The fifth album for 10 Years, Minus the Machine marks the bandís first album away from Universal. Distributed by Warner, so still with some promotion power behind it, the album was made independently so the group has been liberated with a lot of artistic freedom. The result is the bandís best effort since The Autumn Effect and a terrific album.
On the last two 10 Years records we heard a couple of key things, one being a move away from whatís always said to be a huge influence, Tool/A Perfect Circle. There were elements in those past two records of that influence but nothing like the groupís first two albums. The other key element was trying to move the band into the mainstream rock grouping. That just didnít work. Itís never been what the good version of 10 Years has been about. This new album showcases 10 Years as more of an artistic rock band like Tool. Itís an album that showcases the band taking a lot of risks on songs like ďForever FieldsĒ and ďWriting on the Walls.Ē This is the type of release that 10 Years should always make, and more than a few songs on this record are among the bandís best pieces.
When something has an intense artistic focus, it means itís not for everyone. If youíve never liked this band, then this album wonít change your mind. If you donít like Tool, then youíve probably never liked this band. However, on the other side of that- if you like 10 Years, then youíll love this album and it completely blows away what theyíve done over the past five years.