Music / Machine Head

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 Vio-lence 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, Machine Head 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 Jared MacEachern.

Machine Head's eighth studio album,Bloodstone & Diamonds, was released on November 7th 2014 to critical acclaim and debuted at #21 on the Billboard charts, the band's highest chart position to date. It was also their first album not to be on Roadrunner Records, instead being on Nuclear Blast which they are currently signed to as of now.

The band's ninth studio album, Catharsis, will be released on January 26th, 2018.

Band members

  • Phil Demmel - guitar (2002–present)
  • Robb Flynn - lead vocals, guitar (1992–present)
  • Dave McClain - drums (1995–present)
  • Jared MacEachern - bass, backing vocals (2013 - present)

Former members

  • 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.


    Music/Music referential 
  • 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.

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