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Through the Ashes of Empires

4.6 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 30, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Review

'Elegy' is loaded with the Machine Head traits loved by fans...squeaking detuned guitars, tortured harmonics, Flynn's distinctive vocals -- Terrorizer (UK)

'Imperium', says it all. Six minutes of bludgeoning riffs, including a burst of breakneck Swedish death metal halfway through. -- Kerrang! (AU)

Best album from Machine Head since 'Burn My Eyes'? Definitely! The best album of their career? This is inspirational metal. --METAL HAMMER (UK)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 30, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • ASIN: B0000D96NW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,781 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In 1994, Machine Head made 'Burn My Eyes,' a great (and very original)
heavy metal album. But from about that year until now, things went downhill
for the band. They still made albums, but almost no one was interested in
them. Starting with 'Burning Red,' an album that essentially put a dividing
line between fans, the group became nu-metal (or if not nu-metal, than
something very close to it) and also came close to copping other bands,
like Tool. M.H. risked being one of those bands that put out a strong debut
album, then didn't release anything else worthwhile for the rest of their
career.

2004, however, is a new year, and a new album ('Through the Ashes of the
Empires') that might be the best album of their career. If it's not, then
it is at least, hands down, the most inspired, brutal, and all around
strongest Machine Head album in ten years. Some accuse them of jumping off the sinking nu-metal ship and onto the popular New Wave of American Heavy Metal. That is probably true, but, since the new sound is so awesome, I
hardly care. Plus, maybe it wasn't a desperate attempt to stay relevant--maybe Machine Head just got a kick in the butt and decided to go
back to their roots.

'Through the Ashes of the Empires' is sort of like a cross between new
Fear Factory and old school Sepultura, but the new album doesn't sound like every other
metal C.D. that is popular right now. There are no typical NWoAHM riffs
here, and no acoustic interludes. To add diversity, many of these songs
start differently, and some of them are a completely different speed than
others. Plus, singer Robert Flynn sometimes lowers his voice and even
croons.
Read more ›
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Man, did Roadrunner USA mess up by letting these guys go. This album might be the best metal release of the year. For those claiming that Machine Head isn't real metal, get over it and take a listen - if this isn't metal, I don't know what is. Bone-crushing riffs, intense drums, and some pretty technical time changes (new for MH) make this album a must-have for any metalhead. Robb Flynn's voice has become, over the years, much more polished melodically, while losing NONE of the spine-tingling roar that he's been known for. The guitar tone is back up to overdrive, something they were known for on their debut album, Burn My Eyes. Phil Demmel, former co-axeman with Robb in the 80's thrash metal outfit Vio-Lence, has joined the band full-time and isn't afraid to unleash some flat out jaw-dropping riffs. Phil and Robb trade solos in songs such as "Vim" and "Descend the Shades of Night". Dave McClain on drums pounds out the rhythms with more ferocity than ever before, exhibiting some almost Fear Factory-esque double kicks on the album's infernal opener, "Imperium". Adam Duce is singing backup vocals again, adding his rasp to the bludgeoning ending of "In the Presence of My Enemies". A track-by-track review:
1. Imperium (10/10) - Quite possibly the best opener MH has ever done - this song bounces along at a frenetic pace with Gothenburg guitars during the bridge! A stunning opening track that will leave you short of breath and begging for more.
2. Bite the Bullet (9/10) - Robb is spitting venom into the microphone in this one. Starts off with mellow verses, but has a bone-smashing pre-chorus and chorus.
3. Left Unfinished (7/10) - Maybe the weakest song on the album, but still damn good! Moves along at a fast pace, but has a repetitive chorus that slows it down too much.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
This is classic Machine Head - heavy and dark thrash metal! This album could easily be the followup to 'The More Things Change' and it is very similar in sound, style, and attitude. I am very happy that Machine Head decided to return to their roots after their last two disappointing albums. My favorite tracks are 'Imperium', which is classic Machine Head, and 'Elegy', which is a dark and brooding tune.
The album deserves 4 stars but I gave it 5 because I am so glad that Machine Head returned to their original sound and song-writing style. Great album, pick it up right away!
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Format: Audio CD
I guess jumping on one bandwagon gives license to jump on another, or maybe Robb Flynn has finally pulled his head out of his butt. Seeing how the rap-rock thing has died out (thank god) and a heavy trend is now in tow, Machine Head more or less return to form with Through the Ashes of Empires. Opening track "Imperium" is the bludgening assault that is reminiscent of their classic debut "Burn My Eyes", with Robb's voice sounding the best it has in the past few years and the best guitar work (from new guitarist Phil Demmel) since Logan Madder was on board. Other standout tracks include "Bite the Bullet", "In the Presence of My Enemies", and the closing "Descend the Shades of Night" are solid and about ten times better than almost anything from "Supercharger". Yes it's heavier than their past two albums, but I wouldn't exactly call "Through the Ashes of Empires" a return to form for Machine Head. Hopefully this is just a taste of things to come for the band, and Robb has finally decided not to follow any more bandwagons.
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