|Machine Head / Hellalive|
|Artist:||Machine Head||Added:||Mar 2003|
|Add Date:||2003-05-05||Pull Date:||2003-07-07||Charts:||Loud|
|Week Ending:||May 25||May 18||May 11|
|1.||May 20, 2004:||The Triumph Of Time Over Space |
Davidian, The Burning Red
|3.||May 14, 2003:||The Disclaimer - All Covered Up |
I'm Your God Now
|2.||May 21, 2003:||The Subterranean Giraffe |
I'm Your God Now
|4.||May 07, 2003:||The Disclaimer |
If you don’t know who Machine Head are, and why this album is at all relevant, here’s a brief history lesson. In the early ‘90s, the American music scene became awash with grunge, in all its dirty, disheveled glory. All metal kinda ceased to exist. This was especially true of thrash metal. Testament was haunted by bad luck/decisions, Slayer kept churning out repetitive crap, Overkill hit an all-time low, Anthrax lost its sense of humor, Death Angel called it quits (and the Organization just couldn’t cut it), Megadeth became an overproduced pop-metal band, and Metallica... well, you know. Enter Pantera and their southern groove, and thrash metal was in trouble. It was in this environment that Machine Head released ‘94’s “Burn My Eyes”, arguably the last good thrash-inspired record of that era. By the time their sophomore effort came out, ‘97’s “The More Things Change...”, KoRn had already changed the heavy music scene enough to make MH one of the true “against-the-grain”, “swimming-upstream” bands. The pressure proved to be too much for Robb Flynn and co. With ‘99’s “The Burning Red” the band had abandoned almost all thrash influences. Instead, we got down-tuned guitars, some rapping, cheesy breakdowns, irresponsible solos, and silly hate anthems (i.e. Nu-Metal). Most hardcore followers stuck with the band (even after 2001’s horrid “Supercharger”), but many were pissed off to have the last bastion of Bay Area thrash cop-out/sell-out. So, this brings us to “Hellalive” (the title, by the way, was chosen by a fan through a contest held through the band’s website. What does it mean? Hella alive? Hell alive? Hella live? A play on words? What the fuck is “hella” anyway? But I digress...). This is a fantastic live album. The sound is perfect; the production is excellent, with just the right amount of crowd noise. The delivery is stellar. The interaction between band (mainly just Robb) and audience is just what it should be: tight! I would definitely rank this in the top ten live thrash albums of all time. The song selection is great: four songs from “BME”, two from “TMTC”, and only the better songs from their last two albums, the songs that still sound like MH. I don’t know what else to say. If this is your introduction to MH, you’re bound to become a fan. Does this mean all their rapping and shit is forgiven? Fuck no. But this is a start. |
1) The track starts off with the last few seconds of the instrumental intro to their last studio album and crowd cheering. If you listen carefully, you can hear Robb say (off the mic) to his band members “Let’s fucking do this!” This is the perfect track to start off the album, and it works very well, regardless of its ridiculously nu-metal verses.
2) The song is introduced as “The Blood, the Sweat, the Beers”. And it’s fuckin’ awesome, much better than the studio version. Ends early, with Robb introducing the next song.
3) FCCs in the intro “London, let me fucking hear you”. I hate that they edited Robb’s rant about bin Laden and terrorism, but you can still tell that he aimed this song at “them” because he says, in the last chorus, “like a ten ton hammer, bin Laden”. More FCCs at the 2:54 and 3:36 mark.
4) Second-best song on the album, but most FCC-laden (they’re everywhere!). Plus, Robb keeps on shouting out “jump, jump, jump, jump...!” and I hate that shit. Still, if you have time, listen to this song in your spare time to see why this album owns. I can only imagine what the pits must’ve been like...
5) Great song, much better than the studio version (again), with an intro that works surprisingly well. FCCs in the intro, though, so play with caution and a swift hand on the volume slider.
6) This song just gets better with age, it seems. Awesome thrash inspired stuff, with Robb screaming “Oh, I love it, London, I fuckin’ love it!” at the 1 minute mark. More FCCs.
7) Another awesome song. Starts off slow on bass, then picks up and launches into a full-on thrash-fest, reminiscent of every bay area thrash band to have ever existed.
8) Very similar to the above track, another slow-starter that eventually kicks major ass, and fluctuates between slow and fast, light and heavy, good and better. Nice guitar solo, too.
9) “London, do you know this one? Well, if you do, get the fuck up!” I personally couldn’t stand this song when it first came out, but it’s more bearable here. Still, a little too much rapping for me, and the clean, melodic chorus reeks of sell-out. More FCCs throughout, with the song ending early and Robb interacting with the crowd some more.
10) This song sucks, plain and simple. No amount of live energy could save it. He raps about doing drugs! What the fuck, Robb? Plus, there’s a ton of FCCs here.
11) Good song, with a staccato-riffed intro that gives way to some weird noises that sound like a DJ scratching. FCCs (shit, fuck, and so on). Good song, but not the best choice.
12) Slow, melancholy song, very well-done. It ends about a minute early, with some guitar feedback which continues into...
13) “Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast!” Best song on the album, bar none. Excellent example of why people loved MH so much. Great thrash that sounds modern, yet highly aggressive. FCCs, though, at 1:13, 1:32, 2:17 (I mention these because they’re not part of the song, just stage banter). The ending to this song is great, slow drums with fast guitars, some screams, and feedback.
14) Title track off their latest. Pffffft, crap. Don’t bother.
I’m not happy that they didn’t include their medley of “The Number of the Beast”, “Sugar”, “Iron Man”, and “Territory”. That would’ve been cool. Still, this is great enough. A “must-add”.
|1.||Bulldozer||8.||None but My Own|
|2.||The Blood, the Sweat, the Te||9.||From this Day|
|3.||Ten Ton Hammer||10.||American High|
|5.||Crashing Around You||12.||The Burning Red|
|6.||Take My Scars||13.||Davidian|
|7.||I'm Your God Now||14.||Supercharger|