(Review by Patrick De Sloover)

Since the foundation of Machine Head, we can say that this Bay Area Post-Thrash/Groove Metal act rose out of their ashes of Vio-Lence, Forbidden Evil and Torque. With some lineup changes in the past, the quartet succeeded in erupting such a massive sound with a little commercial twist. The albums became better and better, and we can say that Machine Head established themselves as a major headlining metal act!

Fans of Machine Head were loyal throughout the years, even when they explored some Nu-Metal-esque CDs and when their first live album “Hellalive” was released in 2003, the reviews were stunning. It was slightly comparable with older Scorpions, Judas Priest and UFO live releases, as the overall sound, enforcements and set-list can be described as memorable. After this masterpiece, the band released three more studio albums, and about 10 years after “Hellalive”, the second live album is available! This successor is a double album deal with 15 tracks in total. Some bad tongues speak that this is a pure contractual fulfillment, as Machine Head their deal with Roadrunner ends. However it will turn out, I was really curious to hear one of my favorite all-time bands from Oakland!

The title of this double release is pretty shocking and heavy, so is the album! Opener ‘I Am Hell’ on the album “UntoThe Locust” opens this live experience as well, and you will be surprised about the sound and quality!  This is pure, raw and heavy, but every detail has such a great mix and production by Juan Urteaga and Robb Flynn, that it feels like you’re among the audience. While banging my head, they continue with ‘Be Still And Know’, also the second track on the last studio release. As a matter of fact, except for the track ‘Pearls Before The Swine’, all songs of  “Unto The Locust” feature this new live album and Robb and co. also pay a lot of attention to their 2007 release “The Blackening”. At some moments, you will notice that the crowd goes wild, and especially when Robb is yelling at them to ‘Jump! Jump!’ you hear how enthusiastic the return of the audience is. Breathtaking and intense!

The first live album of Machine Head was recorded at Brixton Academy, London, on December 8th 2001. For some reason it seems like the band felt just great in the UK as this time they recorded at Manchester and Glasgow. The total duration is approx. 100 minutes, and fans need to buy this album with closed eyes. Die Hard fans of Machine Head have this album already, before reading this review…

In my humble opinion, the set-list on “Hellalive” pleased me a little bit more, as all tracks where bloody killers. This time, I have to say that there are a few (short) moments that I would prefer a different kind of set-list. But hey, this is only a small detail, and definitely a mere personal idea. 

My rating: 90 / 100