Machine Head – Through The Ashes Of Empires

Posted: July 20, 2011 by kingcrimsonprog in Metal, Metal - Studio, Music Reviews

Machine Head - Through The Ashes Of Empires

Machine Head - Through The Ashes Of Empires

Machine Head’s fifth studio album Through The Ashes Of Empires was released in 2003 to a mixture of praise from some fans and suspicion from others.

The album was a lot heavier and harder than the two albums which had preceded it, but all the same was not a wholesale return to the style found on the band’s first two albums. Some fans of heavier metal may have still been unsure about all the softer moments and mid tempo sections and decided not to give the album a fair chance.

Through The Ashes Of Empires maintained the clean vocals and melodic tendencies which were present on the more recent albums at the time, mixed them with some of the heaviness and groove from the early days of their career and came up with something modern, interesting and enjoyable.

The album has three songs which exceed seven minutes in length and only two which run under the four minute margin. Rapping is altogether absent from the vocal style and there is no industrial or electronic influence to the music or production whatsoever.

The band would later develop and perfect this style on their next album, The Blackening, which mixed in huge deals of dual guitar work and thrash influenced riffs to create one of their most popular and respected works to date.

Early fans who were won back by The Blackening should take time to give Through The Ashes Of Empires a fair listen, and may find a great album they have missed out on.

Standout tracks include the opener ‘Imperium,’ in addition to heavier numbers like ‘Vim,’ and ‘Wipe The Tears.’ Furthermore, additional praise is deserved for the intense and brooding album closer ‘Descend The Shades Of Night,’ which starts in a soft melodic fashion and rises to a dynamic climax.

Overall, Through The Ashes Of Empires is one of Machine Head’s better albums and fans who overlooked it at the time should reinvestigate it. For newcomers to the band, it would provide an excellent starting point as it bridges the gap between all of the band’s directions.

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