Review by Tammy Lomax for MPM
Formed by vocalist and guitarist Robb Flynn in 1991, Machine Head is one of the most well known American metal bands on the planet.
Following their 2019 album ‘Catharsis’ they have just released their 10th studio album ‘ØF KingdØM and CrØWn’ via Nuclear Blast and Imperium Recordings. ‘Catharsis’ didn’t quite get the correct feedback from its release but I can certainly say ‘KingdØM and CrØWn’ is a vast improvement and certifies that Machine Head is far from over.
Opening track ‘SLAUGHTER THE MARTYR’ is where it is at for me though, this is Machine Head through and through! It is a diverse, walloping track. Starting very deep with simple pulling from the strings creating an enticing atmosphere which blossoms into a beauty.
The purest vocals just pour cleanly. Woah what a vocal range. It’s a weighty 10 minutes long and as it develops you sense a feeling in your bones, then you get beaten with ferociousness. The thrash feel of the guitars lead us to the pounding drums and the chunks of heavy riffs bob in and out in the background.
Decapitated guitarist Vogg and former Animosity/Animals as Leaders drummer Navene Koperweis definitely give the sound a ton of umph.
‘CHØKE ØN THE ASHES ØF YØUR HATE’ just bashes your skull. Those guitars are ripping up everything in their way and the vocals are sharp, accelerated and aggressive. Taking no prisoners, it is one of the heaviest for me. The slamming riffs I can’t get enough of and are fabulous. The lyrics are meant with passion and they just burst through the music.
‘UNHALLØWED’ is mostly melodic and it really moves you. There is an incredible riff that slots in perfectly, following a catchy beat giving the track some weight. It’s a great edition to the 1 hour album. Half way through, the thrash pace surfaces, the drums increase, aligned with the fast-paced vocals which slay everything in its way. It still holds onto the melodic elements making it feel very uplifting and very anthemic.
Track ‘BLØØDSHØT’ is another favorite for me. It feels punk in places but ultimately it is thrash. The pace feels bouncy and I salivate half way through. Don’t just take my word for it, there are some excellent heavy techniques being projected at this point in the track and it really does hit the spot. I like this style a lot, I like this heavy.
The album closes with the track ‘ArrØWs In WØRds FrØM The Sky’ and what a way to close, Machine Head is reborn, they are not going anywhere. I hope they keep the lineup as it is because this is such a ample overcome, it’s so much more heavier. Those down toned riffs are incredible, the guitar solo is elevating and the drums just stomp their way through. It feels tech metal with the melodic samples floating in the background and all in, it is very balanced sound wise.
They did it! Machine Head have brought us an album that not only concretes their position, they have brought so many advancements to the table and pulled it off immensely. It is majestic, heavy, technical, it’s basically a big huge plate of versatility that has been pulled off with a severe edge.
It’s an excellent album and I would urge anyone to give it a listen, listen to their comeback because it’s brilliant and they really have excelled themselves.
ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN
SLAUGHTER THE MARTYR
CHØKE ØN THE ASHES ØF YØUR HATE
BECØME THE FIRESTØRM
MY HANDS ARE EMPTY
KILL THY ENEMIES
NØ GØDS, NØ MASTERS
ARRØWS IN WØRDS FRØM THE SKY
CDs, Digipak, cassettes, and all digital formats will be available on Aug 26th, with all vinyl formats arriving on Nov 25th. Pre-order your copy HERE.
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