|Machine Head 2011|
The Blackening was named album of the decade. Machine Head were on tour for nearly 3 years straight to support their most successful record to date, headlining Wacken Open Air and With Full Force. They toured with none other than Heaven & Hell and Metallica. Metallica took them on tour, because they stated that The Blackening inspired them while writing Death Magnetic.
Who can top that? "No one" I hear you saying? Well, I'd like to disagree here: Machine Head can.
To me, Unto the Locust feels like a huge journey through the emotions of the band.
You get anger and rage (I Am Hell, Pearls before the Swine, This Is the End), hope (Be Still and Know) disappointment (Locust), a huge testimony to music itself (Darkness Within) and last but not least: strength and self-confidence (Who We Are).
Unto the Locust roars, whispers, screams, weeps and contemplates, yet manages to stay interesting throughout the whole time. Every break, every solo, every drum-fill falls into place after a few listens - that's when Machine Head's most precious asset comes into play: their songwriting craftsmanship.
Technically, the band reaches new highs: Dave McClain's drumming is spot-on (you even get blast-beats!), Phil Demmel's solos are technical yet memorable. But the thing that stands out the most are Robb Flynn's vocals: his screams are as ferocious as we know them, but his singing has never been better.
The immense impact that the touring cycle for The Blackening has had on the band (Phil Demmel's sickness, the death of his father, Robb Flynn and Adam Duce fighting) seems to has been worked through with this record and the band is now at an ultimate-high.
But, most importantly, Unto the Locust is not The Blackening Part II. - it stands completely on its own, which probably is the biggest accomplishment that any band can achieve.
Making of Unto the Locust