Machine Head

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Machine Head


Machine Head is an American Metal band from Oakland, California. The band was founded in 1992 by Robert Flynn (vocals/guitar) and Adam Duce (Bass) and has now sold over 1,7 million records over the world. The name of the band is NOT related to the Deep Purple record Machine Head, it just happens to be a cool bandname. The band is considered to be a pioneer of the so-called New Wave Of American Heavy Metal and was later cricised to have turned into a NU-Metal band. The band almost broke up but they had a comeback in 2003 and are now once again one of the most important Thrash-Metal bands.

Foundation and Early Years

Robert Flynn left his former band Vio-Lence after a fight between the band members to form his own band in which he would not only play guitar but be the vocalist. Flynn founded the band Machine Head together with bassist Adam Duce and they are the only members of the original lineup on the present day. They hired lead guitarist Logan Mader and drummer Tony Constanza and started to write songs. With their first small gigs they became famous in the Bay Area underground scene and they decided to record a demo tape. The tape was recorded in a friends' bedroom with a total budget of 800$, consisting of six tracks. The demo was send to Roadrunner Records and they signed Machine Head in 1993. Drummer Tony Constanza left the band during the record of their debut and was replaced by Chris Kontos. Their debut CD Burn My Eyes was Roadrunner Records'best selling debut CD of all time and the band toured with Slayer in summer 1994. The band had a huge success in Europe but also a bad start in the United states, mainly because their Hitsingle Davidian was not played in the MTV rotation due to it's lyrics about the Waco-Siege. On their second European tour in 1995, drummer Chris Kontos missed so many concerts that the band had to fire him and replace him by Dave McClain who is still Machine Heads' drummer. In 1996 the band started to record their second album but they were unsatisfied with it's sound and remixed it two more times. The album The More Things To Change was released in 1997 and the band started their first headlining tour. Guitarist Logan Mader was thrown out of the band because of his drug addiction.

Most Important Record: Burn My Eyes

This debut CD can be discribed by a single word: HEAVY. The legendary Opening riff of Davidian is like a hammer shaking the earth, and the whole record stands up to this impression. This record is a true Thrash Metal record with hammering doublabass drumms and unique and still heavy riffs. The half screamed, half sung lyrics of frontman Rob Flynn are about Injustice and Hatred, they were the blueprint that inspired todays hardcore and metalcore lyrics. The album features thrashy and fast songs aswell as groovy midtempo tracks like the song Old with it's one of a kind bass-intro. This impressive debut CD is one of the most influential records of heavy music in the early 90's and is as important as Pantera's Vulgar Display Of Power.

Image:Machine Head - Burn My Eyes.jpg

1. Davidian
2. Old
3. A Thousand Lies
4. None But My Own
5. The Rage To Overcome
6. Death Church
7. A Nation On Fire
8. Blood For Blood
9. I'm Your God Now
10. Real Eyes,Realize,Real Lies
11. Block

Style Change

For the bands' third record Flynn incorporated personal lyrics for the first time arround like his childhood or his adoption. For 1998s The Burning Red the band tried some musical experiments like using rap as a vocal technique and incorporating parts of the NU metal style into their own music (scratching, samples, etc...). The fans reacted unsatisfied to these changes. They claimed the band to be sell-outs because the NU metal wave was getting bigger at that time.

In the year 2000 the band released their fifth studio record Supercharger which was an overall very uninpired record with very few good tracks. Their current guitarist Ahrue Luster was replaced by Phil Demmel in 2002; he continues to be Machine Heads' lead guitarist until today. The drastic style change had crushed Machine Heads' fanbase and the low quality of the record Supercharger had decreased their record selling statistics.



In the end of 2002 things were looking pretty bad for Machine Head. Roadrunner Records cancelled their contract with the band because of decreasing record sales and Flynn had to go to rehab for his alcohol and drug addiction. They recorded another demo but were turned back by over 30 record labels; the band was on the edge of a break up. In 2003 they recorded a back to the Roots record with producer Andy Sneap called Through the Ashes of Empires. The album was written in the early thrash metal style of the band and became such a big success that Roadrunner record resigned the band. Once again Machine head went on headlinign tour and played several festivals, they even recorded a Live DVD called Elegies in 2005. In 2007 the band released their sixth album The Blackening which became an even bigger success than Through the Ashes of Empires even though it is way more complex. The band descibes The Blackening as Machine Heads' Master Of Puppets.

Musical Style

Machine Head can be considered as a Thrash Metal band in general. They are inspired by 1980's Bay-Area-Thrashmetal (The Band IS from the Bay Area) and Bands like Exodus, Metallica or Testament. The music contains the typical Thrash-Metal aspects like fast riffing or the vocal style. Furthermore Machine Heads' music has a lot more groove and midtempo than classical Thrash Metal, therefore some people consider them as a Neo-Thrash/Groove Metal band like for example Pantera. Machine Heads sound features heavily distorted guitars and heavy riffs, doublebass drums and picked bassguitars topped of by half screamed half growled vocals and sometimes slow, accoustic passages with clean vocals. The band is famous for a heavy useage of natural hamronics and double guitar harmonies. The records The Burning Red and Supercharger are considered as Nu Metal records because of the simpler riffs and the hiphop vocals.


Studio Records

   * 1994 – Burn My Eyes
   * 1997 – The More Things Change
   * 1999 – The Burning Red
   * 2001 – Supercharger
   * 2003 – Hellalive
   * 2003 – Through the Ashes of Empires
   * 2007 – The Blackening


   * 1995 – Old
   * 1999 – From This Day
   * 1999 – Year of the Dragon
   * 2004 – Days Turn Blue to Grey


   * 2005 – Elegies (live in London)

--ZakkWylde 00:50, 27 June 2008 (CEST)