REVIEW: BLOODJINN’S THIS MACHINE RUNS ON EMPTY
Bloodjinn (wow, what an awful name) find themselves in a precarious position: they’ve been releasing albums since 1999, but with no breakthrough album, no hit single, no Ozzfest appearances to their credit, they run the risk of coming across as Johnny-come-latelys of the metalcore genre – a fact their album’s title seems to slyly acknowledge (the machine is empty) and then refute (the machine still runs).
Hopefully, listeners will look past current trends and simply enjoy Machine for what it is: a well conceived, well executed, kick-ass metal album.
There’s no description one can offer for Bloodjinn’s music that wouldn’t also apply to Killswitch Engage’s chug-a-chug swedecore or the dozens of KsE Junior hopefuls; but, as with Cerberus’ recent Dispute the Truth, that doesn’t really matter because listening to it feels too damn good.
Like Chimaira, Bloodjinn mostly forgo clean vocals for vicious growls that resemble nothing less than a lion about to pounce, and when they break out a break down, it sounds like your speakers might explode. Bloodjinn’s musicianship is skillfull and their reimagining of European melodic death has an authenticity to it that recent, more high profile releases by actual American New Wave latecomers like Daath and Sanctity lack, and their hooks blow some of their more successful peers, like As I Lay Dying, right out of the water. This Machine Runs on Empty runs on anything but; anyone who needs a reminder why bands like KsE and Unearth seemed so fresh in the first place need look no further.
(four out of five horns)
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