San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD will release their ninth full-length album, "Catharsis", on January 26, 2018 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2014's "Bloodstone & Diamonds" was produced by MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn and recorded, mixed, and co-produced by Zack Ohren (FALLUJAH, ALL SHALL PERISH) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California. Mastering was handled by Ted Jensen (HATEBREED, ALICE IN CHAINS, DEFTONES) at Sterling Sound in New York. Cover photography was created by Seanen Middleton.
"I feel like metal could really infiltrate the mainstream with this album. And it needs to... now more than ever," said Flynn. "A lot of consideration went into making these songs more identifiable to a wider audience. Simplifying ideas, simplifying hooks, really concentrating on story-telling as opposed to 'brutal poetry' or whatever. And while I'd love to say it was all some grand plan, there was no 'plan.' You never know where you're going to end up whenever you start writing a record... you just write... but I tell ya what... we ended up with a landmark here. Whenever you finish an album, you always feel proud, but this time... we've got something really special. We can feel it. We know it. 'Catharsis' could really elevate our genre."
"Catharsis" track listing:
01. Volatile 02. Catharsis 03. Beyond The Pale 04. California Bleeding 05. Triple Beam 06. Kaleidoscope 07. Bastards 08. Hope Begets Hope 09. Screaming At The Sun 10. Behind A Mask 11. Heavy Lies The Crown 12. Psychotic 13. Grind You Down 14. Razorblade Smile 15. Eulogy
Flynn told Poland's Interia.pl that "Beyond The Pale" was "the second song that we wrote for the record. It was just a simple four-minute song that we were, like, 'Fuck, cool!' It came together really fast," he said. "Lyrically, it took me a while to get how I wanted to shape it. That was the one song on the record where I couldn't get a theme for the song, like a lyrical theme. I went through seven different choruses, seven different subjects, seven completely different sets of lyrics. When it finally came to this last one, that's when I knew it was it. 'Kaleidoscope' was the opposite. We literally wrote that in the studio. Me and Dave [McClain, drums] were messing around. It just came super-fast. I ended up going in there and I freestyled a bunch of the lyrics and that whole intro section was the second time I ever sang the song. It just poured out of me. I was really excited."
He continued: "I think when you go to capture a record, you go into the studio and sometimes it can be a little bit of a sterile environment. You want to capture lightning in a bottle, but it's hard, it's the hardest thing to do. Many bands don't do it. With ['Kaleidoscope'], we just fucking captured it and it was crazy. You're literally hearing the first day we ever played that song as a band. We captured it. I think you feel that energy. I think there's an urgency there, there's an excitement there. I don't know if it would have been there if we worked on it for eight or nine months and then recorded it later."
The North American tour in support of "Catharsis" will kick off on January 25 in Mesa, Arizona.