These days the already fifth longplayer of MACHINE HEAD will see the light of day. The band that had experienced a continuous up and down in the past few years, plus some line up changes, wants to pick up the old successes with "Through The Ashes Of Empires".
So it is not very surprising that the first track "Imperium" goes back to the roots. The song could have stood on "Burn My Eyes" and enthuses mostly by its standout riffing. "Through…" overall contains a lot of destructively great guitar explosions. "Bite The Bullet" and "VIM" also go into the Neo-Thrash direction. But the band also brings in variation. The modernity of songs like "Elegy" or "In The Presence Of My Enemies" form the bridge to the two previous albums "The Burning Red" and "Supercharger". MACHINE HEAD have found the optimal mix of old and new. Singer Rob Flynn screams meanly, then he sings with a clean and nice voice. The very personal song "Left Unfinished" deals with his adoption. Never he has let us look into his past so deeply. Very courageous. With "Descend The Shades Of Night" we even get a very good semi ballad at the end, which never sounds sappy.
For MACHINE HEAD "Through…" has turned out to be a mighty strike of freedom. The album can fully convince in my ears. The band wonderfully mixes their Neo-Thrash Metal with calmer and modern elements and has evolved without losing their roots. The sound also is great, but I honestly would not have expected otherwise. Fans of the Bay Area heroes can get this killer without second thought. For me personally "Through…" has turned out to be the best MACHINE HEAD album since "Burn My Eyes". Welcome back, boys!!!
Check out tips: "Imperium", "VIM"... (Online December 27, 2003)