Machine Fucking Head Live
Roadrunner Records/Riot! Entertainment
Reviewed By Simon Crawley
A double-disc of destructive and punishing live heavy metal
If the release of the highly impressive Unto the Locust in 2011 wasn’t enough to send hard rock and metal fans into a dizzy spin then there’s always this monstrously loud live double-disc release that should do the trick. Surprisingly enough, Machine Fucking Head is only the second live album from the California metal titans who have been reducing stadiums and arenas to rubble with their infamously crushing performances for close to 20 years.
The 15 tracks that make up this double-disc release were recorded at various locations along the band’s Unto the Locust world tour in 2011 and showcase a pick of favourite songs like ‘Ten Ton Hammer’ (The More Things Change, 1997); ‘Imperium’ (Through the Ashes of Empires, 2003); ‘Aesthetics of Hate’ and ‘Halo’ (The Blackening, 2007) and ‘Locust’ (Unto the Locust, 2011). The recording manages to capture every searing riff, crisply beaten drum blast and Rob Flynn’s burly, drill sergeant voice. Unfortunately, it also picks up a little too much crowd interaction which really gets annoying rather quickly when listening to tracks like ‘Darkness Within’ and ‘Who We Are’. Machine Head undeniably have a massive fan base and it appears as though they wanted to punt this point on the recording – ensuring you can hear every drunken slur of “Machine fucking Head” and tone deaf attempt at a sing-along.
But, when it comes to the band’s performance, there is very little one can fault them on. Every track is delivered with the utmost severity and authority; with energy levels kept at their highest and Flynn constantly interacting with the crowd. He does a fantastic job at introducing each member of the band, chatting to the crowd and of course egging them on in the right moments.
Machine Head are certainly on a high. They have had a hell of a couple of years and hopefully this run of form continues until we see the next studio album. Machine Fucking Head Live is a fantastic live recording and essential listening for fans of the band and heavy metal alike.