Machine Head's Of Kingdom And Crown: blunt as heavy-force trauma but melodic and rich

Of Kingdom And Crown is an expansive and ambitious concept album from Bay Area metallers Machine Head

Machine Head: Of Kingdom And Crown cover art
(Image: © Nuclear Blast)

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Somehow, almost 30 years have passed since Machine Head came barrelling into the world with the industrial-strength Burn My Eyes album. It and they might have escaped your notice, but over the decades the band have created some sophisticated and enduring heavy metal. 

For Machine Head, songs are very much to the fore. As it is with this latest album, it might be framed as a concept record based on a Japanese anime series (come back, I haven’t finished), but it’s stuffed full of tunes.

Singer Rob Flynn might still revert to the occasional bout of stylistic growling, but he’s in excellent vocal form on tracks like Slaughter The Martyr (most of their titles are heavier than guilt) and the superb Arrows In Words From The Sky

Blunt as heavy-force trauma, but melodic and rich too, this album is an example of Machine Head at their best.

Philip Wilding

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.