Machine Head Biography
Machine Head is an American heavy metal band from Oakland, California. Formed on October 12, 1991, the group was founded by vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn and bassist Adam Duce. The current lineup of the band comprises Flynn, drummer Dave McClain, guitarist Phil Demmel and bassist Jared MacEachern. Machine Head is one of the pioneering bands in the new wave of American heavy metal.
Machine Head was formed when Flynn felt musically unfulfilled with his bands Forbidden and Vio-lence and requested to start a side project. When his request was denied, he left the band and formed Machine Head in 1991 with Duce, Logan Mader and Tony Constanza. The band’s first album, Burn My Eyes, was a big success in Europe where it garnered attention on MTV’s Headbangers Ball. In America (with HBB taken off the air during the grunge movement) Machine Head would not have success until later albums.
The band nearly disbanded in 2002 after negotiating off its label Roadrunner Records, when controversy surrounding Machine Head’s fourth album Supercharger (released three weeks after the September 11 attacks) resulted in their songs and music video for the song “Crashing Around You” (which featured burning buildings) being pulled from all media outlets. The band re-signed with Roadrunner soon after and has released four albums since, 2003’s Through the Ashes of Empires, 2007’s The Blackening (which earned Machine Head its first Grammy Award nomination) and 2011’s Unto the Locust. Their most recent album, Bloodstone & Diamonds, was released in 2014. Machine Head have sold over 3 million records worldwide.
Machine Head has been mainly described as groove metal and thrash metal The band is influenced by Californian thrash metal bands such as Vio-lence, Metallica, Exodus, Slayer and Testament, crossover thrash bands Suicidal Tendencies and Cro-Mags, groove metal bands Pantera and Exhorder, and grunge bands Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.
Machine Head’s early albums Burn My Eyes and The More Things Change… show a groove metal and thrash metal approach, similar to bands like Pantera and Exhorder. The albums also featured technical drumming by Chris Kontos and Dave McClain. The band changed their musical direction for the albums The Burning Red (1999) and Supercharger (2001), which have been described as displaying a nu metal sound. These albums featured rapping by Robb Flynn and simpler guitar riffs, but retaining part of their aggressive sound. This change in direction resulted in criticism from many fans because of the popularity of nu metal at the time.
Machine Head returned to the groove metal and thrash metal sound of the first two albums with the album Through the Ashes of Empires, which proved a success.
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