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Through The Ashes of Empires was released in 2003 on Roadrunner Records. As soon as the opening track "Imperium" starts, you know that Machine Head have made another great album. In this opening track Robb Flynn sings about how he will stand out from the crowd and how he will be free. Track 2 - "Bite The Bullet" - just as good as "Imperium" to me. I got blown away by these 2 tracks. If you want to listen to some metal then these are the tracks you should listen to. Track 6 ("Days Turn Blue To Gray") is one of Machine Head's slower songs but that doesn't mean it's no good. It's still heavy with some great riffs. It actually became one of my favourite Machine Head songs for a while. Another classic on this album is "Descend The Shades of Night". This one normally gets played live on their headlining shows. I've heard a lot of people give bad feedback for this album but personally I think it's an awesome album. Go out there and buy it! And if you get the chance, go to see these guys live, you won't be disappointed.
As soon as the opening song 'Imperium' explodes through the speakers and entertains with its changeable riffs, long-overdue thrash sections and genuine high-energy hostility, it's clear that Machine Head are finally back in the realm of respectable metal, a decade after their last decent album that was never matched. Tragically however, the celebration is short-lived as the band instantly runs out of inspiration and the album becomes increasingly repetitive and redundant with each subsequent song.
There are very few songs that make a lasting impression in this generic modern metal album, often sounding more like modern Slipknot than the band's earlier contemporaries and influences, and some songs such as 'Left Unfinished' in particular feel like they're tapping the already overused youth angst / child abuse / excessive profanity angle that's been a mainstay of nu-metal since Korn. Musically, this album sounds like an even more irritating copy of the second album in its over-reliance on pinch harmonics and alternating vocal styles, and even a slight classic metal angle to 'Days Turn Blue to Gray' and inevitable acoustic near-ballad 'Descend the Shades of Night' can't make this any more worthwhile for repeated listens.
Still, the single was good though.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Bite The Bullet
3 Left Unfinished
5 In The Presence Of My Enemies
6 Days Turn Blue To Gray
8 All Fall Down
9 Wipe The Tears
10 Descend The Shades Of Night