Machine Head - Days Turn Blue To Gray (Roadrunner)
UK release date: 6 December 2004
Who would believe that it's been 10 years since Machine Head burst on to the heavy metal scene in a blaze of molten riffs, gruff vocals and some of the best examples of channelled aggression since Pantera's A Vulgar Display Of Power?
This single, taken from last year's Through The Ashes Of Empires return-to-form, demonstrates how wrong Machine Head themselves were when they implied with the title of their sophomore album that The More Things Change, the more they stay the same. For, while Days Turn Blue To Gray boasts all of the scything guitars, rage-filled vocals and thumping drums that the nascent Machine Head had in their arsenal, the brooding one-minute intro and the spooky mid-section with squalling background guitar and doomy harmonies, mean that this song is altogether more complex, more subtle and simultaneously more intense than those of yore.
Speaking of intense, the subject matter of Days Turn Blue To Gray is not exactly of the feelgood, let's-have-a-shag variety, beloved of most pop muppets. Instead, Rob Flynn sings of "no closure" after the death of an abusive father: "The strings of my heart / You pulled on endlessly / This twine is severed in tragedy / Father / Mother Destroyer... Your self-destruction is what made you feel alive..." Visceral, challenging and emotive - Machine Head are still ticking the right boxes.