- Phil Demmel - guitar (2002–present)
- Robb Flynn - lead vocals, guitar (1992–present)
- Dave McClain - drums (1995–present)
- Jared MacEachern - bass, backing vocals (2013 - present)
- Adam Duce - bass guitar, backing vocals (1992–2013)
- Logan Mader - guitar (1992–1998)
- Ahrue Luster - guitar (1998–2002) (now in Ill Nino)
- Tony Costanza - drums (1992–1994)
- Chris Kontos - drums (1994–1995)
- Walter Ryan - drums (1995)
Machine Head provides examples of the following tropes:
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The band members themselves/live performance
- Bald of Awesome: The band's drummer Dave McClain.
- Ill Boy: Phil Demmel suffers from Cardiogenic Syncope which caused him to faint or lose consciousness couple times in concert.
- Putting the Band Back Together: Sort of, Phil Demmel was Robb's bandmate in Vio-Lence.
- Took a Level in Badass: In order to top The Blackening, the entire band took additional lessons in their instrument of choice prior to recording Unto the Locust , and holy hell does it show.
- Older Than He Looks: Robb has always looked younger than he was. On this single cover◊, he's the blonde guy with the goatee. He was 31. This is him last year at 43.◊, looking to be around his late 20s. He aged quite a bit in the last year-and-a-half, but still doesn't look 44, but around his 30s.
- Teen Genius: Flynn was apparently known for his skill as a guitarist while he was still in high school; Craig Locicero of Forbidden (which Flynn was a member of when they were still known as Forbidden Evil) recounted how Flynn was able to play the entirety of Electric Sun's "Earthquake" when he was just a teenager.
- Take That: "Aesthetics of Hate" from The Blackening is one directed at an article of the same name that praised the murder of Dimebag Darrell.
- The Family That Slays Together: "The Night Of Long Knives" from Bloodstone & Diamonds is about the Manson family.
- We Used to Be Friends: "Game Over" from Bloodstone & Diamonds is about a friendship destroyed and the singer retrospectively renouncing the cynicism he'd been subjected to over the years.
- rumor is that the target is former bassist Adam Duce, who Robb fired and was later sued by.
- Cover Version: Of "Message in a Bottle", "Hole in the Sky", "Creeping Death", "Battery", "Hallowed Be Thy Name", "Fucking Hostile", "The Sentinel", and "Witch Hunt". Amazingly enough, they've also covered Negative Creep.
- Epic Rocking: They had their moments early on, but since The Blackening it became their primary modus operandi.
- Metal Scream: Type 1
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally about an 8. With songs like Violate and Down To None falling into the 7 category and Descend The Shades Of Night being a little hard to pin down on this scale (the softer sections are about a 2, but the harder sections are 7-8). A couple songs, such as "Blood For Blood" and the first half of "Struck A Nerve," go up to a 9.
- Sail Into The Black from Bloodstone & Diamonds is the most variant Machine Head song yet, with the first half being a solid 2 with smoke-laden lyrics, piano and foreboding guitar. The second half kicks in and sends things all the way to 7 with the third (and fourth) verse, then simmering down to 5 with the chorus, instrumental and finale.
- New Sound Album: Burn My Eyes and The More Things Change were essentially straightforward Groove Metal, with some songs having more of a Thrash Metal influence, though The More Things Change was where they started to include Nu Metal elements. The Burning Red and Supercharger added more elements of Nu Metal, including rapped vocals on some songs. Through the Ashes of Empires was a return to Groove Metal with a side of melodic metalcore, a sound which the band has mostly stuck with since, but focusing more heavily on Thrash Metal with some more progressive elements on The Blackening and Unto the Locust.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: The first part of "I am Hell".
- "Reason You Suck" Speech: The song "Left Unfinished" is essentially one big "Fuck you" to Rob Flynn's abusive birth parents (he was rescued from them and placed into a foster home when he was five years old).
- Up to Eleven: From Unto the Locust could be this to The Blackening.
- Chest Burster: Phil in the video for "Locust". One shot shows a swarm of locusts flying out of a wound in his chest.
- The Swarm: Locust features, well, a swarm of locusts.
- Too Soon: The music video "Crashing Around You" featured falling buildings, which would have been fine had the video not been released shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (the video was conceived and shot months before the attacks). The video was banned by MTV, which caused Roadrunner Records to drop Machine Head from their label. The band later rejoined the label after every label but Roadrunner rejected their album Through the Ashes of Empires.