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  • Machine Head

    After drooling over Motorhead in the other thread, this manic metalhead can't help but briefly throw up another one of my old metal favourites...from Oakland, California----Machine Head

    Sometimes strangely and stupidly called the 'poor man's Pantera' by some people, Machine Head is a band that I've actually had a love-hate relationship with. They are what is referred to as 'groove-thrash metal' ('post-thrash' by certain moronic writers in the music press), and a band that I remember instantly really liking back in '92, when they first started out and I was a relative newbie to full-on Metal music of all kinds.

    Machine Head's debut, Burn My Eyes ('94), and the sequel, The More Things Change (/97), are landmark metal records in that particular 'groove-thrash' style, and remain the two MH releases that I still regard very fondly, after all these years. That's the sweet part of the story. However, MH soon badly let me down with two shockingly sad, dud discs The Burning Red and Supercharger, where they departed from their earlier intense, vicious metallic sound and style to the more stripped down, accessible approach, and also absolutely abhorrent dabbling with rap and other weird experimentation that lost me as a fan. Yet, they made a rebound and made amends with me, with a pummelling back-to-form disc, the very thrashy, Through the Ashes of Empires, in 2004. I was very glad and felt assured that MH had stood back up again after the prior two mis-steps. But no, they came back in 2007 with a largely awful (yet overhyped prior to release, and over-rated, ever since) new studio album, The Blackening. It was a suck-fest, to my ears. They let me down again. Less than a week ago, I landed an old EP (2000) of theirs, Take My Scars, which I'm finding a lot of fun. And there's a live album, Hellalive, which I haven't got and never heard.

    So, that sums up my thoroughly contrasting feelings about this great band. But, for three great groovy, grinding, thrashy, angry, rude and edgy metal records alone, I reckon I'll always speak kindly of Machine Head. I've watched them only once, in Australia, sharing the bill with 3 other local metal acts. They played a long and very impressive set. I badly wanted to get a chance for a brief chat with Rob Flynn, Phil Demmell or even Adam Duce (who I had talked with before), but eventually could not. They are currently with Roadrunner Records, and fans are hopeful of a new album this year.

    Anybody else here ever been a Machine Head fan?

    http://www.myspace.com/machinehead
    http://www.myspace.com/machinehead
    Last edited by RLP4ever; 01-10-2010, 05:40 AM.
    "Actors really are the scum of the earth. Their behavior makes arrogant, overpaid rock stars appear positively noble' - Buzz Osborne

  • #2
    a few years ago I actuall ysaw them live; my nephew who is a metalhead wanted to see them, he lives in a city 140 km away and he was 15 then, so his mum said only if he had company - me. It was a Sunday night, perhaps 1000 people attending (small hall in a school, packed). I never saw such an incredibly intense mosh/whatever before, it was like the crowd was a volcano boiling. The band were duly impressed, they played almost 3 hours, at one point they said " we don't care if you work tomorrow, we don't care if you have a train to catch, we're going to play on", the show eneded afetr 1 am, I mean there was some other opening band before. Near the end, they had sort of more than finished the set, they started to play covers. In one, he started to say "now we're going to play, err, no, let's see if you know it", and thney went on to Creeping Death, and they played it like it should be played, like Metallica can't anymore. I thought to myself, the old guy amongst all the kids, "do they know this", and I was amazed to see they all knew the lyrics and the whole crowd was singing. It was the first time I realised there really was a new generation of kids who could be my children, but were aware of the old 80s stuff. Nice.

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    • #3
      Sounds like a surreal experience of sorts, nunoni. I hope your young metal-mad nephew had one helluva great time, at that show. Machine Head have been notoriously awesome performing at precisely live shows of this nature. They have done a few other great covers, though I'm always far happier hearing and watching Flynn and mates, go hammer and tongs on their own great tunes.

      Ha, so you realised then that you couldn't underestimate just how clued-in and metal-smart a lot of teen metal fans can be---indeed are. I, for one, have sometimes bemoaned the attitudes of many young rock-metal fans of this decade and their lame, lazy, trend-chasing mentality and listening habits regarding music, overall, let alone rock/metal. Yet, as I've stressed in one of my other posts, in another thread, recently, that there's no denying that there are also countless young fans in the metal-loving community, that actually know their history and the top-flight acts and albums to hear. And they also seem to know how to seek out very many of the best acts that metal has to offer today. Besides, they know how to have fun and keep the bands motivated enough to carry on creating and performing live, quality new material.

      It seems like there are no MH fans on this board. Oh well, Machine Head has got my number-and I'd still like to go watch them, yes, even mosh with the other fans, and of course, buy any new album they decide to send our way, soon.
      "Actors really are the scum of the earth. Their behavior makes arrogant, overpaid rock stars appear positively noble' - Buzz Osborne

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      • #4
        I own The Blackening which I kinda/sorta like. I liked it more the first week or two. I also own Through the Ashes of Empires which is still wrapped in it's original shrink wrap--I bought this during the first couple weeks after getting The Blackening. Apparently before I could ever open and listen to it my attention was diverted elsewhere, to some other band.

        So there it sits on the shelf, brand new, next to it's sister The Blackening And both between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Mastodon.

        Maybe today will be the day...
        And if the sun never shined on us, the night time has fruit of the vine High on Fire-Brother in the Wind

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RLP4ever View Post
          Ha, so you realised then that you couldn't underestimate just how clued-in and metal-smart a lot of teen metal fans can be---indeed are......Yet, as I've stressed in one of my other posts, in another thread, recently, that there's no denying that there are also countless young fans in the metal-loving community, that actually know their history and the top-flight acts and albums to hear. And they also seem to know how to seek out very many of the best acts that metal has to offer today. Besides, they know how to have fun and keep the bands motivated enough to carry on creating and performing live, quality new material.
          Yes, that's exactly what we are... Err...well...can I count myself to the "young" anymore? I guess the 18-year old in me never dies!

          Originally posted by RLP4ever View Post
          It seems like there are no MH fans on this board. Oh well, Machine Head has got my number-and I'd still like to go watch them, yes, even mosh with the other fans, and of course, buy any new album they decide to send our way, soon.
          Yeah, I guess we're the chosen few...

          A grand total of 2 Machine Head shows under my belt. Ah, I remember the first one from my beloved Nummirock midsummer festival in 2000, it was a fantastic festival, I was there for the full 3 days and nights...

          From the great billing I got to see these...

          Machine Head (an aggressive in-your-face show, merciless)

          Cypress Hill (never a fan of this band, but I appreciated their live performance, they had real instruments from guitars to drums and they played good)

          Biohazard (they were damn loud and I was damn drunk)

          Moonspell (my first Moonspell show, one of the best performances of this festival)

          Nightwish (probably my best experience of Nightwish with Tarja, I also met Tarja later face to face...)

          Stone (our own pride of thrash! a 100 % sure treat on stage!)

          Sentenced (some of the best shows they ever did, certainly better than the lame & drunk shows of their farewell tour)

          Amorphis

          Sonata Arctica

          To/Die/For

          Sinergy (this was a blast, Kimberly Goss nailed our heads with her OTT performance, even Tarot's bassist Marco Hietala played with them)

          ------------------------------------

          My second show was part of the Sonisphere experience last year, not exactly as intense overall energy because of the massive crowds and long distance (I prefer to actually see the band as well)...I saw the band from, what, 200 meters away...surely they delivered a loud & proud show until Phil collapsed...

          ------------------------------------

          Machine Head = Burn My Eyes
          "He is the King of all kings, the keeper of light...He holds eternity's wings"

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          • #6
            Ha, Sabbathman, sure you can count yourself as 'young', even now, cos you are. Besides, metal never really grows "OLD", and hey, may the '18 year-old' in you never die.

            Good to know that you've seen MH live upfront. I'd wanna do that again, sometime soon. So you actually felt the intensity with which Machine Head play and slay onstage, in front of their die-hards.

            To danmac: Hey, move Machine Head away from Lynyrd Skynyrd and Mastodon. If you must have it alphabetical, put them near Led Zeppelin and Motorhead, instead. ...Nah, just kidding...Skynyrd and Mastodon are fine acts, too.

            Seriously, I mostly disliked The Blackening, but liked Through the Ashes of Empires a lot; just so you know what Machine Head I'd urge you to listen to, today.
            "Actors really are the scum of the earth. Their behavior makes arrogant, overpaid rock stars appear positively noble' - Buzz Osborne

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            • #7
              I like Machine Head. Except for The Burning Red and Supercharger, i'm still not exactly sure what the hell they were thinking there. I like everything else from them though. I like the Blackening a lot and the same with Through The Ashes Of Empires. Burn My Eyes and The More Things Change are also good quaility metal records as well. The Blackening may have been overhyped as far as some are conserned but I was at least happy to see a good metal band getting some media attention again. It doesn't really happen often enough as far as i'm conserned.

              I only saw them live once and that was on the first Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival in the summer of 2008. I was right up in front and it was a very intense, though short (they only got about 35 mins or so I think) metal experience. People were going nuts for them, the pits just exploded and everyone was moving pushing and jumping up and down the whole time. I had to hold onto the shirt of the person next to me in order not to lose my spot and get sucked into the pits.

              Just to give you an idea of how intense the crowd was, I went to this show with my brother and nephew. I lost them before Machine Head came on and by the end of the show they had been knocked all the way up to where I was at. They started off standing in the middle of the crowd somewhere and due to all the moshing and other crowd activity they got pushed all the way to the front of the stage. The band played very well and they even invited people from the other bands who played that day to join them on stage and sing with them the line "Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast!" from Davidian, which ended the show.

              I really wanna see them play a headline show at some point but they never really did a proper one for that in support of The Blackening. I guess i'll have to wait until their next release to see if I can ge that opportunity.
              Nobody will ever let you know
              When you ask the reason why
              They just tell you that you're on your own
              Fill your head all full of lies

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              • #8
                Oh, fantastic to know that you're a big MH fan too, Sabbathfan. Ha, so you're zapped as to what they were on about with Supercharger and The Burning Red. So was I, as were other MH fans that loved the band's first two albums. Maybe Flynn and buddies were thinking of winning over the wusses and pussies that couldn't stomach Burning Eyes and TMTC, and instead wanted to suck on rap and other musical crap on a MH album. And that's exactly what they got cos MH, sadly, decided to dabble in that shit.

                I have a few gripes about The Blackening. Maybe it was being hyped to the skies and some fans calling it the best new metal record of the decade or other such superlatives that my own expectations also became inflated before buying and hearing the album through. The songs were too lengthy and seemed to constantly drag too much, nice cool parts were ruined by seriously sucky ones, and the vocals somehow sounded very annoying and by album's end, I felt pretty cheated and let down. This came after the excellent ....Ashes....record, so I felt doubly disappointed. I should listen to it again, and maybe I'd feel a little different than I did two years ago.

                I envy your experience of watching such an awesomely intense and memorable Machine Head show so recently. You're right, we fans all deserve a proper, full new concert with Machine Head headlining, no less. Let's both hope for a swell new album this year, and the shows we crave by this terrific band.
                Last edited by RLP4ever; 01-13-2010, 02:24 AM.
                "Actors really are the scum of the earth. Their behavior makes arrogant, overpaid rock stars appear positively noble' - Buzz Osborne

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                • #9
                  I can understand how someone could think the songs run a little long on The Blackening. Especially, if you've been into them for awhile and are not use to them doing the 8-10 minute songs like they do on that album. Those longer songs can deffinately cause some problems live when time constrictions won't allow them to play some of them live. Especially since they've been doing supporting slots for most of the tour. Over the spring/summer last year they did do some headline gigs in Europe but they never came to the US with it.

                  They only did 2 off The Blackening when I saw them. They did Clenching The Fists Of Discent and Halo. CTFOD was an awesome opener for the show and they followed that with Imperium. Which is one of the best one two punches to open a show I've ever heard live. I can't remember who but I know that one of the band members has some kind of health issue. I know it's caused him to pass out a few times and miss some gigs before. Maybe that's why they limitted the ammount of headline shows they've done over the last 3 years.

                  Due to the ammount of tours they've been on the last few years I wouldn't be expecting anything new from them until maybe next year at some point. That means 4 years between releases. They did gain a ton of new fans with The Blackening and they need to capitalize on that but i'm not sure that'll happen with the long layoff between releases.
                  Nobody will ever let you know
                  When you ask the reason why
                  They just tell you that you're on your own
                  Fill your head all full of lies

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I remember listening to Burn My Eyes over and over again. Love the driving groove thrash sound. I could never play this album too loud!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Benjo View Post
                      I remember listening to Burn My Eyes over and over again. Love the driving groove thrash sound. I could never play this album too loud!!
                      Cool to know that, mate. Burn My Eyes still rocks my boat just as hard as it did, when I heard and loved that classic record the very first time. ..hey, if you've heard it, what did you feel about The More Things Change??
                      "Actors really are the scum of the earth. Their behavior makes arrogant, overpaid rock stars appear positively noble' - Buzz Osborne

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                      • #12
                        Burn My Eyes was one of many albums that struck a chord at a certain part of my life. The More Things Change was a beast too, but I was flat out with other stuff in my life then, so I didn't crank it regularily like Burn My Eyes!

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