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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, 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.
- Phil Demmel - guitar (2002–present)
- Adam Duce - bass guitar, backing vocals (1992–present)
- Robb Flynn - lead vocals, guitar (1992–present)
- Dave McClain - drums (1995–present)
- 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:
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.
- 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".
- Epic Riff: One of their main strengths.
- Epic Rocking: They had their moments early on, but since The Blackening it became their primary modus operandi.
- 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 about a 6 (Your Mileage May Vary on this).
- Ominous Latin Chanting: The first part of "I am Hell".
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: As stated above, Burning Red's Nu-metal influences.
- Up to Eleven: From Unto the Locust could be this to The Blackening.
- The Swarm: Locust features, well, a swarm of locusts.
- Too Soon: The music video "Crashing Around You" featured falling buildings, which would have been fine had the video not been released shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (the video was conceived and shot months before the attacks). The video was banned by MTV, which caused Roadrunner Records to drop Machine Head from their label. The band later rejoined the label after every label but Roadrunner rejected their album Through the Ashes of Empires.