Produced by Man of the Hour and Mike Brown. Engineered by Mike Brown. Recorded at Seagate Studios, Dundee in April 2006. Mastered by Jeff Waters at Watersound Studios.
The difficult second album. That familiar psychological barrier that grips many a band following a successful first opus doesn’t appear to have phased Man of the Hour in the slightest. Like Iron Maiden before them album number two appears to be even more focused, even strong than their debut.
For outing number two Man of the Hour seem to have embraced their doom roots with a bit more vigour but also taken things a little gothic. There is more than a little Danzig in there. Particularly on tracks like the title track “Destroy the machines of slaughter” (track 3) which could have been lifted from pretty much any of the Evil Elvis’s post-millennium albums.
This is a strong album. While Skull Orchard (2004) was good, it did feel a times like Man of the Hour were really pushing things to the limit in terms of tongue-in-cheek homages to the genre. But like a pupil who has been coasting through class and has suddenly become aware of their potential, here they’ve knuckled down and delivered the album of their lives.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. The lyrics are still pure metal nonsense. Take “Red nails” (track 5), a track inspired by a story by Robert E Howard.
Axes. Sledgehammers. Conan the destroyer.
Red nails! Red nails! Red nails!
And the album cover and booklet aren’t great. The artwork has no continuity, there’s an annoying variety of often illegible fonts superimposed over confused photographs.
But do you know what? None of that matters. because the music is great! It’s uplifting. It’s heavy. It’s melodic. It’s delivered with passion and self-belief.
This is a Scottish band that I can be proud of. The only thing is… where are you? Your hour may have come and gone… but what an hour!
And who can argue with a band whose final recorded track is called “Beware of the gnomes”?
Review score: 95%