Machine Head Announces ‘Of Kingdom And Crown’ Album, Shares ‘Choke On The Ashes Of Your Hate’ Music Video
Metallic Titans of the San Francisco Bay Area MACHINE HEAD will release their tenth studio album, “Of the Kingdom and the Crown”August 26 through Nuclear explosion/Imperium Recordings. The sequel to 2018 “Catharsis” includes all three songs that were on last year “Arrows in the Sky Words” Single: “Becoming the Firestorm”, “Rotten” and “Arrows in the Sky Words”. Much of the new MACHINE HEAD album was recorded at sharkbite studios in Oakland, California with producer Zack Ohren.
The official music video for the song “Smother the ashes of your hatred” can be viewed below.
“Of the Kingdom and the Crown” is a 13-track concept album set in a decimated futuristic wasteland where the sky is stained crimson red. The heart of the story is based on two main characters: the first and main character is Ares (pronounced Ram), who loses the love of his life (Amethyst) and embarks on a murderous rampage against the nefarious cult responsible for his murder; the second character is the author Eros (pronounced Arrows), who loses his mother to a drug overdose and later becomes radicalized. Eros gets to the bottom of things by manifesting his own murderous madness. The lyrics detail how their lives intertwine.
MACHINE HEAD founder Robb Flynn comments: “Thanks to my two teenagers, my family became obsessed with this awesome Japanese anime series called ‘The attack of the Titans’. The concept of the album was loosely inspired by the series in that in the storyline there is no “good” or “bad”; both characters believe they are doing the right thing when it comes to their being, but make no mistake, both are committing acts of sheer atrocity and evil. The opening track “Massacre the Martyr” is basically the origin story for our #1 character.”
The colossal concept comes with an equally colossal list of packaging for various physical formats, including 16 different global vinyl formats, a deluxe vinyl box set (with bonus tracks), CDs (long box and boxed options old-fashioned jewelry box), multicolored cassette tapes, and a limited-edition digipak with bonus tracks. CDs, digipak, cassettes and all digital formats will be available on August 26, with all vinyl formats arriving on November 25.
“Of the Kingdom and the Crown” track list:
01. Massacre the martyr
02. Smother the ashes of your hate
03. Become the firestorm
05. My hands are empty
08. Kill your enemies
09. Neither gods nor masters
13. Arrows in the sky words
Bonus tracks from the Digipack CD:
14. Exteroception *
15. Arrows in the sky words (acoustic)*
Flynn recently entrusted Metal Hammer magazine with the musical direction of the new MACHINE HEAD material: “It’s similar to [2003’s ‘Through The Ashes Of Empires’ and 2007’s ‘The Blackening’] in that we are moving towards something fresh and new, but it has this classic MACHINE HEAD vibe. We have a lot to deliver and the expectations are very high, so I’m lucky to be surrounded by great people. Jared [MacEachern, bassist] really stepped up and wrote great riffs and great vocals. Vogg [guitarist Wacław Kiełtyka] brought some ideas and brought some really good songs.”
He continued: “It’s fucking heavy, probably the heaviest we’ve been on a few albums. I’ve been playing guitar so much lately; I do Electric Happy Hours every Friday and sometimes you play a song that you haven’t played in 10, 20 years, or gone through an entire album from top to bottom. “Burn My Eyes”, it brought me back to where I was writing this music. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to be in that place again lyrically, but riff-wise, I think it’s all spilled over on this album.”
Last February, MacEachern spoke to Primordial Radio about his contributions to MACHINE HEADhis new album: “I think I was very aware from day one that robb is the leader, he’s the creative leader, the musical leader… We all have our contributions but I think it’s always understood that ultimately the decision is up to him on how things go. But, yeah, I’ve definitely made contributions and I feel good about those contributions and people ask my opinion on certain things. But, as I said, I am his example.”
As for the sound of the new MACHINE HEAD PL, Jared said, “It’s a nice — to use robb‘s word… I think he used the word ‘colossal’ the other day. It’s a pretty big and epic album. We played with the order, but I listened, I sat down, I took the time to listen to it cover to cover, and the way it goes, it’s a ride – a really great, heavy, beautiful, melodic, furious and rhythmic ballad.”
In November 2020, MACHINE HEAD released a single, “My hands are empty”Going through Nuclear explosion. The song marked the first musical collaboration between Flynn and original “Burn My Eyes” guitarist Logan Mader in 24 years.
“My hands are empty” was just one of a series of singles to be released by MACHINE HEADwho published “Do or Die” in October 2019, “Circle the Drain” in February 2020, and the two-song digital single “Civil Unrest”made up of “Stop the Bleeding” and “Shielded”in June 2020. “Stop the Bleeding” featuring guest vocals from KILLSWITCH COMMITMENT leader Jesse Leachand was written and recorded just days after the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.
MACHINE HEAD will team up with Swedish viking metal lords AMON AMARTH for a co-title “Vikings and Lionhearts” Tour of European arenas in September and October. Support on the trek will come from THE HALO EFFECTthe new group made up of five former members of IN FIRE: Pierre Iwers, Daniel Svensson, Jesper Strömblad, Nicolas Engelin and Mikael Stanne.
“Catharsis” was the last album to feature the guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClainwho are both gone MACHINE HEAD in October 2018.