02. The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears
03. Ten Ton Hammer
05. Crashing Around You
06. Take My Scars
07. I'm Your God Now
08. None But My Own
09. From This Day
10. American High
11. Nothing Left
12. The Burning Red
review by Matthew "Matt" Haumschild________________
|Officially, this CD came out March 11th in the United States. However,
before you read any further, I would like to point out that I'm a long time
Machine Head fanatic. I've been listening to Machine Head since their first
album surfaced back in 1994, even though I picked it up in late 1995. That's
a long time for anyone. Ever since then, I've picked up every one of their
new CD's the day it came out. I have seen this band three times live,
Ozzfest 97 (greatest concert ever in my opinion), with Pantera and Coal
Chamber in 98' (second best show ever), and in 99' in Arizona.
Needless to say I was very pleased to find out that Machine Head was finally
coming out with a live CD. They will always be one of my favorite bands no
matter where life takes them. I also consider them to be one of the last
good bands on their Roadrunner record label. But that's another story
altogether. There are very few bands that can actually record a really nice
live album and have it sell well. Up until now, there have been maybe two or
three metal bands that have put out live albums that actually sold in medium
high numbers. More or less, with all the money going to production cost,
it's a gutsy move for any band.
Now for the review...
Hellalive was recorded at the Brixton Academy in London England
December 8th 2001, for those who are counting or remembering if you were at
that show or not. Machine Head opened up the show with "Bulldozer" which is
the first track from their "Supercharger" CD. A CD of which was frowned upon
anyone who actually heard it including myself. However, Bulldozer I thought
was one of the good songs from that album. It actually sounded great. Matter
of fact, all the songs Machine Head played from the Supercharger album
sounded much better on this CD!
Sonically, Hellalive sounded much better than any live album I had
ever heard. But in a way there is a problem with this. The key word is "LIVE
ALBUM". There are parts of the CD that didn't come off as being live, that
it seemed more like a re-mix of a few of their songs with some ambient fan
noise which you could barley hear and added some really nice reverbs. Care
of Colin Richardson, the person who mixed this album. There comes to a point
when something is done too good, this was one of them. You could take this
as praise or complaint. Praise because it sounded phenomenally superb,
complaint that it sounded too good to be a live album.
Machine Head did play a very nice mixture of songs on this CD and
not juts their new songs from Supercharger and not just songs from Burn My
Eyes. Although in case your wondering, from Burn My Eyes they played "Old",
"I'm Your God Now", "None But My Own", and "Davidian". I was actually kind
of surprised they played two songs in particular, "None But My Own" which is
in all tends and purposes is a slow song up until the end and it wouldn't
have been my choice to play live and the song "The Burning Red" of which I
consider to be another very slow depressing song. Although performed
splendidly I ask why play this one live?
Another thing I liked about Hellalive, which I've noticed most bands
stopped doing or do less of in live shows, is talk to the audience. Robb
Flynn (singer of Machine head) was asking, "Does anybody want to hear what
goes on in my head" as he was explaining how the song "Crashing Around You"
was written. Just the way he was going about it, sounded great. He obviously
said more than I stated above but you don't find this type of talking much
anymore at shows. Flynn also inserted other words in his songs like "Oh my
god!" amongst other words and phrases.
What struck me odd also was on Machine Head's official website, it
stated that the band was having some technical difficulties that night,
which was odd because I really didn't hear any. Also, Luster's (former lead
guitarist) guitar was having a lot of difficulties in the show, so Robb
Flynn went in at a later date and recorded overdubs. I suppose in my book, I
call it cheating. You can't really tell the difference weather he did this
or not, but it solely up to the listener to judge this as a genuine live
album or not. When I read this initially and I still have this feeling, that
I don't know if I consider it or not.
Overall, sonically, I have not heard a live album that sounded this
good. The lead in to the songs was done as if you were actually at the show.
It had a great mixture of songs and a better than average set-list. I mainly
compared this album to my personal favorite live album, Testament Live at
the Fillmore, of which has no over dubs and which I consider to be the best
live CD, it had all the elements I require of a live CD, when you hear the
crowd sing songs, the technical difficulties were left in, the singer
talking to the song, and best sonic quality at time
|Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland||Impressum|