There are countless of bands who have changed their style over the years, and a few who at some point, returned to their roots. We’ve heard these alterations with bands such as Opeth, Enslaved, Anathema, Kreator, Metallica, Linkin Park, Suicide Silence, and… well, you get the point. Fans and critics do have the opportunity to understand and embrace these creative experiments, or hate it up to the point that you decide to set the record on fire.
Regardless of the outcome, the changing cycle will continuously happen and this time around, it looks like Machine Head is the next target. Frontman/guitarist Robb Flynn warned everyone about their forthcoming album Catharsis, which arrives on January 26th via Nuclear Blast. He previously expressed that fans should keep their expectations low on the heaviness. Flynn has also revealed that Catharsis sounds more like their nu metal effort with 1999’s The Burning Red. Decibel magazine received the message. Upon reviewing the album, Jeff Treppel gave it a somewhat below zero rating by using the following emoji: (¯\_(ツ)_/¯). It’s a somewhat backhanded compliment, however, since even his review says that the band are “great even when they’re making bad music.”
The group noticed this review and were not happy. In fact, they are pissed off. Read their response (and review) below:
“DECIBEL MAGAZINE SLAMS “CATHARSIS”!
The former-Decibel cover stars new album gets called “juvenile”, “stupid”, “endlessly pummeling” and a “Super Collider-level-miss”.
Oh, and hey… FUCK YOU Jeff Treppel!!
Read the entire review below:
MACHINE HEAD – CATHARSIS
EVERYTHING OLD IS NÜ AGAIN
Let’s just tear off this Band-Aid:
The new Machine Head is a 74-minute rap metal album with a song that sounds like the Dropkick Murphys in the middle. Maybe Robb Flynn really misses the late 90’s (although, let’s be honest who doesn’t these days)? Maybe, after a decade of ridiculously great progressive groove metal records, Flynn decided to blow off some steam by going back to “The Bleeding Red’s” knuckle-dragging simplicity?
The frustrating thing about Catharsis is that Machine Head are great even when they’re making bad music. The Soulfly tribal breakdowns on “Volatile,” the drop tuning on “Beyond The Pale,” the whiteboy hip-hop of “Triple Beam” (nothing more “street” than gymnastics metaphors), the anti-gentrification screed “California Bleeding” –they’re effective in the same primal way that the best Rage Against The Machine and Korn hits were back in the day. None of it feels half-assed; these are clearly well-crafted songs.
It’s all just so stupid.
As intermittently satisfying as the nu-metal approach may be, Flynn and his bandmates have proven themselves more than capable of expressing their rage articulately. This feels juvenile from dudes pushing 50. There are certainly some interesting parts mixed in; unfortunately, with 15 songs, any nuances get lost in the endless pummeling.
Frankly, I’m baffled. This is a “Super-Collider”-level miss from a band that seemed to have ditched this phase long ago.
“Catharsis” drops Jan. 26th
What do you think?”
Decibel nor Treppel responded to the band, however, The Prp brought up a recent op-ed that was published on the site earlier this week (2) by Krieg’s Neill Jameson hinting at Machine Head’s outburst:
“Recently a popular metal band publicly made a filled-baby’s-diaper kind of complaint that Decibel had given them a bad review. If you’ve spent your whole career wondering what the quickest way to make people think you’re an asshole, then, eureka—welcome to the internet! I figured this shit out in the ’90s, but I understand if you might have missed it since those really cool cornrows probably took up a lot of your free time.
This isn’t just to dogpile on a man obviously having a difficult time with old age, though. This time-wasting “think piece” is here to consider the concept of reviews and the complicated relationship between reviewers, reviewees (not a word, I guess) and, for lack of a better word, etiquette.”
In our opinion, once you make music and release it out there, you don’t really have the right to throw a tantrum about a negative review. You can read Jameson’s full op-ed here.