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"We were pissed off and angry": Robb Flynn looks back on making The Blackening

Ten years old this month, The Blackening isn’t just Machine Head’s defining work, but one of the greatest metal albums of recent times. Robb Flynn looks back at the making of a masterpiece

We didn’t know what we were doing,” admits Robb Flynn today, a smile spreading across his face. “We just did what we believed in and somehow it connected. It was a crazy fuckin’ time!”

Every band wants to craft a classic or two during their career, but records like Machine Head’s sixth studio effort The Blackening don’t come along very often. Universally acclaimed and by far the most successful record of the Bay Area band’s now 26-year existence, it restored Machine Head to their rightful status as one of the world’s best-loved metal bands via some of the most adventurous and extravagant songs they had ever recorded, including four that gleefully pushed the 10-minute mark. The record was no surefire hit: it was a challenging and absorbing listen, but somehow it seemed to connect with metal fans in a way that few albums ever do, subsequently sending Machine Head on a daunting three-year global trek, driven by a momentum that has barely diminished in the years since.

From the archive

From the archive

From the archive


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