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February 1 2005
Bloodjinn - This Machine Runs On Empty
Added: June 25th 2007
Unashamedly more metal than core
This Machine Runs On Empty marks the third full length release for North Carolina's up and coming metalcore act Bloodjinn. Sporting both a new guitarist (McKenzie Bell replaces former axeman Hunter McBride) and a new label (Pluto Records) the band seem to have no problems formulating an excellent release that's sure to please fans of core and metal alike.
From the get go, This Machine defines an uncompromising pace and punchy sound, full of killer riffs (the title track) and a few, well orchestrated breakdowns (In The First Degree, Inhale Exhale) that don't overstep the mark. In fact oftentimes I found myself comparing the band's sound on this release to some of the more mainstream acts that have surfaced in Sweden over the past few years (e.g. Arch Enemy, Dimension Zero etc). Just listen to tracks like Maker and The Unloved and you'll see what I mean.
The Greensboro five-piece's level of musicianship is decidedly stellar - everyone pulling their weight - whether it be the punishing riffs and sweet harmonies of axemen Kyle Rakes and new addition McKenzie Bell, the rumble of Justin Carter's Bass, the very tidy and perfectly subtle fills of skinsman Brian Lewis or the almost breathless screams of front man Joel Collins. It's also worth noting that Collins' vocals are exceptionally well suited to the style of music the band is trying to create here. His textbook hardcore screams seamlessly interspaced with a more defined metal growl that occasionally allows the listener to draw similarities with the vocal talents and characteristics of Machine Head front man Robb Flynn.
The band certainly owe a little credit to producer/engineer Mike Watts and mix-man Jamie King for knocking up a crystal clear sound with a nasty bite that helps round the release out while also adding some character and definition to the band's sound.
While the album is of a high standard of quality (in fact I'm surprised these guys don't have a little more recognition than they do) it doesn't really bring anything overtly new to the originality front. However, while I think originality is a crucial factor in music (especially within the metal/hardcore scene) today, it's fantastic to hear a band that knows how to do things right. Plenty of other releases, with both a similar style and/or genre fall by the wayside for not only being unoriginal but also because of their incapacity to properly define their sound and convey their musical vision. Bloodjinn seems to have little to no trouble in either of these departments; their song structures are well formulated and precise, seamlessly blending together segments of molten metal and more released moments of mood evoking harmonies. Perhaps more importantly though, the band knows exactly what sound they're trying to create and where they're headed (musically).
If you're looking for a release that stands out in a genre that is quickly becoming both tired and disappointing, hell even if you just want to get hit by a few fantastic riffs, snap this one up!
Reviewer: Aedan Siebert
Related Link: Official Website
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