MACHINE HEAD is currently recording "The Blackening" at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California. Once again produced by singer/guitarist Robert Flynn and mixed by Colin Richardson (BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, NAPALM DEATH) "The Blackening", set for worldwide release spring 2007, is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed album "Through the Ashes of Empires".
Regarding "The Blackening", Flynn states, "This is the most ambitious thing we have ever attempted. We all challenged ourselves and each other to write a record that pushed the boundaries of complexity and technical structure." Meanwhile, Flynn's lyrics have gone from what has been, recently, a more introspective focus, back to the social commentary tackled on previous albums like "Burn My Eyes". Flynn continues, "The nature of what is happening in the world led to a darker, bleaker album in every sense." Pointed and timely, the lyrics in songs such as "Clenching The Fists of Dissent", "A Farewell To Arms" and "Halo" touch upon politics, the war in Iraq and organized religion. The lyrics to the aforementioned songs spit anger and disdain at their topics in the true spirit of angst that fueled punk rock in the mid- '80s. "Aesthetics of Hate" captures the bands anger towards an article that bashed "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott right after his death and slammed the metal community as a whole for mourning it. The band actually performed this new track during the special appearances they made along the Sounds of the Underground Tour this past summer. "Now I Lay Thee Down" has a "Romeo and Juliet"-esque love story slant to it, while "Slanderous" addresses the hate that still permeates throughout society and "Wolves" tackles the band's competitive, "winner take all’ spirit.
MACHINE HEAD fans have always played a big part in the recording process. However, for the first time ever, the band brought in a group of loyal fans and had them sing backing vocals on a new track. Additionally, as with previous efforts the band has once again allowed their fans into their world through online diaries and pioneering the use of "video updates" from the studio and the road. All of which can be seen on the official MH site www.machinehead1.com.
Slowing down from the roller coaster ride of "Through the Ashes of Empires" to write "The Blackening" was a natural evolution. Upon release of "Through the Ashes of Empires" in April 2004 (2003 overseas), the band embarked on what would become the most successful, and comprehensive touring cycle of their careers. The relentless trek around the globe saw MH headlining three major U.S. runs, bringing as support rising metal stars including TRIVIUM, CHIMAIRA and DEVILDRIVER. The band also completed two headlining tours of the U.K. and Europe and a headlining tour of Australia. MACHINE HEAD headlined the Wacken festival in Germany and was one of the first metal bands to play the Middle East when they played Dubai's Desert Rock Festival. The culmination of the world tour was the filming of MACHINE HEAD's amazingly successful "Elegies" DVD at a sold-out Brixton Academy in London, England in front of 5,000 fans. "Elegies" debuted in the Top 20 on various charts around the world including at #13 on Billboard's Music Video Chart in the U.S., toppling same-week releases from ROB ZOMBIE and SHERYL CROW.