Review JD Garrahy 

Machine Head. We know them, we love them, and when a new album drops we get excited as a kid at Christmas. This time though, its different. Of Kingdom And Crown is a tale of epic proportions and frontman Rob Flynn has brought every bit of his soul to the forefront to tell such a tale.

As the first note rings on ‘Slaughter The Martyr‘, it’s hard to say exactly what we’re in for as the vocals cut so distinctively through the undertones that you get a true display of Flynn’s fantastic vocal abilities. With such an amazing introduction, it then throws you full tilt into true Machine Head style. Hard percussives, grating riffs and that iconic voice that has been with us since the mid 90’s, this is the Machine Head we know and smash our collective heads to.

As we go through the tracks, the story that unfolds is one of modern day epicness. Our 2 characters Eros and Ares’ stories intertwine perfectly. From Ares losing his love, Amethyst, to the radicalization of Eros after the overdose of his mother, this story is just awe-inspiring. Mr Flynn has certainly outdone himself in the concept department of this album.

Choke On The Ashes Of Your Hate‘ is MH in all its permanent glory. Hard, fast, brutally vocal, this is the way we love to hear this music. Just pure head pummeling brilliance.

Become The Firestorm‘. Fuck, what a song. The riff work on this track harks back to Locust and everything that made that album so fantastic. If there was a track that condensed everything that album had, this is it. It’s perfect in every sense of the word. This track live will be something to behold.

Overdose‘ gives a great interlude with some insanely great voice over work to tell the pure loss of what Eros felt on losing his mother. Leading into ‘My Hands Are Empty‘ the songs operatic, and almost Gregorian type vocals further cement the solemnness that Eros emotes upon losing his matriarchal figure after enduring such a lengthy battle with her addictive ways. An absolutely inspiring track to bestow upon our substance addicted world. Bravo Mr Flynn and Co.

With small interludes between to foreshadow the stories that shall be laid out with each track, it’s clear that Machine Head have clearly thought out this album and how they wanted to present it to the world, and dammit if it hasn’t paid off. ‘Kill Thy Enemies‘ is a slower paced track sandwiched right in the middle of the album and helps to really bring some gravity to both Eros and Ares’ struggles in their respective areas. Magical storytelling by such an amazing band.

No Gods No Masters‘ is just audible bliss for a metal fan. Starting small yet building to such brutal ear smashing goodness, this track gives everything you want in all the areas you want it to. Just listen to this on repeat and I guarantee you’ll be chanting the chorus in no time.

Closing out the album, ‘Arrows In Words From The Sky’ is executed without fault. Brilliant riff work, with accompanying vocal perfection give you the feeling of the final battle fought with much loss and suffering. The way the Machine Head lads have displayed this leaves me at a loss for words, it really engrosses you not only in some amazing musical skill, but also pulls you into such an amazing story at the same time. I can’t get enough of this type of heavy metal.

An album such as ‘Of Kingdom And Crown‘ is a massive undertaking by any means for a band, but the MH boys have executed this flawlessly. It’s hard to write an album that the fans will love and help you to move forward as a band, but MH has done that with this album. If the future of heavy metal means we will have more albums that tell such epic tales, while keeping the core feel of the music, then count me in.  It leaves me excited for the future of one of the heavy metal industries finest. All I can do now is applaud Mr Flynn and Co. on a job VERY well done and go listen to this album on repeat for the next few months. Bravo

Is out now  via Nuclear Blast x Imperium Recordings

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