Posted By: Nuclear Blast
Release date: August 26, 2022
Robb Flynn | Vocals, Guitar
Waclaw “Vogg” Kieltyka | Guitar
Jared MacEachern | Low
Matt Alston | Drums
List of tracks:
1. Massacre the martyr
2. ChØKe ØN The Ashes ØF YØUr Hate
3. BecØMe The FirestØRm
5. My hands are empty
8. Kill your enemies
9. NØ GØDs, NØ Masters
13. ArrØWs In WØRds From The Sky
The last two years have been a bit of a rollercoaster for Machine Head with departing members, but this is where Robb Flynn and his bandmates are talking – crushing, brutal thrash metal. Flynn came up with a concept loosely inspired by the Japanese anime series “Attack On Titan” and explained as follows: “Set in a futuristic desert where the sky is always crimson red”. It tells the story of two characters who both face untold trauma and whose stories are bloodily intertwined. Both think they are doing the right thing, but both commit evil atrocities.
Opening with the epic ‘Slaughter The Martyr’, Robb Flynn sings showing off what a beautiful clear voice he has, he’s joined by Jared MacEachearn on a spine-tingling double vocal as the tension mounts – you know what is coming – and here it is Vogg rips a spider riff and we go for a brutal thrash attack with Flynn at his best and more blinding guitar work from Vogg. Machine Head is back! It’s phenomenal with one of those catchy choruses that only Machine Head produces. “Choke On The Ashes Of Your Hate” brings old-school Bay Area thrash – uncompromisingly brutal and intense, then the brutality escalates, if possible, on “Become The Firestorm” which has another melodic voice shared between Flynn and MacEachrean. “Overdose” leads into “My Hands Are Empty” which begins with an ominous chant as you already know it won’t last long as the auditory assault is on its way and it comes with a load of aggression but it’s it’s back to singing. on the chorus, it also features former guitarist Phil Demmell doing what he does best. ‘Unhallowed’ is modern metal that bounces across genres before lead track ‘Assimilate’ brings us to the groove metal of ‘Kill The Enemies’. More melodic vocals open ‘No Gods No Masters’ before we’re totally annihilated by an angry anthem that’s sure to get the crowd pumping, just like ‘Bloodshot’ which is real old school thrash. ‘Rotten’ is another groove monster with razor sharp riffs, then ‘Terminus’ leads to previous single ‘Arrows In Words From The Sky’ which is utterly superb.
Holy shit! It’s relentless, brutal, aggressive with a load of melody too. The playing is superb, Vogg’s leads are sublime and the beats provided by MacEachren and drummer Naverne Koperweis (Animals As Leaders) are tremendous. Robb Flynn shows many facets of his voice and the production literally rips your face off. To me, this is the best thing Machine Head has ever produced.
Reviewed By: Smudge