Single Slam – Kaleidoscope by Machine Head (Catharsis)

Today is a good day. Machine Head have released a new single called Kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscope will feature on Machine Head’s, soon to be released album, Catharsis. Catharsis is due to drop on the 26th of January via Nuclear Blast.

Kaleidoscope is the fourth single to be released from the American metal giants in anticipation of Catharsis. It has also been released with a trippy video which you can watch at the links below. So far we have had the very good title track, Catharsis. We have had the excellent and heavy Beyond the Pale and more recently we have had the brilliant, yet somehow controversial Bastards. You can read our thoughts on all of these via the links.

It is probably enough to say that I feel like I am currently living in an alternate reality where I am listening to Machine Head release new tracks that I really like. I am super excited for the new album. Yet somehow, the vast majority of comments and reviews I read are supremely negative and unfairly insulting (personal abuse against a band isn’t criticism people, get a grip). I don’t understand what I am hearing that they aren’t, or vice versa.


Still, good preorder sales and a massive upcoming tour with many sold out shows suggest that while vocal, they probably, and hopefully, are a minority of haters on the attack.

Let’s see if Kaleidoscope adds or detracts from my excitement.

Kaleidoscope is just over 4 minutes long and is a really quick, loose and thrashy sounding song. It starts off with just frontman Robb Flynn (almost) rapping over a beat made from handclapping. A sound combination I admit I am not overly keen on. The guitars squeal and come in with force along with a strong bass line and fast drum rhythm. The rest of the track is fast and venomous with Phil Demmel hammering out a quick riff and Dave McClain smashing out a furiously fast beat while Jared MacEachern pounds away on the bass.

The pace is relentless as the chorus hits which sees the guitars hit a bit more of a groove sound while Robb adds a bit of singing into the snarled vocals. The second chorus leads into a short instrumental with a little dual guitar harmonising. A heavy breakdown follows with a guitar tone reminiscent of early Machine Head while Robb spits fury. This fades into a really cool section with muted vocals, quick drums and strings. It sounds great before switching back into the speedy and precise rhythm of the rest of the track. The song ends with a repeat of the chorus before a sudden stop.

I like it. I don’t think it has beaten Beyond the Pale as my favourite so far but Kaleidoscope is fast, furious and heavy. There is groove and rhythm and the drums are phenomenal. I love the strings section and think this one will be a pit favourite. Though I am not overly keen on the hand clapping at the beginning, it is brief and doesn’t hurt the song too badly. I also like the little solo a lot too but would have loved a bit more of the dual guitars. Overall, Kaleidoscope is another great song and despite what others may be saying, my opinion is that Catharsis is looking at being a brilliant album based on what I have heard so far.

Check out Kaleidoscope over at Machine Head’s YouTube channel here. It is available on all the usual streaming services now too. Machine Head are out on tour in support of the new album soon too so check here for dates and venues. You can pick up a preorder of Catharsis from Nuclear Blast and other sources here. You can also grab it at the links below. Check out Machine Head on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information on them. Be sure to give them a like and follow while you are there.

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  • Brendan Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Heavy Metal and reading, two things I have always loved so they are the two areas you will find most of my reviews. Post apocalyptic is my jam and I always have a book on the go and have for decades now. From a metal perspective, age has softened my inadequacies and I now operate with an open mind, loving many bands from many sub genres but having a particular admiration for the UK underground scene. In my other time, when not focused on Dad duties and work, I try to support the craft beer movement by drinking as much of it as I can and you will also find me out on the streets, walking. I love walking, I love exploring new places and snapping nature photos as I go.

Kaleidoscope by Machine Head (Catharsis)
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