Man Of The Hour - Destroy The Machines Of Slaughter
No Face Records
Heavy Metal
12 songs (52:44)
Release year: 2007
Man Of The Hour, No Face Records
Reviewed by Ross
Album of the month
You know how sometimes you get hold of an album and it takes a few spins for it to sink in and even then there may be one or two tracks that still don’t quite grab your attention. Then there are others that from the get-go they grab hold of any dangling appendage and refuse to let go until you hit the replay button for the eleventeenth time. Well, that’s what Man Of The Hour’s new album Destroy The Machines Of Slaughter did to me. Man Of The Hour’s bass player, Soo C. Diamond, pressed it into my sweaty mitt last week at a local gig, I played it in my car on the way home and had to make a 20 mile detour until I had listened to it all; and I’ve been listening to it ever since.

Described in one Metal Mag as “Pantera Vs Priest enter the cage to fight for the glory of Metal while 3 Inches Of Blood and Candlemass cheer them on!” A descriptor I find quite apt. Listening to Destroy The Machines... you will hear many other bands’ influences shining through but not to the extent that you could say they are a tribute band to such-and-such. Man Of The Hour has fused all the good stuff that has influenced them into a sound of their own. What does stand out is their creative use of vocal and guitar harmonies. Frontman, Tommy Concrete, has a range from stirring mid-toned choral to face shredding helium shrieks which is offset by drummer Bud ‘The Engine’s’ subterranean growls. The tracks are driven by the mind-blowingly technical riffs of dual lead guitars worn by Stevie Power and Matt Justice and Soo C. Daimond dials in enough motor driven low end to keep things heavy and dark. Tendon snapping, fret-ripping solos are also an integral part of Destroy The Machines…, they are well structured and fit-in with the rest of the music, not egotistical guitar widdly-wankery bolted on that says ‘Hey, look what I can do’. And, as I mentioned, the guitar harmonies throughout the entire album are what makes the fur on your tail fuzz right up. Tracks in particular that give me the fuzzies are I Only give A Shit, The Hideous Mummified Corpse, We’ll Show You The Way To The Wolves and Stealing From The Dealer. Man Of The Hour also have good mix of the ‘Heavy’ stuff with well placed tempo changes, breakdowns and chugging guitar riffs that were just made for banging your head to, such as Spores Of The Black Unicorn, which has a solo that instantly took me back to Garry Moore, Eric Bell, Scot Gorham era Thin Lizzy (Yes I am that old!), and the doom laden and sludgy ending ofRed Nails has you looking over your shoulder to see if the Grim Reaper is creeping up on you. Have all this mastered by Annihilator’s Jeff Waters and you have one awesome, kick-ass slab of Heavy Metal that will appeal to fans of a wide range of Metal sub-genres. To listen to tracks off Destroy The Machines Of Slaughter head to their My Space Site

I’ve seen Man Of The Hour play live many times, but unfortunately missed their recent support slot to Black Label Society; an event which gained them some rave reviews and the respect of the discernable BLS fans. Speaking to Tommy recently we were discussing getting a band’s live atmosphere onto their albums. He made a valid point that when you go to a live performance you may buy the band’s release and when you listen to it, your mind will connect the album to the live show kicking in a dose of adrenaline akin to the feeling of excitement you felt at the show. Perhaps my previous associations with the band have distorted my perception of what I’m hearing on Destroy The Machines… to the extent that what I’m hearing off the CD is being distorted by memories of their live shows. Even if this is the case, I feel that this only plays a very small part in what hooked me up and dragged me in. I get the feeling that Destroy The Machines… is going to make a great impression on many Metal-heads, in particular fans of Old School and NWOBHM.

There are a couple of lines in the track I Only Give A Shit… that go – “I only give a shit about the band and my baby!” which really sums up what Man Of The Hour are all about. It’s seldom that you will come across any band member on his own. I’ve often seen them roll up en-mass to support other bands and there was a time, during the creational process of writing Destroy The Machines…, that you got the distinct impression that they actually lived in the cellar or under the stage of Edinburgh nightclub Studio 24. Catching some of the videos floating about on the Net strengthens this impression; these guys can play hard and party harder. Another couple of lines from I Only Give A Shit… go – “No law, magic rune or gold plated bible, can judge you better than Heavy Metal!” This being the case then Heavy Metal should judge Man Of The Hour as ready for their overnight success. At the time of writing they are preparing to support Firewind and Wolf on a couple of dates on their UK tour. I’m really hoping this is the start of something big for the band as Heavy Metal this good should not be confined to being played to UK audiences; it needs to be spread far and wide.

Man Of The Hour have recently signed to small, independent label No Face Records and being distributed by Plastichead so getting a copy of Destroy The Machines Of Slaughter should not prove difficult. I highly recommend this album to anyone even slightly interested in Metal music. Destroy The Machines Of Slaughter is going to be on my regular playlist for a long, long time and even though Man Of The Hour are virtually unknown to the majority of you readers, I am being selfishly indulgent here and awarding them an ‘Album Of The Month’ Skeleton. My boat has definitely been floated and I’m thoroughly enjoying the voyage.
Killing Songs :
All of them!!!
Ross quoted 90 / 100
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