Machine Head

The Burning Red

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    8
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Machine Head's third album finds them sounding a bit looser and less constricted musically than they have in the past, but their aggro-metal with funk overtones is still plenty dense and emotionally claustrophobic. Aided by modern metal producer extraordinaire Ross Robinson (who has also helped Korn and Limp Bizkit get in touch with their inner Lemmy), Machine Head continues to explore themes of alienation, loss, and abuse, but singer/guitarist Robert Flynn is singing a bit more this time out; on "Silver" he almost croons. Unfortunately, while his up-tempo bellow is pleasantly generic, his singing voice and delivery both sound like they were lifted directly from middle-period Eddie Vedder. Flynn and the rest of the band are actually at their best in funky, hip-hop mode, as on "Enter the Phoenix" and the early section of "From This Day." Amazingly, they also deliver a respectful cover of the Police's "Message in a Bottle," one which, disappointingly, adds little more than crunchy guitars to the mix. Overall, though, this is a pretty satisfying aggro-rock affair.

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