Machine Head – Catharsis (Released January 26, 2018 – Nuclear Blast Records)
Oh hey, anyone still out there?
Let us start 2018 off with a bang!!! Machine Head, Catharsis… oh god why, seriously this is how we are starting 2018? Oh gosh… well here goes.
Note: The following was written at the moment as we listened to the album while consuming a few beverages:
Actually before we get into the commentary let us get some overall thoughts out of the way:
With all the bad publicity behind Catharsis, Imperator and I wanted to jump on that train and give it a vaunted 1/10, 2/10 rating. Instead we were left feeling robbed. Sure Catharsis isn’t great but, it is a Machine Head record through and through. Robb Flynn whines about some perceived injustice in the least subtle and eloquent way possible and Phil Demmel lays down some sexy af riffs, rinse-repeat. That may be sugar coating it in reality, there are some truly terrible moments on Catharsis but, they are cut with some pretty good (and some not so good) new wave Machine Head, more Bloodstone & Diamonds than The Blackening. Catharsis isn’t as bad as everyone made it out to be but, neither is it vintage Machine Head, the heavy parts are missing their cinderblock crush and the lyrics somehow come across more pedantic than before.
Onto the reactions!!!!!!!
Volatile: “Fuck the world”… that’s how this starts… seriously. c’mon, y’all aren’t 12 (apparently Imperator likes Slipknot so he was okay with this…. at least there is no teehee and it was kinda catchy I guess. This is the expected Machine Head… but we all grew up and Robb Flynn didn’t so………..
Catharsis: Title track baby! Woah I like that opening riff… wait… that’s Beautiful Mourning… aaaaaannnnndddd now he is whining about something and then back to proper Machine Head vocals. This is Machine Head meets Linkin Park. With surprise, Imperator discovers he does not mind this track (it was the Beautiful Mourning rip at the beginning)… we must note, our expectations were massively low coming into this so that is high praise.
Beyond the Pale: Nu-metal but not bad, it has some riffs going for it, pleasant sounds in general… Why did this album get so much hate? Is the hate really justified… oh, maybe if you ignore the lyrics and just listen to the sounds… I don’t listen to lyrics… so far this is aight, I am not a fan of the nu-metal riffing but Imperator is getting a little excited
California Bleeding: Every time i hear the lyrics i cringe sooooooooooooo hard, that was three good songs! And now straight up radio rock, the album is too random… Hey, this kinda sounds a little like Red Fang but too heavy to be stoner rock, nope nope, scratch that, it is cheesy radio rock.
Triple Beam: Weird… not sure what is going on, quite atmospheric and Flynn is talking for some reason? Is this Flynn rapping? Why is everything sticky? Stick sweet I mean. Where did my Machine Head go? Where’s my Phil Demmel??? And a quick google… oh, he’s there… well then, this song sucks dick. but like… only big dick.
Kaleidoscope: Oh yeah, get hyped baby we’re clapping now! Hard stop. Just fuck me, why, who thought this was a good idea to record and release? Well at least it sounds like Machine Head… at least Robb Flynn “doesn’t give a fuck”… we can tell Robb, we can tell.
Bastards: What is this? Acoustic guitars and clean vocals? Is this the Backstreet Boys? Not quite the Backstreet Boys… this is so bad… what is this..? Like almost Hey There Deliah… I cannot do this…. this is a ballad gone terribly wrong… like are they even trying to write a song… make it stop please, this hurts us. Oh gosh, he is trying to be soulful can this get any worse? Oh god, why did ask, of course it can… I have found a slam poetry version. I may actually be crying.
Hope Begets Hope: Wow that sounds nice… He’s going to say the f-word in a few seconds… nope… he starts whining. This is almost worst, as long as Robb Flynn doesn’t say anything this is actually pretty good, we understand America is messed up and broken… but it just comes across not as contrived but expected and cliched, maybe the issue is simple enough to classify with cliches but we are beyond that and somewhat desensitized.
Screaming at the Sun: Hit and miss so far… this is not that bad but it is just expected Machine Head. Lacking balls like Bloodstone & Diamonds.
Behind a Mask: ‘member when I said hit and miss… this isn’t Machine Head, is that a banjo solo, that is kinda cool, I am told it is just a guitar. I think they are attempting Free Bird.
Heavy Lies the Crown: so the opening riff not so hot, that first riff, yeah that is pretty good, a bit of a melodic death, then gets somewhat heavier, cacophony of riffs… I think the whole album would be pretty good without vocals.
Psychotic: well that is a nice opening, came in hot but then just got supercooled. Big open spaces where Flynn gets to rap over the top… awesome Limp Bizkit needed a revival… and that was a gunshot we straight outta Compton now!!!
Grind You Down: and they djent now!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!! Why are there 15 songs like honestly… an album should top out at 45 minutes… just keep the next 30 minutes for the next record… also, “grind you down” why tho? We already went over that in Bastards. I think this album would make excellent background music… when you are not really paying attention it sounds alright. Woah, Slipknot, is Corey Taylor guesting… nope, no he is not
Razorblade Smile: oh painkiller? ….and nevermind. But still, sounds alright so far, this is the other part of Wait and Bleed. Thankfully Devo, yeah we had a third buddy, nope not the guy in the cover photo, took a phone call so we could turn this down
Eulogy: so there was a moment when this should have gotten heavy… but like we have moved on with our lives at this point… honestly this album was way too long, it could have been better, what was the point of this? Did every second count? Nope.
And we cannot leave without mentioning that album cover… actually what in the fuck is this.
-commentary by TheFaceofEddie, Imperator, and special guest appearance from Devo.