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Machine Head :: 1992 – 2011

Machine Head pack so much punch in their music, you actually do feel emotionally bruised after a while of listening to them. It doesn’t hurt though, it purges; your inner demons can finally come out and play. 

It’s been 19 years since Rob Flynn and Adam Duce came together to form this band, and in that much time they’ve gone through an entire lifetime’s supply of the high and the low. But they’ve kept it real and consistent, with seven critically acclaimed albums released, up to and including Unto The Locusts a little earlier this year. 

The nostalgia is a-brewin’, and we decided to do a little check; remind ourselves of what it is that makes Machine Head so bloody awesome. 


Imperium, at many levels, is an almost infallible song; something you don’t need to be a metalhead to enjoy. Sure, it’ll probably flood your bloodstream with adrenaline, but I don’t think you can overdose on natural hormones.

People have different reasons for loving it. Most critics were swept away by the seven-minute long metal hallucination that Machine Head managed to conjure up, while teenage boys everywhere had it for the sheer violence of it all. 

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The nihilistic war cry was uttered and heard, just as fans pushed play on a Machine Head record for the first time ever. Davidian screamed back at them, actuating revolutions and giving the young ones a cause to headbang to.

Its complexities are subtle, drawing bits and corners from the prevalent grunge trends in America in 1994. But Rob Flynn doesn’t look amused, even with his relatively cleaner look, with braids and beach shorts to go.

Over and beyond mugshots of him, the music video is a fitting ode to the aggression and passion of the song.

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Eventually, Machine Head would turn into worldly wise musicians, and Halo seems to be the single point of reference for that hypothesis. Jagged guitars can still wail, and Machine Head wouldn’t hold back the urge to lower the volume and slow down to breathing pace, if it helps tell a story better. 

It’s like a thrash metal ballad, if there ever was a contraption like that. The video for the song turned into an even bigger social affair, with the band requesting fans to volunteer to be extras in the video.

Fans from Europe and other further off places made it on the video too, which also included a starring role for bassist Adam Duce’s father as the evil man.

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Crashing Around You

This song is uncomfortably reminiscent of Korn, Machine Head’s nu-metal homeboys. But Rob Flynn doesn’t lose himself in the rapping, still retaining the bloodthirsty dignity of metal. 

But it all went wrong somewhere, not in the least because of the 9/11 attacks that followed the video launch, which suddenly meant the falling buildings in the video had become too incendiary to be shown on popular networks. 

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Days Turn Blue to Gray

Days Turn Blue To Gray is brutal, sure, but not really in the stereotypical metal way. This is a much more intuitive piece, like it’s trying to get to something inside of you.

And don’t be scared; this incision is carried out by a finely-tuned telepathic rhythm-lead guitar duo

Rob Flynn always sounds angry, but the one good thing that came out of his short-lived relapse into nu-metal is his distinctly stronger voice. He screams, growls and melodically laments how most families fail to raise their children with love and understanding.

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Another vintage metal classic for Machine Head’s debut album, Burn My Eyes. Nevermind the intent, this really is an incendiary track, with a jackhammer of a guitar working away right inside your head. 

Ah, screw that. And turn it all the way up. 

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