Unto the Locust

Studio Album by released in 2011
Unto the Locust's tracklist:
I Am Hell (Sonata in C#)
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Be Still and Know
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This Is the End
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The Darkness Within
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Pearls Before the Swine
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Who We Are
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Unto the Locust review

They display even more interest in progressive rock

Machine Head are back on track and intend to blow minds, explode eardrums and drag down into eternal nightmare. The new CD of the legendary outfit, Unto The Locust, arrived as long as four years after the release of its predecessor, which gave the band’s fans another reason to stay alarmed for the outfit’s capability. However, one listening to it is more than enough to understand that Machine Head have not weakened or withered in all these years a tiny bit. The fresh record stores only seven tracks, albeit remarkable for their length. All in all, the band might have made in four years an album bigger than fifty minutes, but what we know for sure is that quality is more relevant than quantity. The quality here is a not a problem. Machine Head, basically, continued to draw the progressive line they began on the previous release, the astonishing Blackening (2007), as they saturated their tracks with fancy breaks and unpredictable insertions. We are not going to hear on Unto The Locus a really modified sound, nor shall we make any serious stylistic discoveries, but this effort features the ensemble’s music getting even more manifold and multi-layered.

Not one minute of calm, not one second of boredom on Unto The Locust

The Unto The Locust set is opened with a mighty eight-minute epic called I Am Hell signaling the right path for the other six pieces. First, Robb Flynn sings cleanly in Latin, and then the other musicians join him as they supply the pure Machine Head metal; and finally, come the sounds of acoustic guitar with… cello. Actually, this stands for an awesome track that, fortunately, appears only the beginning of a big festival. It is followed by another killer, Be Still And Know, boasting breath-taking passages from both guitarists. Number three, Locust, goes deep into progressive metal, which might alert all old-school Machine Head supporters, but this is a kind of experiment here, and we are not going to have another one like that on the album. The apocalyptic This Is The End seems to be relaxing in the beginning, with its classic heavy metal intro, but then, suddenly, it crushes you down with practically death metal riffs. The band slightly looses the grip with The Darkness Within, where Flynn switches to clean voice and the instruments offer more melody instead of much heaviness. No doubt, the gorgeous chorus and catchy themes will make the track another big number for Machine Head live shows.

One of the best 2011 extreme music albums

Pearls Before The Swine gives back the album its initial aggressiveness, but savors it with plenty progressive elements. It seems that after the six craziest, in the most positive sense of the word, songs, Unto The Locust prepares for us an incredible effective conclusion, but, alas, the final Who We Are, arguably, will become the record’s most controversial piece. On the whole, it is not that bad, but the children’s choir seems something completely out of place, out of the album, and out of Machine Head style. In no way will this song tarnish the strongest impression produced by this CD, an effort that brings back Machine Head in their prime. The former heaviness of guitars and thundering rhythm-section are masterfully fused with acoustic intermissions and ideally framed in constantly changing patterns. Machine Head did it all just to prove that even the most raging and uncompromising metal may be very interesting and complex in terms of execution and structure. Unto The Locust, beyond any doubt, will become one of the most prominent extreme scene releases in 2011.

Alex Bartholomew (12.12.2011)
Rate review4.93
Total votes - 1181