Feed the Machine: Nickelback Return to Form with New Album
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Nickelback is one of those bands that you have a love-hate relationship with; some of the group’s albums have blown the rest out of the water, while others have sunk. With the band sitting on the sidelines for the past three years due to Chad Kroeger needing a surgery that even led to the cancellation of a tour, it was only a matter of time before we saw them make a comeback.
The band has gone through several transitions over the years, with highs like 2001 album, Silver Side Up, and the Grammy nominated song ‘How You remind Me’, as well as lows like 2008’s formulaic, sexual innuendo-heavy Dark Horse.
Their ninth album, Feed the Machine, has them going back to their “crunchy roots’, according to Kroeger, which definitely shows, starting with the eponymous title track.
The track, which also happens to be the first on the album, sets the tone, basically telling the listener “get ready this album is dark, heavy, and we mean business” – which is not a bad way to start. The song is also catchy and memorable in making a defiant statement touching on various social issues in the US and features a video showing a dystopian future and calling for the need for resistance.
It’s been speculated – but denied – that ‘Song on Fire’is about Avril Lavigne –Kroeger’s ex. Although it’s softer than the rest of the album, the power ballad transfers from a clean guitar riff into a rock anthem that blends well with the rest of the record nonetheless.
One of the heaviest songs on the album,‘The Betrayal (Act III)’, almost goes into metal territory with hard riffs, angry lyrics and a guitar solo that resembles Pantera, which makes this song a great entry into the bands repertoire. The penultimate song,‘Every time We’re Together’, meanwhile, is more reminiscent of the song ‘Photograph’ – a great, feel-good song that might easily win them an award.
The album closes with an acoustic instrumental called, ‘The Betrayal (Act I)’, which is the most relaxing song of the whole album and shows how the diverse the band can be when they want to be.
Proving that they can step out of their comfort zone and offer something unique, Feed the Machine is one of if not the best album the band has released to date. This return to form will please long-time fans, maybe even gain them a few new ones and goes to show that when they want to do something good, they can.