Machine Head (1991-present): a Thrash Metal band from Oakland, California, USA.
ounded by ex-Violence, frontman Robb Flynn (vocals/guitar), Logan Mader (guitar), Adam Duce (bass/vocals) and Chris Kontos (drums), Machine Head helped to bring heavy metal into the 1990s kicking and screaming, as usual. With a vocal style alternating between Chris Cornell (ex-Soundgarden) and James Hetfield (of Metallica) they hit 25 in the UK with 'Roadrunner' with their debut, Burn My Eyes (1994), especially since Kerrang! magazine declared them the best since Rage Against The Machine, with the Old track becoming a top 50 on the same charts on its own. Covers of Poison Idea and Cro-Mags further bolstered the album.
Proving that no-frills, heavy-duty heavy metal was still a valuable commodity their follow-up, The More Things Change (1997) made 16 in the UK, an album that featured Dave McCain (ex-Sacred Reich) replacing Kontos.
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With Logan Mader replaced by Ahrue Luster, The Burning Red (1999) proved to be their best to date, getting 13 UK/88 US, despite their cover of the Police's Message In A Bottle; the band's attempts to expand their sound met with mixed critical and fan reaction. The follow-up EP Year Of The Dragon (2000) failed to do as well. Edging more into the so-called nu-metal direction, reaction to 2001's Supercharger was mixed and sales were disappointing (the unfortunate timing of the release, amidst the events of 9/11, contributed to a decline in sales). Hellalive (2003; live) saw Luster leave with no replacement, but their success was improving little, in turn leaving their career at a crossroads. Through The Ashes Of Empires followed in 2003 with a membership change with Phil Demmel (ex-Technocracy/ex-Torque/ex-Vio-lence) added on guitar; the album overall, an attempt to reverse their style to that of old and regain their lost ground. Luster would eventually be temporarily replaced by Phil Demmel (ex-Vio-lence) alongside Flynn; after a year, he would return to sign on as a full member.
Entering the Billboard 200 at 53, the highest for the band thus far, The Blackening (2007), would represent the band's next work. Unto the Locust (2011), the next album, was recorded at Green Day's Jingletown Studios in Oakland, California. More extensive touring followed.
February 2013 would see bassist/founding member Adam Duce leave, leaving Flynn as the only remaining original member. Ex-Sanctity rhythm guitarist and vocalist Jared MacEachern would assume the bass role. Later that year the band signed to 'Nuclear Blast'.
In early 2014, Duce filed a lawsuit against Machine Head and manager in federal court "for trademark infringement, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of partnership agreement, intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic relations, negligence, defamation and unfair competition, and wanted the band enjoined from using the Machine Head marks." The lawsuit was settled out of court on July 2 of that year with undisclosed terms.
Another world tour would follow for the release of Bloodstone & Diamonds (2014).
September 2018 Demmel and McClain left Machine Head. It would be over a year before their replacements in the form of ex-Decapitated guitarist Waclaw Kieltyka and ex-Devilment drummer Matt Alston were found. Catharsis (2018) would follow.
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