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Machine Head: Machine Fucking Head Live

Album Review

Doing exactly what it says on the tin...

It’s weird to think that just a decade ago, Machine Head were at the lowest ebb of their careers. Critics and fans sniped at them for supposedly switching to nu metal, although this wasn’t strictly true, and their American record label had pretty much given up on them and practically thrown them to the wolves.

Three killer albums in a row later and the Oakland foursome are back at their peak of their powers, a fact celebrated by this live album, recorded this year at gigs around the world. Much of the 15-song set is taken from last year’s Unto The Locust, as well as the still-astounding comeback album The Blackening (can it really be five years since it was released?), and obviously Machine Head’s debut album, Burn My Eyes, which will presumably be getting a 20th anniversary dust-off in 2014. 

Singer Robb Flynn and comrades are on particularly energetic form on Aesthetics Of Hate (their tribute to the late ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott), I Am Hell (Sonata In C#) and the always-massive Davidian. Sure, it would have been interesting to hear how a rarely played song like From This Day would benefit from an updated reworking, but the set is practically pure gold as it is. Hats off to the Head.

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