Machine Head- Catharsis, A Generation Lost

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What’s up Metalheads!!!  Now that the millennium is of legal age to smoke,  we’re going to break it in with Machine Head’s upcoming album Catharsis via Nuclear Blast Records.   It’s got everything!  It’s got a song about calling out this current bullshit generation.  A song about redemption beyond the unknown. A song about doing drugs then, consequently, having a knife fight!  There’s a song about getting road head and even one about passing on proper ethics, principles and, most importantly, strength to your kids!   Talk about fun for the whole family!  Wooo!!! Nearly 27 years since their inception Machine Head brings forth their 9th studio album baring their teeth and anointed fists.

It ought to be a rule that demolition crews everywhere and anywhere in the world play Machine Head while they cause the necessary destruction to rebuild and what not.  Hell, they may not even need any heavy machinery.  All they need is some heavy Machine Head!!   I never truly understood how people claim grunge rock music ousted metal from the music scene.  It didn’t do shit.  It barely made a scratch!   Sure, grunge’s popularity soared and blah fucking blah but it never touched metal, not one sweaty, bloody, frizzy, dehydrated hair on the massive beast.  The metal torch burned on with a relentless flame.  In Machine Head’s formative years one band from Arlington, Texas held said torch.  You know who I’m talking about.  If you don’t, minimize your browser for a second and pull up PANTERA on your itunes or spotify, play it loud then bash your head on the screen and finish reading this article on your phone or vice versa.  Punk!   Machine Head came rumbling into the scene with their debut album Burn My Eyes (1994) establishing and retaining their place in metal. Founder Rob Flynn helped launch a metal assault that would pave the way for some of the “Nu” metal bands that flooded through the gates in the late 90’s and early 00’s.  Even though there have been a few line up changes since the band’s inception Flynn has a stellar supporting cast in Phil Demmel (Lead Guitar), Dave McClain (Drums), and Jared MacEachern (Bass).   

Although MH’s brand is thrash/nu/groove metal I’ve always enjoyed how they incorporate pockets of progressive metal in their songs.  Enter their latest single and title track of their new album Catharsis.  Hearing the first couple of minutes would lead you to believe MH may be exploring new ground.  But then the tide rises and crashes into an all too familiar and refreshing shore.  Machine Head is back.  The opening track, Volatile, is a seismic assault on this generation as Flynn yells out “fuck the world!” and proceeds to elaborate on all the bitching, crying, and overly sensitive people of today.  “There’s no more room left for you / These times are volatile!”  Tired out from all the “perils” of society?  This song will be your anthem.   The song Kaleidoscope harnesses the same energy.  Rob belts out the lyrics  “We rise / We fall / And then we come together and despise this all” sending a message of unity in hopes that we all band together and get through the tough times.  Remember the song about a knife fight?  Triple Beam is that song.  Not sure if you ever saw that video Rob posted up in response to Phil Anselmo’s “white power” incident.  Well, in that video he talks about how he got jumped by some black dudes and this song sheds a bit more light on what took place.  Rob sings eloquently about how drugs affected his life earlier on in his career making Triple Beam one of the wilder songs in the album, story telling wise. 

I feel Flynn and the guys got a little more intimate and personal in Catharsis, which is not a bad thing by any means.  Times are tumultuous and I’m sure a lot of the music here stemmed from what’s happening in this country right now. There is a bit of a divide.  Catharsis may be giving us the voice we need to fend off the political, asinine, reprehensible bullshit but we must remind ourselves that ours is the most important.  That’s right.  Your voice.  If this album doesn’t give you all the reassurance you need then you’ll need to play it louder.   Sometimes you just need to do things a little louder.  Catharsis is out January 26th.  Until then. 

See you in the mosh!!!!


Reviewed by: Clash The Impaler


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