MH frontman Robert Flynn recently spoke to MTV.com about the band’s new album ‘The Blackening‘ “We really didn’t want to play it safe on this record,” he explained. “We kind of came back from the dead with ‘Through the Ashes of Empires’, and the safest thing we could’ve done would’ve been to just stay in [that] vein and try to keep that formula because it worked last time. Not that there was a formula really. We just started writing and the music that we were writing just started going in this far more complex, intricate and layered direction. It’s not like we sat there and intentionally did it. It just kind of [happened]. Pretty soon we ended up having 10-minute-long songs. But the thing that’s really cool about it is, we’re not just jamming on three riffs for 10 minutes. This is molten riffage ? just 20, 30 crushing riffs per song.” Flynn said MACHINE HEAD was on a RUSH kick (particularly 1977’s “A Farewell to Kings”) during the writing of “The Blackening“, and even took a few cues from the Canadian prog-rock icons. “The one thing that they did is that they’d have these long songs that constantly had a continuing theme throughout them,” he said. “The songs always reverted back to this one melody or this one hook ? and that kept it in the context of a song so that ultimately, it wasn’t just riff soup for 10 minutes. It kind of had some things that took you on a journey and then brought you back to something familiar. And that’s something that we really started to try and bring into the mix. We’d have these long songs, but then we’d go back to these choruses or these hooks, but in a different context. The more we did it, the more we got excited about it. For whatever reason, it’s worked.” Colin Richardson will commence mixing the album next week. A first quarter of 2007 release date is expected.