Machine Head
Unto the Locust
Style: Thrash Metal
Release date: 19 September, 2011
Playing time: 48:47

"The Blackening" is in my humble opinion one the most undervalued albums ever, and one of the most complete thrash album of last decade! So expectations were extremely high for "Unto the Locust" and if you had hopes for a part two then I must disappoint you. Machine Head has gone back to their roots with this album; classic thrash metal. Almost gone are the more progressive aspects that made "The Blackening" something extraordinary.

But that doesn't mean that they are making soup on old bones, not at all! They have really broaden their horizon on "Unto the Locust" and have integrated many new sounds to the mix; the use of a children's choir (Phil's son, Rob's sons and a tech engineers son) and the use of a string quartet is what stands out the most. But a lot of classic rock singer/songwriter influences have also found their way into the Machine Head concept; lyrically as well as musically... I hear many scream what! But wait; it works!

The new-found influences fit very well into the new song structures and give the band new dimensions and depth and no worries; the classic thrash parts and metalcore parts are still a very big part of their sound. The sound has just been spiced up with many new ingredients... Personally I think the album reaches its climax with 'Who We Are' with a children's choir, its big Iron Maiden influenced middle part (just listen to the harmonies and leads) and strings, but it might be too much for some!

My review is based on the normal seven song version made available to us, the album is also available in a special edition with two cover versions: Judas Priest and Rush, and I am really looking forward listening to them also. "Unto the Locust" is a real titbit from Machine Head with many surprises...

Best moments: 'I Am Hell', 'Locust' and 'Who We Are'.

01. I Am Hell (Sonata in C#) (8:25)
  I) Sangre Sani
  II) I Am Hell
  III) Ashes to the Sky
02. Be Still and Know (5:43)
03. Locust (7:36)
04. This is the End (6:11)
05. Darkness Within (6:27)
06. Pearls Before the Swine (7:19)
07. Who We Are (7:06)
08. The Sentinel [Judas Priest Cover]
09. Witch Hunt [Rush Cover]
Label: Roadrunner Records
Buy the disc: Warner Music (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: 9 September, 2011