Fan-filmed video footage of San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD performing a brand new song, “Killers & Kings”, live for the first time yesterday (Saturday, May 17) at the Scion Rock Fest in Pomona, California can be seen below.
MACHINE HEAD entered GREEN DAY‘s Oakland, California’s JingleTown Recording compound on February 9 to begin recording its new album for a late 2014 release via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn recently stated about the band’s new material: “I would say… that the songs are as epic in scope [as those on 2007’s ‘The Blackening’], if not more so, except where ‘The Blackening’ was more epic in the guitar department, this is more epic in the EVERYTHING department. Strings arrangements, keyboard arrangements, massive vocal layering (one track, ‘Sail Into The Black’ has 40 tracks of vocals), drum overdubs, and, of course, the standard MACHINE HEAD quadruple tracking of the guitars.”
He added: “I want to reiterate, I don’t feel this record sounds like ‘The Blackening’. It feels like we’re still moving forward. If I HAD to compare it to another record of ours, it may be closer to ‘Through The Ashes Of Empires’ in one aspect only, the simpler song arrangements. It’s still what I would just call classic metal, but we’ve simplified beats, simplified riffs, taken the unnecessary complicated-ness of something and made it simple. I’ve even applied that to my lyrics, where I’ve stripped out a lot of extra words (‘the’s,’ ‘and’s,’ etc), and invented a lyrical technique I call ‘clustering,’ where you cluster vowels or cluster ‘plosives’ (‘K’s,’ ‘T’s,’ ‘Ch’s’) together to make it sound heavier, or flow better. It doesn’t read all that poetically, but in the song it sounds really cool. I’ve also really worked hard on sharpening up my rhyme schemes, finding clever places to place rhymes, instead of the usual place at the end of a line, or even again, ‘clustering’ rhymes. It makes an abstract concept like ‘Killers & Kings’ (which references 20+ Tarot Cards, and that I’m very proud of the end result) to have a real meaning. Out of that stripped down musical landscape, we’ve then taken that new (to us at least) ‘extra space’ and added in layers of strings, layers of dark, ambient keys, layers and layers of vocals, and it sounds HUGE.”
As part of this year’s Record Store Day on April 19, MACHINE HEAD released a 10-inch vinyl single, with the A-side containing the “demo” version of “Killers & Kings”. The B-side is a cover version of the track “Our Darkest Days” from one of MACHINE HEAD‘s favorite bands, IGNITE. Other songtitles set to appear on the new MACHINE HEAD album include “Beneath The Silt”, “Eyes Of The Dead” (formerly “Ojos De La Muerte”) and “How We Die”.
MACHINE HEAD‘s next album will be the band’s first with new bassist Jared MacEachern, who replaced Adam Duce last year.
“Killers & Kings” performance:
“Killers & Kings” demo version: