Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: Machine Head, "Catharsis"

There seems to be quite a lot of dislike in the metal world for Machine Head’s latest outing, but in truth, I think it’s one of the most interesting records that the band has ever done.

I get that frontman Robb Flynn is opinionated, outspoken and often gives off an air of self-importance that can make him a tough guy to like. But I’ve got quite a bit of practice in putting a musician’s personality aside and separating it from the music.

I get that some of the songs on Catharsis perhaps don’t sound like Machine Head is supposed to. Honestly, though, that’s why I like it. I’ve never been a huge fan of the band, and one of the reasons is that I find a few good songs on each album and the rest sound kind of the same. Catharsis, as the name would suggest, seems to be a very personal album for Flynn, and as a result it’s more varied and more interesting.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Review: Dark Hound, "Dawning"

When I think of Nashville these days, my first thought is usually nausea-inducing, skinny-jean wearing, faux-country boys rapping about pickup trucks and dirt roads. But even if I listed the positives of Nashville music – and there still are a few – I highly doubt that a blend of thrash, progressive and early-‘90s hard rock would appear anywhere on that list. But here I sit, listening to Dark Hound’s latest album Dawning, and enjoying the hell out of it.

Listening to this record, I hear shades of some favorites: early Saigon Kick, Lillian Axe’s more progressive work, Testament, perhaps a little Dream Theater here and there. But Dark Hound blends it all together into a sound that’s completely their own and doesn’t really fit into any of the current trends or sub-genres in the metal world.