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Machine Head - f Kingdm And Crwn (Album Review)

Wednesday, 31 August 2022 Written by Will Marshall

Machine Head’s career trajectory since they released the modern metal classic ‘The Blackening’ in 2007 has been something of a head-scratcher. In 2011 and 2014 they released the solid ‘Unto The Locust’ and ‘Bloodstone and Diamonds’ respectively, but 2018’s ‘Catharsis’ is widely regarded as a career low-point for the band. Fortunately, ‘Øf Kingdøm And Crøwn’ is a return to form. 

Opener Slaughter The Martyr immediately invites comparisons to ‘The Blackening’ with its 10 minutes plus runtime and progressive bent. On the other hand, Choke on the Ashes of Your Hate adopts a warp-speed thrash approach. The opening riff detonates like a bomb and Flynn’s roars of the title simply demand to be bellowed back. The solo from new guitarist Wacław ‘Vogg’ Kiełtyka is blistering.

Of particular note is that this is Machine Head’s first into writing a concept album. Loosely inspired by the anime Attack On Titan, it’s an examination of how its two main characters always believe they’re in the right while committing atrocities.

That’s borne out in Unhallowed, where a gentle acoustic opening gives way to a churning groove with a snare that sounds like a gunshot. 

After the divisive ‘Catharsis’ and revolving door lineup of the past few years, it was all too easy to write off Machine Head. For that reason ‘Øf Kingdøm And Crøwn’ feels like a band with something to prove, not least to themselves.

It makes a persuasive argument that their last album was a blip, but one that they needed to make. By indulging in its experimental streak the band were free to revisit all the ingredients that made earlier albums so revered here. They’ve cracked it again.

Machine Head Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed August 31 2022 - GLASGOW Garage
Fri September 02 2022 - INVERNESS Ironworks
Sun September 04 2022 - ABERDEEN Lemontree
Mon September 05 2022 - DUNDEE Fat Sam's
Tue September 06 2022 - EDINBURGH Liquid Room
Thu September 08 2022 - NOTTINGHAM Motorpoint Arena
Fri September 09 2022 - CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena
Sat September 10 2022 - LONDON OVO Arena Wembley
Mon September 12 2022 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Tue September 13 2022 - DUBLIN 3Arena

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