Machine Head / Suicide Silence / Darkest Hour - Live in New York City (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Machine Head / Suicide Silence / Darkest Hour

Live in New York City (2012)

live show

I arrived to the sounds of Darkest Hour launching into the first single off their new album, The Human Romance's "Savor the Kill." Unlike most live bands, Darkest Hour takes a slightly more methodical approach to their performance, playing their notes and chords carefully without sacrificing the intensity of their music. Though I did admittedly, and unfortunately, miss the first song, their set was still woefully short at about 25-30 minutes. No bueno, even for a metal group that's known for keeping their song structures quick and tight when necessary. They managed to use the time they did have to their advantage though, engaging the audience (plenty of people showed up early enough to provide a good crowd) and playing with a fervent accuracy that wasn't diminished by their active performance. The set featured a good spread of songs from their last four albums.

Set highlight: Doomsayer (The Beginning of the End)

Suicide Silence is sort of the anti-thesis to Darkest Hour; instead of wild, rhythmic riffage and soloing, they have breakdowns (and sometimes breakdowns within breakdowns). Instead of manly metal screams, they have high-pitched shrieking. There's no melody, only malady. As far as performance goes, the only one in the band that had a shred of personality was the singer. He came out stalking around the stage like Jack f'in Skellington and incited the crowd into a mass of swaying, writhing, slamming love for whatever the hell the guys in the band were doing up there. Suicide Silence is the sonic equivalent of squelching through a sludgy marsh while bats scream in your ears under a full moon. To some (including this show's crowd), that might sound like a great time, but it's certainly not for everyone.

Set highlight: When they finished.

Machine Head chose to play almost their entire new album Unto the Locust at this show. While that may sound off-putting to a lot of fans, it certainly wasn't to the ones present that night. The band's set covered 15 songs over the course of two hours to 2,000 fans. In true metal spirit the singer took his time thanking the fans for their ongoing dedication to metal and to the band. He also told a comedic yet touching tale about Dimebag Darrell that segued into a song about an unjust reaction to his untimely death, "Aesthetics of Hate." Machine Head has an interesting sound: like the bastard child of death and thrash metal, aggressive but not desperate with guitar riffs that snake continuously through thunderous rhythm, allowing just a hint of softness to peak through every once in a while. They put on a great performance and are sure to have years ahead of them in the underground metal scene.

Set highlight: Halo

Set list:

  • I am Hell
  • Be Still and Know
  • Imperium
  • Beautiful Mourning
  • The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears
  • Locust
  • This is the End
  • Aesthetics of Hate
  • Old
  • Darkness Within
  • Bulldozer
  • Ten Ton Hammer
  • Who We Are
  • Halo
  • Davidian