Release DetailsLABEL Pluto Records
RELEASED ON 3/6/2007
This Machine Runs On Empty
posted on 6/2007 By:
Greensboro, North Carolina’s Bloodjinn is one of those bands that really frustrate me because, personally, I think they’re highly talented musicians and songwriters who choose to play along with the current metalcore trends, when they obviously have it within themselves to write potentially groundbreaking material that could push many boundaries if they wanted to. If it weren’t for their uncanny sense of melody, rhythm, and addictive structure found on This Machine Runs On Empty, I’d probably write this album off as so much noise pollution along with Feast For The Crows. Despite the harsh opening words, there is still much to enjoy here, and this is definitely an album that deserves multiple plays.
It’s not as if these guys are newbies on the scene either, but to give fair credit, through the lineup changes they’ve had and the time that’s passed between albums, Bloodjinn have crafted a very current sounding disc that teases potential for more. It’s refreshing to hear so many leads played on an album such as this, even better, the soloing doesn’t sound forced or contrived, and it’s nice to hear such well-conceived musical flavorings added where other bands would just throw in a generic breakdown, just check out “Inhale Exhale” for ample proof. The overall blending of so much melody into the choppy, galloping riffs was also a mature touch, but for all this technical know-how and good taste, there is just as much here that follows color by numbers metalcore as many other albums of this nature. It’s as if the kids just can’t help themselves.
Actually, many of the tunes on this disc remind me of the last God Forbid album. There’s the melodic, chunky thrash situation going on, and once again I hear influence from Testament’s The Gathering during “A Moment Of Clarity”, with grooving bends, hefty double-bass, and compelling riff arrangements, and the somewhat clean vocal break towards the end was a nice embellishment. The title track is the best song on the album, and starts out with some rather classic Bay-Area inspired thunder rivaling Darkest Hour, featuring more great leads and relentless aggression, but after that things start to get a little bland. There’s an awful lot of midpaced material that uses interchangeable riffs, and it doesn’t help that vocalist Joel Collins very rarely deviates from his strained, parched delivery regardless of what’s being played.
When Bloodjinn does throw in a breakdown, a least they make a valiant attempt to spice it up a little bit with an odd syncopation or riff cluster, but they also seem to follow along with dozens of other metalcore bands who can’t seem to thrash without breaking into easy gallops at every turn. Overall, This Machine Runs On Empty could be recognized as one of the finer examples of the genre this year since it is a damn solid album that sounds great production-wise (clear, but with plenty o' balls), and throws down mighty impressive leads with some bitchin‘ thrash riffery. Once fellow beard-grower McKenzie Bell (formerly of He Is Legend) settles into a more prevalent role as a songwriter and is given room to contribute his great talents, I think you’ll hear an even more confident, ambitious Bloodjinn in the future. In the meantime, we’ve got an above average, at times kick ass CD here that offers much more metal than ‘core, and thoroughly satisfies as long as you’re not looking for anything too different or unique. I expect even better things in the future.
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