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The Blackening

115 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 22, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

The Blackening marks Machine Head's strong return to the forefront of the metal world. A heavy, technical album that, while rooted in 90s metal, pushes the boundaries of hard music well into the future with songs like "Aesthetics of Hate" and "Halo." While still staying rooted, Machine Head introduces some of its most beautiful melodies and choruses.

1. Clenching the Fists of Dissent
2. Beautiful Mourning
3. Aesthetics of Hate
4. Now I Lay Thee Down
5. Slanderous
6. Halo
7. Wolves
8. A Farewell to Arms

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 22, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • ASIN: B000N3ST9I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,062 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Andy on March 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD
It's been a long uphill battle for Machine Head in the 14+ years they have spent in the music business. Sure, they got off on the right foot with the acclaimed Burn My Eyes, but after that, things seemed to get hazy for the group. In 1999, they teamed with Korn/Limp Bizkit producer Ross Robinson for Burning Red, which, despite being a great album in it's own right, set the stage for the next few years of the bands career. By 2001, Machine Head had slowly slipped into nu-metal territory, and of the worst kind, and thus, we got Supercharger, which is undeniably the band's worst effort. Thankfully, they got things right and in 2004, Through the Ashes of Empires saw the light of day and saw Machine Head turning once again to the sound that made them in the first place, while embracing all the musical experiments on the previous four albums.

So what's the point in the history lesson? To understand why Machine Head's return to form has been so triumphant. "The Blackening" is hands down, without a doubt, the best thing Machine Head have done since 1994. One listen to the opening epic, "Clenching The Fists Of Dissent," and you're opinion of Machine Head will be forever altered. I'd hate for this review to be just mindless hype, but everything you've been hearing so far is true. "The Blackening" is a masterpiece.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Amos on March 30, 2007
Format: Audio CD
For me, Burn My Eyes was the Machine Head album that was the basis for comparison for the rest of their work. This is now changed, as The Blackening is not only Machine Head's best album, it is one of the best metal albums I have ever heard.

It's amazing that a band can go from making a sub par album like Supercharger to making a great album like Through the Ashes of Empires. I was glad of their return to form with that CD, but the Blackening is even more than a return to form. It is a reinvention. They've taken the great riffing and precice timing of Burn My Eyes and imbued it with a tone that is both brutally angry and chillingly haunting at the same time. Many of the tracks have slow, melodic passages with amazing bass lines, acoustic guitar parts and a chorus of background vocals and then lead into riffing so brutal you almost forget you are listning to the same song. Also, as with BME and TtAoE, they intermix modern style riffing with catchy style riffs that are definitely 80s influenced, making them a metal band that anyone can love. The guitar solos in these songs act as more than just talent showcases for the artists, they flow with the song and with some songs they are the best part.

1) Cleching The Fists of Dissent: Wow! Possibly my favorite song on the album and maybe my favorite from the band (though Imperium is hard to top). The intro to this song reminds me of 'Fight Fire with Fire' on Metallica's 'Ride the Litghtning'. It starts out with a mellow acoustic passage and then bursts into a brutal riff with angry vocals and lyrics to back it. This is an epic track, clocking in at 9:36 with not a second wasted. (I particularly like the part at about 6:30 'FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A. Stutheit on April 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Nowadays, it seems like just about every modern-metal band is trying desperately to escape being tagged "metalcore" (a genre that is supposedly on its way out). Most haven't yet succeeded in doing so, but to some bands, "metalcore" is nothing more than a quickly fading object in their rear-view mirror.

After releasing their debut, "Burn My Eyes" (which is groove/post-metal landmark), in 1994, Machine Head began experimenting with their sound by releasing a series of mediocre and uneven albums which were substantially softer, and even arguably nu-metal-ish. As a result, the band lost a large part of their fanbase. But then, in 2004, they stormed back onto the scene with a triumphant return to form, "Through The Ashes Of Empires." Unfortunately, heavy metal (and the metalcore genre, in particular) was at the peak of its popularity that year, so some fans thought of "Ashes" as just a trend jump. But now, three years after that, the Oakland-based quartet have released their sixth studio effort, "The Blackening," an album that leaves mere "metalcore" and "groove metal" in the dust. In fact, throw out all of the categories, because Machine Head are now in a class by themselves.

"The Blackening" sounds like a mix of old and new. Frontman Rob Flynn (who was once in a Nineties thrash band called Vio-lence) draws a bit from his own past by filling these songs with intense tempos, excellent riffs, and killer solos which evoke the Bay Area's glory days. Plus, "The Blackening" recaptures much of the same raw energy, emotion, visceral impact, and iron-fisted aggression as 2004's "Through The Ashes Of Empires." But in no way is this just a simple throwback album, because it expands a great deal on Machine Head's sound, musicianship, and songwriting skills.
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Topic From this Discussion
UK Version comes with DVD
yeah, wtf. The UK version has a cover of Battery on it too, evidently. I had to download the song because they don't have it on the US version.
Mar 27, 2007 by C. Wilson |  See all 5 posts
The UK version has "Battery" on it???
Knowing Roadrunner Records, they'll probably re-release The Blackening a few months later with a bunch of b-sides, with Battery probably being one of them, a bunch of demos, liner notes and a dvd or second disc worth of music. Sadly I would probably buy the album a second time if they did do... Read More
Mar 2, 2007 by Matt Richardson |  See all 6 posts
"The Blackening" is awesome!
I agree, this is an awesome album!! I was just looking for some songs on the net by Machine Head & i ran across this advance album. Like 'Through The Ashes Of Empires' this album mixes the best with the old & new. I know every band goes through a faze every now and then & they end up puttin out... Read More
Feb 11, 2007 by Midnight Distortions |  See all 4 posts
what are the two extra tracks?
just received my copy today may 19, there is only one bonus track on the cd a cover of metallica's "battery" and the bonus making of and extra concert footage dvd-appears to be regionless(which plays ok in my pc drive and x-box drive) NO 2ND BONUS TRACK , but still worth the money for... Read More
May 19, 2007 by timbuktu |  See all 2 posts
For the people who HATE "The Blackening"
I would also like to call Anthony Charles Wieck an idiot.

Machine Head is known for their stage presence. I believe it is impossible for Machine Head to have a dvd displaying their concert skills that has sold as well as Eligies, and still manage to completely suck on stage.

Plus, I have seen... Read More
Apr 21, 2007 by Aaron Lamb |  See all 17 posts
The Blackening, a lesson in Heavy Metal... Be the first to reply
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