Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

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CD review MACHINE HEAD "Catharsis"

Veröffentlicht am 24. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Machine Head, Thrash Metal, Modern Metal, News, CD Review, Catharsis, Nuclear Blast, Nu Metal

CD review MACHINE HEAD "Catharsis"

(8/10) The 90's were a tough decade for metal bands. However, some metal outfits gained momentum even in a time when nu metal and grunge stood in the spotlight. Vio-lence from San Francisco was one of these band with the sophomore release "Oppressing the Masses" belonging to my personal faves when it comes to thrash metal. Guitarist Robb Flynn played a crucial role in this five-piece band from California. Unfortunately Vio-lence never made it to the top, followed by a split some years later.

But the ending of one thing also means the beginning of something new. Robb Flynn started Machine Head and found with Logan Mader, Adam Duce and Chris Kontos three excellent musicians, all together recording the debut "Burn My Eyes". The album is a milestone in thrash metal with classics like "Davidian" and "Old" being brutal and timeless metal tracks. The sophomore longplayer "The More Things Change..." featured with songs like "Ten Ton Hammer" more cornerstones, followed by "The Burning Red" and "Supercharger", which couldn't live up to the quality of first two terrific albums.

Machine Head belongs to the group of bands that never stands still. For the good or the bad there's a constant evolvement embedded which led to an impressive return with "The Blackening" and "Unto the Locust". Since Robb Flynn and bandmates never stood still it's also not very surprising that the new album, "Catharsis" comes with some new twists.

Machine Head fans us quite a curve-ball when it comes to their ninth studio record. Robb Flynn and bandmates sound more modern on the new album as well as "Catharsis" became more melodic than what was to expect. The album sounds still hard and heavy, including the mighty Machine Head riffing, but the quartet also moved away from brutal thrash by adding more modern metal references to the total of 15 songs.

"Volatile" is the starting point of this metal adventure and it's a brutal one in the verse. The chorus adds more melody with the aggressiveness still being the anchor point for every note of this opener.

The title song is next. It starts and ends atmospheric with a catchy chorus that I can't remember having heard from Machine Head. It's these songs that are challenging for Machine Head fans from the early days, but it also shows the musical freedom Flynn and Co. have chosen as an approach for this longplayer.

One of the best tunes on the album is "Triple Beam". Mighty and ferocious riffing is the base and it's a brutal groove that comes back in the chorus. Also this tune is different than what we heard of the band over the last years but it has the potential of becoming a live highlight. New and different doesn't mean bad, that's what the song proves.

"Catharsis" has more shades of sounds. The half-acoustic "Bastards" is one of them, a track that is more rock than metal. The other calmer moment on the album is entitled "Behind a Mask", a ballad that reminded me of "Room with a View" from Death Angel. Unusual, surprising and 'why not'.

After these side -tracks brutality returns with "Heavy Lies the Crown" and the freaky "Grind You Down".

Machine Head combines their thrash metal roots with some modern metal sounds, known from bands like Slipknot and Korn. I must say that the new studio album still sounds heavy and powerful. It's also still Machine Head, but it's different too and might not live-up to expectation while having earlier releases in mind. "Catharsis" is a disc that showcases a band that is on an journey of evolvement - final destination to a certain extend uncertain.





  1. Volatile
  2. Catharsis
  3. Beyond the Pale
  4. California Bleeding
  5. Triple Beam
  6. Kaleidoscope
  7. Bastards
  8. Hope Begets Hope
  9. Screaming at the Sun
  10. Behind a Mask
  11. Heavy Lies the Crown
  12. Psychotic
  13. Grind You Down
  14. Razorblade Smile
  15. Eulogy


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Modern Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: January 26th, 2018


CD review DAGOBA "Tales from the black dawn"

Veröffentlicht am 8. Juli 2015 von Markus W. in Dagoba, Machine Head, Soulfly, Groove Metal, Modern Metal, Thrash Metal, CD Review, News, Death Metal

(8/10) French groove institution Dagoba went into the studio to record their newest longplayer "Tales of the black dawn". I can tell you that it's quite heavy stuff that is told in the black dawn.

The new longplayer is already no.6 in the bands history. Two years after "Post mortem nihil est" the four-piece put ten new songs on the new disc that ignites a groove metal firework.

Things start very relaxed. The intro "Epilogue" is a classical piece that feels like a dark ouverture to evil. "The sunset curse" follows and confirms that your thoughts have been right. Brutal riffs and deep growls from Shawter are a statement about what to expect in the coming 41 minutes. 

That Daogba can also add a mighty groove to their songs is what the guys from Marseille prove with tunes like "Born twice" and the six minutes long closer "Morning light". Excellent stuff.

Next to the strong rhythm based music and the energetic vibe it's the more melodic vocallines that are embedded here and there. Those give some of the numbers a well placed break which makes the entire track even more exciting. The mentioned "The sunset curse" is one of those tracks.

"Tales of the black dawn" is a raw and brutal piece of music that should be checked-out by fans from Machine Head and Soulfly. Enjoy the "Tales from the black dawn".





  1. Epilogue
  2. The sunset curse
  3. Half damn life
  4. Eclipsed
  5. Born twice
  6. The loss
  7. Sorcery
  8. O, inverted world
  9. The dawn
  10. Morning light


Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Modern Metal

Release date EU: July 10th, 2015

CD review DAGOBA "Tales from the black dawn"

CD review FATEFUL FINALITY "Battery"

Veröffentlicht am 22. März 2015 von Markus W. in Fateful Finality, Metallica, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Power Metal, Speed Metal, News, CD Review, Exodus, Machine Head

(7/10) Weil der Stadt is actually a quite nice small city in the South West of Germany. But it's also the homebase of Fateful Finality - a band that shudders the city with their metal storm.

The four-piece band started in 2007 and they went through a lot of concert before they had their first highlight. In 2012 they won the Metal Battle competition of Wacken and in the meantime they band has signed with SPV/Steamhammer. This fruitful collaboration led to the second album of the band called "Battery".

If you think about thrash and 'battery', what comes up in your mind? True, Metallica . The sound of Fateful Finality has some cross-references to the four-piece from the Bay Area ("Possession" and "Unchained"). But also bands like Machine Head and Exodus aren't totally unkown at Fateful Finality.

The eleven songs on the new album sound fresh and modern. Each of the tracks has the right level of harshness that is combined with a good melody that makes the songs pretty straight-forward. The guitars are firing off pretty hard riffs, the rhythm section pushes and the vocals are spot one. Roaring heavy metal that can lead to neck problems due to intense headbanging.

"Battery" became a solid modern thrash metal album that comes with a lot of power. It has limited moments of surprise but it is an entertaining listening experience that deserves seven points.





  1. Possession
  2. Get things straight
  3. Dirt in the closet
  4. Never there
  5. Facades
  6. Misfits
  7. Rite
  8. Unchained
  9. Under pressure
  10. Suck me dry
  11. Remain in mind


Label: SPV/Steamhammer

Genre: Thrash Metal

CD review FATEFUL FINALITY "Battery"

CD review ILL TRUSTED "Fractures of a scattered mind" EP

Veröffentlicht am 12. März 2015 von Markus W. in Ill Trusted, Machine Head, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Groove Metal, News, CD Review

(7/10) Ill Trusted are a band from Tilburg, Holland that was founded in 2011. The band has released their debut in 2013. "Conflict" was the name of the album that is now followed by a new EP called "Fractures of a scattered mind".

The music of Ill Trusted is based on thrash metal with deep vocals that are close to growls. Think about Lamb Of God. The five-piece band grooves very well and is a full headbanger experience. 

Four songs have been recorded for this EP and the intro to the opener makes a clear statement. A sample of talking people in a crowd are drowned by an angry grumble. The song itself is a modern thrash metal track that is kept in a moderate pace. It is for my taste with seven minutes a bit too long and the vocals are a bit too much of the same throughout the tune, but however: still a good start into the EP.

The second track "Fractured reality" is on the one hand faster than the opener, but is in the chorus also more melodic, before "Breaking point" starts with an acoustic intro. The song builds up to a heavy riff monster with a lot of dynamic. For me the best song on the EP.

With "Medicated" we have reached already the end of this EP, that surprised me. I haven't heard from the band before but I must say that what came ut of the speakers also convinced me. 

Fans from bands like Machine Head, Lamb Of God and Kreator should check this EP. You might miss something you could like.





  1. The ignorance surrounding me
  2. Fractured reality
  3. Breaking point
  4. Medicated


Label: self-produced

Genre: Thrash Metal

CD review ILL TRUSTED "Fractures of a scattered mind" EP

My metal year 2014 - Albums and more...

Veröffentlicht am 31. Dezember 2014 von Markus W. in Machine Head, Hotrod Mayhem, Ghost Brigade, Avatarium, Heavy Metal, News, Thrash Metal, Classic Rock

The year 2014 comes closer to an end. Time to look back and reflect on the best records in this crazy year. It was not easy to chosen them since there have been quite some highlights. However I have chosen the ones that impressed me most. And here they are:

  1. Machine Head: Bloodstones & diamonds
  2. Avatarium: All I want (EP)
  3. Hotrod Mayhem: We are at war
  4. Ghost Brigade: IV - One with the storm
  5. While Heaven Wept: Suspended at Aphelion
  6. The Skull: For those which are asleep
  7. Riot V: Unleash the fire
  8. Within Temptation: Hydra
  9. Gamma Ray: Empire of the undead
  10. Triptykon: Melana chasmata
  11. Arch Enemy: War eternal
  12. In Flames: Sirens charm
  13. Septicflesh: Titan
  14. Zodiac: Sonic child
  15. Obituary: Inked in blood


Furthermore there have been quite some concerts that I have joined. The highlights have been the following ones:

  1. Kreator / Arch Enemy / Sodom / Vader - 013, Tilburg
  2. Audrey Horne - Baroeg, Rotterdam
  3. Down - Melkweg, Amsterdam
  4. Gotthard - De Boerderij, Zoetermeer
  5. Amorphis / Avatarium - 013, Tilburg


I hope all of you enjoyed the metallic 2014 too and let's look forward to a rocking 2015. Happy new year.








My metal year 2014 - Albums and more...

CD review MACHINE HEAD "Bloodstones and diamonds"

Veröffentlicht am 10. November 2014 von Markus W. in Machine Head, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, CD Review, News, Modern Metal

(9/10) Machine Head has created a sound over time that stands out from most of the other thrash bands. If you hear a song from the Oakland, California based band you will recognise it immediatley. It is this quite unique thrash metal that is modernized by some modern metal elements without losing the intenstity and the roots.

Machine Head stands for a modern version of thrash metal with brutal riffs and a punch that steamroll everything. But beside the really heavy trademarks of the band there are the breaks when Machine Head's music shows a fragile and silent side as well. The opener of the newest album "Bloodstones and diamonds" shows this very well. It is an very aggressive song with a brutal riff. But it takes more to make a seven minutes long opener really exciting. Machine Head achieves this by adding a silent part halfway. And it's Machine Head who can include strings in their thrash sound without become farcical. The way they do it fits really good into the song structure and doesn't feel forced. 

"Killers and kings" instead is much more straightforward. It is a four minutes thrasher with great guitar solos and the typical Rob Flynn vocals.

A highlight on "Bloodstones and diamonds" is the epical long "Sail into the black". Eventhough the song differs quite a lot from the rest of the material on the album, it is still recognisable as a Machine Head track. It starts depressive and slow. Some piano parts and baleful sounds together with the vocals create an expression of the calmness before the storm. The track keeps this pattern till the end, eventhough it becomes heavier along the way. It's a slow and mean journey into the black. The title couldn't have been chosen better.

Another songs I really like is "Game over". The song driven by a hammering rhythm and reminds in the verse to Slipknot. This is mainly since the vocal lines have the same musical insanity as the ones from Corey Taylor. Compared to that the chorus is very melodic by having still this enormous punch. And the grooving part in the end can be seen as the cherry on this metal cake.

Another surprise is called "Damage inside". The song sounds like a three minutes intermezzo in the second hal of "Bloodstones and Diamons". Rob Flynn is singing (yes 'singing' not 'shouting') and the first half of the tune is even a capella. The guitar accompanies Flynn towards the end, but still in a very shereful way. No riff, just a silent and melancholic song. A track with a sm=imilar pattern is "Imaginal cells" which includes only spoeken words as vocals. An interesting experiment that works well.

The other songs on the album can easily keep the same high quality. Each of them a Machine Head strike per excellence.

It's those mentioned surprises that makes a Machine Head album so exciting. They are not following one pattern of success and copy this from record to record. They have adjusted a lot from their debut "Burn my eyes" till now. But they always kept their trademarks and developed the nuances. 

Very good metal stuff from an experienced and hungry band.





  1. Now we die
  2. Killers & kings
  3. Ghosts will haunt my bones
  4. Night of long knives
  5. Sail into the black
  6. Eyes of the dead
  7. Beneath the slit
  8. In comes the flood
  9. Damage inside
  10. Game over
  11. Imaginal cells
  12. Take me through the fire


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Thrash Metal


CD review MACHINE HEAD "Bloodstones and diamonds"

DEVIL YOU KNOW has to cancel the European tour with MACHINE HEAD

Veröffentlicht am 30. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Devil You Know, Machine Head, Thrash Metal, News, Tour, Heavy Metal

DEVIL YOU KNOW, the creative union of Howard Jones (ex-KILLSWITCH ENGAGE), Francesco Artusato (ALL SHALL PERISH) and John Sankey (DEVOLVED), have announced that they will no longer be part of the upcoming European MACHINE HEAD headlining tour starting on November 7.

The band has issued the following official statement:

"It is with much regret that we are forced to announce the cancellation of our upcoming U.K. and European dates supporting MACHINE HEAD due to business issues far beyond our control.

We want to personally extend our apologies to the MACHINE HEAD guys and their entire camp and thank them for offering us such a great opportunity.

To our fans, the last thing we want to do is let you down. We are devastated that we can't perform for you all and be part of an amazing tour with one of our favorite bands. As musicians, the five of us have a job we love to do and we are ready to get onstage and do it, but unfortunately the cancellation of this tour is completely unavoidable despite every attempt by us to make it happen.

The business side of this industry is very ugly at times and this is one of those unforeseen instances where the band has to suffer. To put it mildly, we are extremely agitated by this situation and right now our hands are tied, but we are going to deal with it and forge on! We WILL tour Europe and the U.K. as soon as we possibly can and make it up to you all.

Sincerely, Howard, Francesco, John, Ryan, Roy.”


Source: Nuclear Blast

DEVIL YOU KNOW has to cancel the European tour with MACHINE HEAD

New song from MACHINE HEAD

Veröffentlicht am 28. September 2014 von Markus W. in Machine Head, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, News, Video

Eventhough the tour has been postponed and the new album has taken a bit longer than expected - now it's time for a new song from Machine Head. The thrasher released the song "Now we die" from their coming album album "Bloodstone and diamonds". It's a tune that reflects all Machine Head trademarks; from heavy riffs via great solos till a good sense of melody (even with a string part). Check it out.


MACHINE HEAD announces European tour

Veröffentlicht am 23. August 2014 von Markus W. in Machine Head, Tour, News, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal

Thrash metal icons Machine Head announced their European tour dates for fall this year. They will be supported by Devil You Know and Darkest Hour. Here are the dates:


07.11. F Strasbourg - Laiterie
10.11. F Paris - Batacla
12.11. F Toulouse - Bikini
14.11. ES Barcelona - Razzmatazz 1
15.11. ES Madrid - Riviera
16.11. ES Pamplona - Zentral
17.11. F Marseille - Espace Julien
19.11. I Milan - Alcatraz
20.11. CH Lausanne - Les Docks
21.11. CH Zurich - Komplex
22.11. GER Munich - Kesselhaus
23.11. AT Vienna - Gasometer
25.11. GER Cologne - Palladium
26.11. GER Oberhausen - Turbinenhalle
27.11. GER Wiesbaden - Schlachthof
29.11. DK Copenhagen - Vega
30.11. NO Oslo - Sentrum Scene
01.12. SWE Stockholm - Arenan
03.12. GER Hamburg - Grosse Freiheit
04.12. NL Utrecht - Vredeburg
06.12. UK London - Roundhouse
07.12. UK London - Roundhouse
09.12. UK Portsmouth - Guildhall
10.12. UK Bristol - Academy
11.12. UK Plymouth - Pavillions
13.12. UK Glasgow - Academy 2
14.12. UK Leeds - Academy
16.12. UK Manchester - Apollo
17.12. UK Nottingham - Rock City
18.12. UK Birmingham - Academy
19.12. UK Dublin - Academy

Photo: Chris Casella

Photo: Chris Casella


News from MACHINE HEAD - about the new album

Veröffentlicht am 16. August 2014 von Markus W. in Machine Head, Thrash Metal, News

Bay Area thrashers Machine Head, at the moment on tour in Europe, revealed a few details about the upcoming album "Bloodstone & diamond".

It's their 8th album and comes via Nuclear Blast. Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn says the following:

“I cannot even begin to tell you how proud we are of this album. It's been a heck of a ride. It looked like it might not ever happen again at one point, but man, this album is a milestone for us. You're going to love it, Head Cases. Without getting too philosophical on ya, bloodstone and diamonds represent two of the hardest materials on earth, it is also a lyric from the opening track of the album ‘Now We Die’. In many cultures the bloodstone has been used as an amulet to protect against evil, and is the symbol of justice. Diamonds and are hardest natural material on earth (which is how we feel about our music), and it also represents the diamond logo I drew 22 years ago (in my wife's apartment on Dover St. in Oakland) that has become the symbol for the band.” 


Stay tuned...



1. Now We Die
2. Killers & Kings
3. Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones
4. Night Of Long Knives
5. Sail Into The Black
6. Eyes Of The Dead
7. Beneath The Silt
8. In Comes The Flood
9. Damage Inside
10. Game Over
11. Imaginal Cells (instrumental)
12. Take Me Through The Fire

News from MACHINE HEAD - about the new album

Production video blog from MACHINE HEAD

Veröffentlicht am 15. März 2014 von Markus W. in Machine Head, Thrash Metal, News, Video

Machine Head started a production blog for the production of their new album. Interesting to watch.