Machine Head - ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN - Artwork
  • 9.2/10


Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release date: August 26, 2022

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Following the disappointment of 2018’s album, Catharsis. Rumors were circulating that Machine Head would break up after the departure of bassist Dave McClain and guitarist Phil Demmel. Founding member Robb Flynn clarified that Machine Head was not breaking up but was saying farewell to the current lineup of the band after the tour at the end of 2018.

Fast forward to the year 2022, Machine Head is back with the lineup of guitarist and band founder Robb Flynn, bassist Jared MacEachern, with the addition of guitarist Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka and drummer Matt Alston. On August 26, 2022, Machine Head released its tenth studio album, ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN on Nuclear Blast Records. ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN has a runtime of a little over an hour with 13 tracks. This is the first concept album that Machine Head has ever done.

According to Robb Flynn, the concept was loosely inspired by the Japanese anime series “Attack On Titan.” Robb is quoted as saying, ”in the sense that in that series, there is no “good” or “bad” guy… both sides believe they’re doing the right thing, but both are committing atrocities and evil.”

The Good

This album has a good mix of Thrash, mid-tempo chuggers, and songs that extend the boundaries of what Machine Head is best known for. The opening track, “Slaughter The Martyr,” is a ten-minute-long epic track introducing the character of Ares. Robb Flynn’s vocal performance is clear, expressive, and emotional. Bassist Jared MacEachern’s vocals add to the emotion of the song in the beginning and ending harmonies. The guitar solos by Robb Flynn and Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka complement each other (in the same way Tipton and K.K. Downing did the song “Painkiller” back in 1991). The production of this song is amazing as each instrument is very loud and clear. MacEachern sings the chorus opposite of Robb in “Become the Firestorm” where both shine in this song. Stand-out Thrash songs on this album are “Choke on the Ashes of Your Hate,” “Become the Firestorm,” and “Bloodshot.” “My Hands are Empty” is dark and depressing with vocal chants echoing throughout the song by Robb with Jared singing in the chorus in the foreground. The song gets dark and chilling. “Arrows from the Sky” and “No Gods, No Masters” will definitely encourage the fans to sing with the band live. “Unhallowed” is a nice mix of mellow clean guitars and mid-tempo chugs with expressive vocals by both Flynn and MacEachern. This song is dark with heavy moments throughout.

The Not So Good

The only criticism that could be made is that the story does not flow very well for a concept album. The interlude tracks could have been left out but they are there to set the mood for the next track. There are NO “Kaleidoscopes” whatsoever on this album.

In conclusion, ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN is by far best album Machine Head have created, almost calling this their masterpiece. This is the most dynamic album to date from Machine Head as they keep their trademark sound and really excel with the range of emotion in the vocals throughout the album.


  • Mark Zagotti

    Mark is a reviewer for Metal Express Radio since 2022. He first discovered the power of Hard Rock in 1985 as a teen when he first listened to Twisted Sister's cassette Stay Hungry. In his teen years, Mark was introduced to bands such as Kiss, Metallica, and enjoying the time that Rock and Metal ruled MTV. His first Heavy Metal concert was Clash of the Titans in 1991, where he experienced the site of a SLAYER mosh pit for the first time. Ever since that moment he has been a METAL HEAD for life. Mark's musical tastes have expanded over the years enjoying music from bands ranging from Ghost, Amorphis, Paradise Lost, the Big 4, Behemoth, and just about everything in between.    

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.