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, was released on January 26th, 2018. In late 2018, Machine Head embarked on a "farewell tour" of their current lineup. Following the tour, longtime members Phil Demmel and Dave McClain parted ways with the band. The band initially announced a Burn My Eyes 25th anniversary tour with Logan Mader and Chris Kontos returning on a live basis, but held off on announcing the entire new lineup; news of an upcoming single titled "Do or Die" with Carlos Cruz on guest drums was dropped sometime after. On September 27, 2019, the new lineup was announced: Waclaw "Vogg" Kieltyka would be taking Demmel's spot, while Matt Alston (Devilment) took McClain's spot. They went on to release several more singles, including the Uncivil Unrest EP in 2020, before dropping their album Of Kingdom and Crown in August of 2022.
- Burn My Eyes (1994)
- The More Things Change... (1997)
- The Burning Red (1999)
- Supercharger (2001)
- Through the Ashes of Empires (2003)
- The Blackening (2007)
- Unto the Locust (2011)
- Bloodstone & Diamonds (2014)
- Catharsis (2018)
- Of Kingdom and Crown (2022)
- Robb Flynn - lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1992–present)
- Jared MacEachern - bass, backing vocals (2013-present)
- Waclaw "Vogg" Kieltyka - lead guitar (2019-present)
- Matt Alston - drums (2019-present)
- Adam Duce - bass, backing vocals (1992–2013)
- Logan Mader - lead guitar (1992–1998)
- Ahrue Luster - lead guitar (1998–2002) (now in ill niño)
- Tony Costanza - drums (1992–1994, died 2020)
- Chris Kontos - drums (1994–1995)
- Walter Ryan - drums (1995)
- Dave McClain - drums (1995–2018)
- Phil Demmel - lead guitar, backing vocals (2002–2018)
Let freedom ring with the shotgun tropes:
- Achievement In Ignorance: Robb Flynn's trademark harmonics originated when he was a kid playing on a cheap practice amp; his inability to pull off the feedback on the Celtic Frost and Dirty Rotten Imbeciles songs that he would regularly jam on led him to turn to the harmonics in an attempt to get that same sound. While it was a fair guess, he was completely wrong, but they had become such a crucial component of his Signature Style that there was no point to even trying to relearn how to do it the "right" way once he had decent gear.
- I Am the Band: Robb is the only original member after Adam Duce left the band in 2013.
- Insult Backfire: About a month before the release of Catharsis, the band's Facebook page put up a picture of a scathing review of it and took a moment to insult the reviewer. The comment section didn't agree with the band.
- Long Runner Lineup: Type 2. The band's 2002-2013 lineup consisting of Robb Flynn, Adam Duce, Dave McClain, and Phil Demmel. This lineup was featured on Through the Ashes of Empires, The Blackening, and Unto the Locust.
- Multinational Team: Robb and Jared are from the US, Vogg is from Poland, and Matt is from the UK.
- 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 is 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 does not look 44, but around his 30s. Robb is now 56 years old but looks like he's in his mid 40s.◊
- Putting the Band Back Together: Robb managed to get most of the Burn My Eyes lineup (minus Adam Duce, who, for obvious reasons, was not an option) together on a live basis for a set of 25th anniversary shows.
- Teen Genius: Robb was apparently known for his skill as a guitarist while he was still in high school; Craig Locicero of Forbidden (which Robb was a member of when they were still known as Forbidden Evil) recounted how Robb was able to play the entirety of Electric Sun's "Earthquake" when he was just a teenager.
- We Used to Be Friends: Adam Duce, Dave McClain, and Phil Demmel. Duce and Flynn gradually fell out over the years before things finally decayed completely on the touring cycle for Unto the Locust, which got him fired in 2013 and wound up getting settled in the courts. McClain and Demmel, meanwhile, grew tired of Flynn's increasingly autocratic nature (with Demmel even commenting that by the end of their run, it was basically his solo band with the other three as his backing band) over the course of the 2010s, and by the end of the touring cycle for Bloodstone & Diamonds, their relationship with him was strictly business. After Catharsis (which both of them, especially Demmel, absolutely hated and regretted having their names on), they finally had enough and ducked out for good.
- "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).
- Religion Rant Song: Quite a few. For example: "Halo" (Types 2 and 3), "Old" (also Types 2 and 3), "Aesthetics Of Hate" (Type 3), etc.
- 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", "Die Young", 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
- 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 and a few having a hardcore hip hop influence. The Burning Red and Supercharger, however, added in 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. Catharsis was a return to their nu era stylistically.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: The first part of "I Am Hell".
- Rap Metal: Played with in the second half of "Struck A Nerve" off The More Things Change, then played straight for a number of songs on The Burning Red, Supercharger and Catharsis.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Struck A Nerve" starts in the key of C# but drops to a B for its groove/rap metal breakdown. "Silver", meanwhile, starts in the key of B but goes up to a C# for its final chorus.