Machine Head with Suicide Silence and Darkest Hour at Times Square
Type: Music & Concerts
How do you create a masterpiece of modern metal? Is it a conscious effort on the part of the artists or is it something more organic " a confluence of events and moods, emotions and mechanics that all come together in the right place at the right time? That's the question that comes to mind upon the first listen to Machine Head's sixth studio album The Blackening. Guitars rip, drums pound, bass thunders and lyrics resonate as the Bay Area quartet soars past the bar set by its critically-lauded predecessor Through the Ashes of Empires. If Empires was the sounding of the trumpet, then The Blackening is the arrival of the hordes: dense, aggressive and inescapable.
One can fully appreciate the band's current level of success by looking back on their less-than-glamorous beginnings. From beer-fueled rehearsals in a small Oakland, CA. warehouse that they shared with 4 punk rock bands, to playing their first house and kegger parties, to local shows (some members not even old enough at the time to get into the 21+ clubs they were booked in) with the likes of Rancid, Deftones and Napalm Death. To spread the word, they took guerrilla marketing into their own hands, relentlessly flyering high schools and stickering unsuspecting cars at metal and punk shows. The band"s first demo - recorded for $800 in a friend"s bedroom, with their amps in the bathroom - was a very rough estimation of their burgeoning sound: a combination of the aggression of metal and punk, and the social anger of urban rap, intertwined with hypnotic Alice In Chains-esque vocal harmonies. It was this demo that eventually made it into the hands of Roadrunner Records, setting into motion the course of events that would lead to the 1994 release of their groundbreaking debut, Burn My Eyes.