Machine Head is an American Heavy Metal
band formed in Oakland, California in 1992 by vocalist/guitarist Robert Flynn, who had departed from the Thrash Metal
band Music/Violence due to actual violence
between Flynn and the rest of the band, and gang members. Flynn cofounded Machine Head, named for the Deep Purple
album, with bassist Adam Duce, and the new band started off playing a fusion of Groove Metal
and Thrash Metal
With the release of the band's third album, 1999's The Burning Red
, Nu Metal
elements were also added, including semi-rapped vocals and guitar licks that imitated turntable scratching. The band's fans accused Machine Head of "selling out"; but Machine Head countered that they weren't trying to sound like other bands, just that they wanted to sound different.
After guitarist Ahrue Luster (responsible for the band's Nu Metal
influence) left the band due to creative differences, Machine Head initially decided to begin writing as a three-piece band, but temporary guitarist Phil Demmel (formerly of Vio-lence) became a permanent member of the band. The band's style has since evolved into a fusion of melodic elements with groove and thrash now dominating the band's style again.
On 22 February 2013, long-time bassist Adam Duce was fired from the band. His departure makes Rob Flynn the sole remaining original member of the band. He was replaced by former Sanctity frontman Jason MacEachern.
- Phil Demmel - guitar (2002–present)
- Robb Flynn - lead vocals, guitar (1992–present)
- Dave McClain - drums (1995–present)
- Jason 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
- 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".
- Epic Riff: One of their main strengths.
- Epic Rocking: They had their moments early on, but since The Blackening it became their primary modus operandi.
- 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.
- 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. 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, 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).
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: As stated above, Burning Red's Nu Metal influences.
- 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.