Through the Ashes of Empires


Through the Ashes of Empires

Infobox Album
Name = Through the Ashes of Empires
Type = studio
Artist = Machine Head


Released = flagicon|England October 27, 2003 flagicon|USA April 20, 2004
Recorded = June – July 2003
Genre = Groove metal, thrash metal
Length = 59:41
Label = Roadrunner
Producer = Robert Flynn
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|4|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:zl7m96bokepf link] |
Last album = "Supercharger" (2001)
This album = "Through the Ashes of Empires" (2004)
Next album = "Elegies" (2005)

"Through the Ashes of Empires" is the fifth studio album by Oakland-based groove metal band Machine Head. The release dropped most of the nu metal conventions Machine Head used on their previous two albums, and more closely resembled the style of "Burn My Eyes", their debut. It was released in the UK, Europe and Australia on the Roadrunner Records International label on December 16, 2003. At this stage, Machine Head still did not have an American record deal, having parted ways with Roadrunner Records US after the "Supercharger" album was released. TTAOE was such a success that Roadrunner Records US, in an unprecedented move, quickly offered Machine Head a new contract and the album finally reached North America on April 20, 2004.

A special edition of the album was also released, containing a second CD with early demo recordings of songs "Bite the Bullet", "Left Unfinished", "Elegy", "All Falls Down" and "Descend the Shades of Night", as well as a short video of Machine Head in the studio during the recording of the album. The band discuss the gear they used to record the album as well as various issues relating to it.

The band recorded an additional song: "Seasons Wither" for the North American release of the album as a measure of compensation for the American fans for having to wait so long; it was subsequently released as a b-side on the "Days Turn Blue to Gray" single internationally. According to guitarist Phil Demmel, the song also gives an indication of the direction the band would take with their next album, The Blackening.

The album was written as a three piece band, with Phil Demmel only joining to record with them. When commenting on this, vocalist Robert Flynn, said::"...when Ahrue quit MH to go join Nickelback wannabes Juggernaut, we made a decision to start writing as a three-piece. We didn't want to go through the whole "try out" process, and see if some new guy would fit." [http://www.lambgoat.com/features/interviews/machine_head.aspx]

The album can be considered an encapsulation of the band at that point, stylistically concompassing all four of their previous works. It has the melodicism of The Burning Red and Supercharger, the darker, heavier groove of The More Things Change and the sheer aggression of Burn My Eyes. Lyrically, the album is rooted in stories of personal struggles, triumphs, morbidity, and abuse.

The album has since proved to be a huge success, not only with critics and charts, but also with fans. The album has been well-embraced as an excellent return to form both musically and lyrically. The difficult circumstances under which the album was recorded was documented on their concert DVD Elegies.

Track listing

# "Imperium" – 6:54
# "Bite The Bullet" – 3:24
# "Left Unfinished" – 5:13
# "Elegy" – 3:56
# "In The Presence Of My Enemies" – 7:07
# "Days Turn Blue to Gray" – 5:29
# "Vim" – 5:13
# "Seasons Wither" - 6:18 [*]
# "All Falls Down" – 4:39
# "Wipe The Tears" – 3:55
# "Descend The Shades Of Night" – 7:46

[*] = "Seasons Wither" did not feature on the original worldwide release, but was added in the US release to make up for the wait for the album.

Bonus Disc

# "Bite the Bullet" (Demo) - 3:51
# "Left Unfinished" (Demo) - 4:29
# "Descend the Shades of Night" (Demo) - 3:46
# "All Falls Down" (Demo) - 4:28
# "Elegy" (Demo) - 3:55
# "The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears" (Video)
# "Through The Ashes Of Empires Sessions" (Video)

Personnel

*Robert Flynn - vocals, guitars, lead guitars
*Adam Duce - backing vocals, bass
*Phil Demmel - lead guitars
*Dave McClain - drums


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