ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian reviewed MACHINE HEAD's new album "The Blackening" for this month's Hard 'N Heavy magazine in France. See below for the entire review:"This should've been the soundtrack to the movie 300! "'The Blackening' is a great metal record. From the opening riffs of 'Clenching The Fists of Dissent' you know you’re in for brutality. This song takes you on an epic journey all leading up to the monstrous riff that happens at the 8:41 mark. HOLY FUCK!!! CLENCHING THE FISTS OF DISSENT!!!!! "The next track, 'Beautiful Mourning', shows how MACHINE HEAD can so perfectly balance modern metal with old-school thrash. Track 3, 'Aesthetics Of Hate' is a riff-o-rama showing off Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel's killer guitar work. "Next up, 'Now I Lay Thee Down' is like the DEFTONES on steroids. Track 5, 'Slanderous' starts with a pick slide. I fucking love pick slides and they're all over this record. More crushing guitars in the middle breakdown take this song straight to hell. The lead trade-off has hints of Hammett. "Robb screams 'THIS IS A CALL TO ARMS WILL YOU STAND BESIDE ME' at the beginning of the next song 'Halo'. I can only imagine the audience response. This song is classic MACHINE HEAD but with so much more maturity and melody in the chorus. Great hook. The next two, 'Wolves' and 'A Farewell To Arms', clocking in at 9:01 and 10:12 respectively are so chock full of riffs, breakdowns, hooks, leads, harmonies and pick slides you'll need multiple listens to take it all in. The songs are epics and in a lesser bands hands that could be a terrible thing. "It's extremely hard to maintain a cohesiveness and focus after five minutes. It's also hard to keep the listeners interest after five minutes. "I've been listening to the record all the way through over and over again and the strength of the song writing and riffs maintains a depth and intensity that never lulls. The hooks are deep. Like a great book or movie, this record takes you out of your life for an hour to a place of pure unadulterated listening pleasure. "I love the record. Yay metal!!!"
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