Genre: Groove/Nu Metal/Thrash
Country: U.S.A.
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year: 2018

You don’t have to reach the point of making extravagant statements, such as “’The Blackening’ was the ‘Master of Puppets’ of the 00’s” in order to consider Machine Head an important act for the scene and to long for – along with the majority of the fans of modern thrash (and not only) the band’s new album. The successor of good-almost-too-good ‘Bloodstone & Diamonds’ came to divide the crowd the way each and every MH release has so far. Personally speaking, I’m not opposed to modernity or resist experimentation in music. In the end, nu metal doesn’t bother me at all as an expression of music – especially in Machine Head, it fits them well, I gather. This time, however, the final result was a bit of everything and not in a good way. The band’s sound is as always full of dynamics, with thrash-y guitars, yet with scrappy Dropkick Murphys’ seconds (folk-wise), Slipknot breaks (with the necessary hooks and vocal performance), with some rap scattered here and there and with a strange obsession with the moto “Stand your ground”, which can be found in at least 3 tracks (‘Grind You Down’, ‘Bastards’, ‘Eulogy’). It seems that “Catharsis” is the most unfocused release of the band in recent years. Of course, all that might have been done on purpose, especially the mixing of all those incongruous elements. The final result doesn’t persuade me, frankly. It doesn’t persuade me at all. The album has its good moments, though it also features moments of no sense and inexpedient choices. Leaving behind the lengthy compositions with the traditional Heavy Metal guitar parts, MH return in a way in those “Supercharger” days, with quite an adventurous approach. The album certainly needs a lot of hearings. It will satisfy the loyal fans and maybe even gain some new, especially the younger at age metalheads. One thing is certain; it’ll be difficult to get the acceptance of the more traditional minds, which even though are a bit grumpy, most of the times they are the fairest. ‘Catharsis’, ‘Kaleidoscope’ , ‘Hope Begets Hope’ and ‘Heavy Lies the Crown’ stood out for me. Of course ‘Bastards’ has already been discussed among peers; It’s indicative of the album and in the end the barometer showing how much people like it as a track, therefore who will possibly like the album as a whole.

3,5/6