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Machine Head - Days Turn Blue To Gray (CD)

Machine Head
Days Turn Blue To Gray
by Amy La Salla at 06 December 2004, 8:07 PM

I've been aware of Machine Head for some time now - one of the few better known American Metal bands that I like.  Their career was launced on the strength of such nihilistic and crushing offerings as I'm Your God Now, Block, Ten Ton Hammer and Blood of the Zodiac. Tracks like these, with guitars that assault your ears and vocals that roar like a freight train, made the band an instant favorite. So, when it came time to review their latest single, Days Turn Blue to Gray, I was grinning ear to ear.
Machine Head released their first album, Burn My Eyes in 1994. The album met with fair critical success, along with launching the band at the forefront of the 1990's Metal scene. Original drummer Chris Kontos clashed with frontman Rob Flynn and left the band before the recording of The More Things Change in 1997. Luckily, the band was able to acquire Dave McClain, who was able to fill the shoes of Kontos quite admirably. Then came Machine Head's biggest change in sound to date: adapting many qualities of Nu-Metal bands and simultaneously adding more melody (no complaint) and rapping (many complaints). After The Burning Red (1999) and Supercharger (2001) were released with little fanfare, Machine Head regrouped, faced with a crossroad in their career. These were the circumstances in which this single, Days Turn Blue To Gray, was conceived.
Brutal and melodic, the guitar-work chugs catchily into your brain and hits the brooding button. The lead-work is as good as the rhythm and is much more 'old school'. The music is very dynamic, it can go from choke slamming you with a heavy riff and drum-work to melancholy lead-work within the same song. Rob Flynn has a very angry voice, it isn't quite as extreme as death Metal but has to be about two inches from it. Burning Red and Supercharger have served their purpose because the increase in melody has made Rob's voice much stronger. Days Turn Blue To Gray is a vicious song, a giant monster let loose on some hapless city. The guitar-work is bouncy and aggressive and Rob's voice growls, screams and melodically laments how most families fail to raise their children with love and understanding. The brutal 2nd track, Seasons Wither, has particularly cool drum-work and is catchy and intricate. It is a groove driven song, very headbangable. It is about revenge. The production of both tracks is crystal clear and each instrument is in its proper place in the mix.
Machine Head are an excellent band but I could have done with another, softer song, to break things up a bit. Machine Head are so heavy that listening to their music for too long can make you a bit numb to its own heaviness. Machine Head are back with a vengeance, enjoy.

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Days Turn Blue To Gray
Seasons Wither
Robert Flynn - Lead Vocals & Guitars
Adam Duce - Bass & Background Vocals
Dave McClain - Drums
Phil Demmel - Lead Guitars
Record Label: Roadrunner Records


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