American metal giants, Machine Head, have just released the first single from their new album. That single is called Beyond the Pale and it will feature on the album, Catharsis. Catharsis is due out on the 26th of January, 2018 via Nuclear Blast.
Catharsis will be the band’s 9th studio album since their famous debut, Burn My Eyes, way back in 1994. After that we got the brilliantly brutal The More Things Change. A strong as the band were in their early days, they have reached new heights in popularity over the last decade. It all started after the band returned from a troublesome time in 2003 with the album Through the Ashes of Empires. An album that, in my opinion, is their best album release. They followed that up with the masterpiece, The Blackening. Even after that we got the excellent Unto the Locust and then finally, 2014’s Bloodstone & Diamonds. You can read our thoughts on all of those by clicking the links.
Add to that the Evening with Machine Head worldwide tour with many sold out dates and you can easily see that Machine Head are a band at the absolute top of their game. So, 4 intense and inspiring albums in a row means that Catharsis has a lot to live up to. If any band can continue on this streak of excellence, it is Machine Head and it all starts here with Beyond the Pale.
You can preview the track here –
Beyond the Pale is 4 minutes and 26 seconds long and sees the band switch up their sound a bit from their last release. There is definitely a raw edge to it all whereas Bloodstone & Diamonds was a more polished affair. It starts with a high pitched guitar melody fading up before the drums of Dave McClain kick in to life. The main riff is really loaded with groove. There is a dark, sombre tone and a thick, chugging bass line provided by Jared MacEachran. The drums are strong and rhythmic. The verses see a stop start style as Robb Flynn bellows out vocals with a bit of menace.
The build up to the chorus sees Phil Demmel bring in that high toned guitar melody again before a very catchy chorus takes over. You can already imagine the crowd roaring out Beyond the Pale at their next live shows. The second verse kicks in with the same pattern as the first. The riff is a real head banger and will be hurting necks all around the world already. A softer section comes in after the second chorus with disjointed guitar squeals and echoed and faded vocals before a twin guitar solo kicks in. This is something Robb and Phil are becoming very famous for and this is another really strong solo.
A soft prechorus comes in with a really neat and intricate melody being played on the guitars before we dive back in to the neck destroying riff and chorus. As the song nears the end, the drums ramp up the pace and Robb’s vocals turn more and more vicious before ending with a death metal roar of Beyond The Pale.
So Machine Head return and return with an absolute cracker of a track. In the media build up to the new album, Robb had suggested that the new album wouldn’t be their heaviest. Beyond the Pale suggests otherwise. This song is heavy. The riff is thick and chunky and forces you to headbang. The unpolished edge to the song gives it a sludgy, groove feel and even his vocals reach death metal esque growls as the song ends. There are a few sections where the mix sounds so raw, it sounds a little off but they are fleeting. I have listened to this track ten times already and I can tell you that it gets better with each listen. Based on this Catharsis is going to be epic.
Check out Beyond the Pale over at Machine Head’s YouTube channel here. You can preorder Catharsis from Nuclear Blast here. Machine Head are out on tour in support of the album soon too so check here for dates and venues. Check out Machine Head on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information on them. Be sure to like and follow them while you are there.
You can pick up Beyond The Pale and more from Machine Head at the links below.
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Beyond the Pale by Machine Head (Catharsis)
The Final Score - 9/10