MACHINE HEAD CHAPTER THREE
Machine Head is a band that has put out some important albums throughout their career. Not only important albums when it comes to the band, but landmark albums that helped metal evolve. Albums like Burn My Eyes, and The Blackening have helped cement the Robb Flynn lead band as of the most important metal bands of all time.
Way back when I remember Blitz and D.D. from Overkill being a local metal show hosted by Eddie Trunk. They had asked a group of artists that were there that night who the next big band would be. Without hesitation, both of them said Machine Head and pointed to Burn My Eyes as the reason why.
I moved from New Jersey to Northern Spain in late 2003. At that time I started getting into the local music scene. There were two bands that most of the up-and-coming bands were emulating. They were Kyuss and Machine Head.
I have also seen them be the second or third band down from the headliner at a festival, and absolutely destroy every other band on the bill. Didn’t matter how much bigger the band was, they were there to make a statement and show people that there were now able to shoulder the load.
The flip side is seeing them get booed and insulted by the crowd for not playing “Davidian” in Madrid. As well as why I mention this is Machine Head chapter three. As much as Burn My Eyes and The Blackening have elated fans, and been influential landmark albums, there are two albums, The Burning Red, and Catharsis, that have really pissed people off.
I am typically more forgiving than most and will find things off of albums that I can appreciate and listen to. When The Burning Red was released, more people were hung up on Robb Flynn wearing a tracksuit and his hairstyle, than actually giving the album a chance. It was cool to hate Nu Metal, and this was their supposed foray into that sub-genre.
Although Through The Ashes Of Empires started to help turn things around for the band, The Blackening is the album a lot of die-hards were waiting for. It also opened the band up to a new generation of listeners. Let’s be honest, the album bridged a lot of things, mixing a ton of influences. Kind of bringing together the old and the new. Not only with the band, but bridging from Priest and Maiden to Metallica and Pantera. The latter with the anthem “Aesthetics Of Hate”. It was a giant middle finger from the metal community to the supposed journalist that had said Dime was asking for it.
Things were fine, and the band released a series of albums that helped maintain their popularity. And then Catharsis happened. Similar to The Burning Red, a lot of people were turned off by the album because of what people around them said. They did this once again, instead of actually checking the album out. “Oh, the lyrics are too woke, what happened to my Machine Head” or the classic “stick to music and forget the politics.” You know because “Davidian” was written about a car or a sports team.
A lot of other things played into people’s hate for the album. Robb Flynn calling Phil Anselmo a racist was a hot topic for a while. This divided metal heads, they had to pick sides, because their friends and the press said so. Then you had Phil Demmel and Dave McClain’s departure from the band. Again, for some reason, people just felt the need to pick sides.
I’ve never understood this, you need to pick between Sepultura and Soulfly, you need to pick between Phil and Dime, you need to pick between Ozzy, Dio, and Sabbath. it’s all made-up insanity from some guy sitting in his bedroom on a computer dictating what you’re supposed to do, and not do. Because you can’t like all of those bands? Your life ultimately has nothing to do with the internal strife within a band. If we disliked bands just because someone was a jerk to someone else, then we wouldn’t listen to any music at all.
Rock started out as a form of rebellion. Metal poured gasoline on the fire, and turned things up a million notches. That’s why we’ve always been the outcasts, that don’t give a fuck what you say, because we’re going to do what we want to do. Oh, unless you change your hair, and try something different in your music, then you suck, and you can’t be part of our club.
How does that make sense? For a form of art that started out as rebelling against the system, a lot of people out there want to tell you what metal is, and isn’t. How you need to dress the part. How you should wear your hair, or what uniform to put on in order to fit in.
Wow, so for a lot of elitists that bag on glam metal, nu metal, or any wave of metal that they don’t think fits the supposed rules, looks like you’re more conservative, and more about oppressing people than those that are supposedly oppressing you. Do as I say, not as I do, right?
This is album number ten, their first since 2018’s Catharsis.
Robb Flynn and Zack Ohren, have produced Of Kingdom And Country.
The band is currently on Nuclear Blast and Imperium.
Robb Flynn formed the band over thirty years ago, in 1991.
Chapter three, Catharsis did not go over well at all. Call it a Robb Flynn solo album, but let’s be honest, aren’t they all? He’s still the captain steering the ship. Sure people come into the band, and write music with and for him. But he, like Dave Mustaine, Ozzy Osbourne, Trent Reznor, Gene, and Paul, or any other artist you peg as the main people behind an act, Robb has the final say in everything. That’s not to diminish any of the players that have entered the band along the way. But consider this, Logan Mader once told me how if he was still in the band by The Burning Red, he would have had to follow what Robb wanted. And he would have had no issue cutting his hair or wearing anything he would have been asked to wear.
A lot of fans had written Machine Head off. No way the band can pull out of a perceived nose dive for the third time. But guess what, “this is your captain speaking, we’ve just hit a bunch of nasty turbulence, but we’re out of it for now. Oh and here’s Of Kingdom And Country.”
I have to admit, hearing that the album would be conceptual, and based on the anime series Attack On Titan left me pretty skeptical. But what did we learn about the pandemic? The silver lining where bands have been able to write and make albums that are arguably among their best. Of King And Country is on the same level as Burn My Eyes and The Blackening. They have completed their holy trinity. Robb Flynn has brought in the right players needed to pull off his vision for the band to move forward. I’m sure his Twitch show has helped appease the band’s fans. But, by going back and playing all eras of the band live, entire albums, has surely helped put Of King And Country together.
If you’re a fan that was scared to go back in the water, chances are you’re going to really like Of King And Country by Machine Head. If you’re new to the band, this could also be a great jumping-on point to check out the band.
Here is Machine Head with the track "No Gods, No Masters" off of their latest album Of King And Country.
Interested in checking out Of King And Country by Machine Head before picking the album up?
Pick your poison, check out the album on either Spotify or Apple Music here.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER NEW RELEASES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU
Muse – Will Of The People
Soil – Play It Forward
Grave Digger – Symbol Of Eternity
Dynazty – Final Advent
Iron Savior – Reforged Ironbound Vol 2
Lacrimas Profundere – How To Shroud Yourself With Night
Becoming The Archetype – Children Of The Great Extinction
Santa Cruz – The Return Of The Kings
Edenbridge – Shangri-La
Lonely Robot – A Model Life
Brymir – Voices In The Sky
Bad Baron – Ace Of Hearts
Anthea – Tales Untold
Manifest – The Sinking
Red Rot – Mal de Vivre
Cyborg Octopus – Between The Light And Air
Might – Abyss
The Hirsch Effeckt – Solitaer
Migliori Amici & CO – ‘(best of friends)’
Spirit In The Room – Flamingo
Dominick Muzio – Candy At A Funeral
Draagyn – Bent Rib
Little Ceaser – This Time It’s Different
Alcatrazz – Official Bootleg Box Set Volume 2: 1983-1984
Obituary – Cause Of Death – Live Infection
Obituary – Slowly We Rot – Live And Rotting
Mars Attacks Podcast – We’re Outta Here!
*Please note that release dates are subject to change, and can be modified by each artist's respective labels at any time.
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