Machine Head "Machine F**cking Head Live" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Mon, 12 Nov 2012 13:04:25
"There aren't a lot of bands that last 10 fucking years let alone 17 years," declares Machine Head mainman Robb Flynn before launching into "Darkness Within" from the band's double-disc live masterpiece, Machine F**cking Head Live.
Morphing from shuddering clean vocals and guitar on the intro into a heavenly guttural chorus, "Darkness Within" stands emblematic of the band's grip on dynamics. The live recording retains the original's vulnerable ferocity bolstered by the crowd's haunting outro chant and singing. The audience enhances the experience just as it would at any Machine Head show. It's the "Head Cases" who get the spotlight here, and Flynn and Co. allow them to shine.
Let's not forget the players though. Flynn, guitarist Phil Demmel, bassist Adam Duce, and drummer Dave McClain comprise one of the tightest bands heavy metal has ever seen, and Machine F**cking Head Live solidifies on all 15 tracks with the force of a "Ten Ton Hammer".
"I Am Hell (Sonata in C#)" remains an epic massacre of the highest order for nearly ten minutes, while "Imperium" redefines the dual guitar attack for the 21st century with Flynn and Demmel ripping in tandem. "Beautiful Mourning" and "Be Still and Know" temper crushing and catchy as "The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears" practically induces an earthquake live. The Unto the Locust fare, "This is the End" and "Locust", was tailormade to slay live and does it ever. The recording bristles with raw thrash violence. Yet, the intimacy of "Halo" cruises into psychedelic territory with Flynn guiding the crystal ship.
"Davidian" rounds out the battering in proper form with Flynn screaming, "Headbang motherfucker" over his flawless riffing. Machine F**cking Head Live is on the level with Pantera's Official Live: 101 Proof and Slayer's Decade of Aggression: Live as an essential live record.
Cheers to another 17 years for the kings of 21st century thrash.
What's your favorite Machine Head song?
See Robb Flynn's favorite live records here!
Watch "Imperium" here!
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