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I remember when "The Blackening" was released many people including myself never would have thought that Machine Head could even come close to making better material. 4 years later we have "Unto the Locust" which proved that Machine Head were nowhere close to their peak. This album shits all over every other record they've released to say the least.
The guitar work is phenomenal especially the leads. Robb and Phil are well known for their duel solos but this time around there's is more emotion and feeling added to the mix. Each song features a guitar solo that incorporates beautiful melodies, amazing harmonies plus intense shredding with lots of sweep picking. The riffs are just as killer too. Lots of wicked grooves throughout the album but especially in "Locust" which has some of their best riffs yet. Though, the award for Machine Head's best riff goes to "I Am Hell" by far, as it is one of the best and fastest thrash riffs I have heard in a long time. All of what I just explained is the main formula for the guitar work on this album.
Robb's vocals have made a vast improvement because he went into lessons to learn how to actually sing and it really stands out. Because of him doing this some of the best vocal melodies I have ever heard are on this album. Truthfully, some of the melodies notably "Darkness Within" and "Be Still and Know" give me that weird butterfly feeling in my stomach that you get on a roller coaster, they are that good.
Though with almost every album there's a downfall. The downfall here that actually stopped me from giving this a 99% is the bass. I really don't understand why but once Machine Head went through their mallcore phase they've completely shut the bass out of their albums. He may not be in the band any more but he was an amazing bassist so why make it so no one even recognizes it?
Luckily, something makes up for it. The drums holy fuck.. Dave McClain is a beast on the kit! Such technical and talented drum work on this album it blows my mind. Something that really stands out is the blast beats in "This is the End" because I don't believe they have ever used blast beats before but it sounds ace. The track in general has the best drum work on the album, so many good fills it's worthy to drool over.
To sum it up "Unto the Locust" is a landmark in heavy metal music and will go down as one of the best. Just as I thought with "The Blackening" I don't think they will be able to top this but I guess we shall see!