Undisputed masters of murderous riffs, pugnacious grooves and ferocious hooks since 1991, Machine Head are long established as one of the most influential and incendiary bands in the metal world. Exploding into the world’s consciousness with 1994’s seminal Burn My Eyes album, the now legendary Oakland crew brutishly redefined what it meant to be heavy, incorporating a wild array of influences into some of the sharpest and most brutal metal anthems ever written.
Nearly three decades later, the band founded and led by vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn on Oct 12, 1991 at a Metallica concert, (at the end of a 7 year, 3 1/2 album stint as lead guitarist in thrash metal pioneers Forbidden and Vio-Lence) has amassed an extraordinary catalogue of classic albums – including the all-conquering might of 2007’s The Blackening, which saw the band traverse the globe several times as headliners and as main support to both Metallica and Slipknot – while routinely enhancing an already formidable reputation as one of heavy music’s most powerful and relentless live bands.
In 2022, Machine Head are back with their most crushing and complete album yet. Of Kingdom And Crown is an hour-long conceptual monolith, rich in colour and dynamics but hell-bent on destruction. Set in a futuristic wasteland where the sky is always crimson red, Of Kingdom And Crown tells the tale of two characters, both faced with incalculable trauma, whose stories become bloodily entwined as this deep, dark record progresses. Character #1 loses the love of his life and goes on a murderous rampage against the perpetrators who murdered her. Character #2 loses his mother to a drug overdose and becomes radicalized in the aftermath, embarking on his own killing spree.
“The album and concept was loosely inspired by the Japanese anime series Attack On Titan,” says Robb, “in the sense that in that series, there is no “good” or “bad” guy… There are no cowboys (good), no Indians (bad). Both sides believe they’re doing the right thing, but both are committing atrocities and evil.”
Produced by Robb Flynn and long-time collaborator Zack Ohren, Of Kingdom And Crown is a self-evident upgrade for Machine Head and their ageless, epoch-shattering sound. The album begins with Slaughter The Martyr – a ten-minute epic, mercilessly heavy and brimming with wild melodic ideas, and featuring a career best vocal performance from Flynn himself, it sets the scene with Character #1’s origin story. Equally stunning are Choke On The Ashes Of Your Hate – simply the most brutal and intense song Machine Head have ever recorded – and Unhallowed: a dark, brooding and subtly progressive hymn for the disdained and discarded, with powerhouse harmony vocals from Flynn and bassist Jared McEachern. The album ends with arguably the finest song Machine Head have ever written: Arrows In Words From The Sky, the grandiose but emotionally visceral climax to the finest and most ferocious album of the band’s 30 year career.
A perennially vital force in heavy music, Machine Head have continued their exhilarating evolution, while never losing the furious spirit of their old school, underground roots. Impervious to trends and proud to stand alone: Machine Head is still the bulldozer that crushes all!