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Machine Head - Catharsis Award winner

Machine Head
Catharsis
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 03 February 2018, 8:26 AM

When a band refuses to play the same thing from their beginnings, it causes severe problems. A great deal of Metal fans prefer an approach in a “keep doing the same thing”, and don’t accept changes or evolution. But to demand of a musical group to be a carbon copy is something cruel. To like or to not like is a right of every Metal fan, but respect is a good thing as well. Maybe evolution could be a problem for Rob Flynn and the guys from MACHINE HEAD, because they don’t accept to stay playing the very same thing on each album. So be prepared to be tried by “Catharsis”, their latest album.

On this album, the musical style of the band, that modern and heavy Thrash Metal with strong influences from Groove Metal, is the very same in essence. But “Catharis” shows clearly that some influences from Metalcore and New Metal, especially on the choruses and in some harmonies. As I wrote above, some new fans will be really astonished and nervous, but I don’t believe that those die hard ones will have problems dealing with the songs on “Cartharsis”. The production is really very good. Once more, the sound that flows from the speakers is greasy and oppressive, with the guitars in low and modern tunes. Everything is their due places, the sound quality fits on what the band is doing, so we can say that the production is almost perfect.

15 songs are distributed along 75 minutes, and the greater part of the songs lasts a mean value between three and four minutes. Songs as the strong and modern “Volatile” with its fine melodies on guitars, the contrast between clean and melodic moments with aggressive ones presented on “Catharsis”, the fine work of vocals and charming choruses of “California Bleeding”, the hooks and explosive energy flux of “Kaleidoscope”, the clear influences from Folk and Southern Rock that permeates “Bastards” (even on the aggressive parts, and what lovely work from the vocals), the greasy harsh feeling of “Screaming at the Sun”, the acoustic approach shown on “Behind a Mask”, the nasty and modern influences that we hear on “Psychotic”, and the excellent rhythmic work shown on “Razorblade Smile” can be named as the album best moments.

“Catharsis” is not an album so easy to assimilate, but as soon as you become used to it, you’ll understand what MACHINE HEAD stands for.

Originality: 9
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Volatile
2. Catharsis
3. Beyond the Pale
4. California Bleeding
5. Triple Beam
6. Kaleidoscope
7. Bastards
8. Hope Begets Hope
9. Screaming at the Sun
10. Behind a Mask
11. Heavy Lies the Crown
12. Psychotic
13. Grind You Down
14. Razorblade Smile
15. Eulogy
Lineup:
Robb Flynn - Vocals, Guitars
Phil Demmel - Guitars
Jared MacEachern - Bass
Dave McClain - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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