11

Machine Head - 'Unto The Locust' (roadrunner) 4.5/5

Oakland post thrashers Machine Head are not a band who hurry when it comes to releasing new material, its been four years since their previous outing, with most of the time since been taken up with a very heavy live schedule. But at last we have new materiel in the form of 'Unto The Locust' the bands seventh studio release.

So has the wait been worth it? Well on first play through I think I can say that it has. There are only seven songs on off here, but one exception they all weigh in at around or over the six thirty mark giving a total album play time of around fifty minutes, and  not one of those minutes is wasted. Every second is used to showcase what a versatile outfit Machine Head really are. We get some fine slices of old school thrash, tasty chunks of meaty death metal, some very interesting almost progressive moments, even snatches of classically influenced guitar work and folk rock interludes.

From the opening bars of I Am Hell (Sonata In C#) with its neo-classical motifs,  to the closing climax of Who We Are with its children's choir and huge stadium metal chorus that resolves into a distant and plaintiff string quartet, there isn't really a weak moment on show; but if I have to pick a fave track on offer then it has to be Pearls Before Swine with its old school thrash riffage and razor cut guitar solos.

Overall I'm very impressed with 'Unto The Locust', I wouldn't go as far as saying its the best album of the year, but its up there with them. Very Highly Recommended.

For fans of... Megadeth, Slayer, Metal Church, Charred Walls Of the Damned, Spires....

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