11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
From day one, this has been a band all about live performances. I've thought for years that it just didn't do these guys justice that their only live album was Hellalive, which heavily featured Supercharger. For one, that's my least favorite MH album, and for another, they've put out three albums since then that have defined their career. From the Ashes of Empires, The Blackening, and Unto the Locust needed to be captured live, and this CD does it in grand fashion. Loud, intense, and highly interactive, this is Machine Head in their true element, doing what they've always done best...absolutely slay crowds.
Made up of songs from a variety of shows, you get something from each one of their albums. The crowds are amazing, the performances are damn near perfect, and it reminds me of some of my favorite experiences seeing them live. Come to think of it, not being able to see footage from these shows, as in having an accompanying DVD release, is my only critical thing to say. I would love to see some of this stuff, particularly the high-energy pummeling of "Aesthetics of Hate" and the crowd participation on "Darkness Within." And of course, thrash-fests like "I Am Hell" and "This Is The End." Then, there's one of my favorite tracks from the new album, "Be Still And Know." Ahh, yes, Machine Head have delivered one hell of a live release here, and if you're a fan of these guys, you won't waste a lot of time getting a copy. Machine F'n Head, indeed.
on October 15, 2014
Machine Head are exactly the type of band that seems just perfect to release a live album, seeing how they have a frontman whose frenetic energy really knows how to work crowds everywhere. And plus, with seven full-lengths under their mighty belts, they have quite a large back catalogue to choose songs from. So here we are, finding the band release of “Machine F’ing Head Live” hitting store shelves in 2012.
True, M.H. do already have a live album to their names. And even though this second one does not QUITE recapture the same levels of irresisitbility as 2003’s “Hellalive,” it is still one of the best live thrash albums that this reviewer has heard since Metallica’s “S&M” came out in 1999. And yes, these live renditions might adhere closely to the songs’ original versions -- meaning there are no added guitar or drum solos -- they are played with a sufficiently minimal amount of crowd noise, which is a plus. And furthermore, they are impeccably played (frontman Rob Flynn and Co. tear through them without any audible mistakes.) All of this considered, what we have on our hands, here, is a definite must-purchase for all hardcore fans of the band.
With fifteen tracks spread out over the course of two discs, there are bound to be numerous standouts. Set opener “I Am Hell” is a monstrous wall of thunderous, staccato riffing and drumming, although it does splice in some memorable, wah-heavy guitar soloing into its mix of blistering thrash picking and impeccable, blast beat-centric drum beats. “Be Still And Know,” then, is another blistering, but this time groove-centric thrasher with more memorable and exceptional, shred-happy soloing; but it is the next track after that, “Imperium,” where it becomes first blatantly obvious that the mosh pit was working overtime going berserk. It boasts blowtorch riffage and shotgun blast-esque percussion, and is also home to a few well-placed fast tempo changes (which might showcase Machine Head’s more math-y and technical side, but are nevertheless flawlessly-executed.)
“Beautiful Mourning” continues these brutal ways, as it is a frenetic mosh pit anthem with elastically thundering, throbbing thrash grooves and biting, grinding guitar crunch. The only time the onslaught ever relents is to drop in a semi-sweet, cleanly-sung chorus, and ripping, surprisingly melodic solo. And the following “The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears” is every-bit the irresistible mosh pit anthem that the above-described two tracks were, and it in fact proves to be quite impossible for you, the listener sitting in the safe confines of your own home, not to bounce around with energy, headbang, and break some s**t. Yes, the energy is that freaking palpable in this one!
“Locust” boasts plenty of huge, crunch-‘n’-churn riffs, but is actually mostly of note for featuring some of the first disc’s best and most memorable and epic guitar soloing. Moving along, the misleadingly-entitled “This Is The End” kicks off with an excellent introductory drum solo before being followed by a rip-roaring barrage of Eighties-worthy thrash. It is a blistering thrash/riff-fest, needless to say, and one with a few extensive and very screaming solo flights. And rounding out the first disc are “Aesthetics Of Hate,” which is dedicated to “our brother, Dimebag,” and sure to get the circle pit acting stupid; and “Old,” which is highlighted by some abnormally strong, and prominently audible bass work, as well as plenty of excellent, fiery, groove-laden guitar licks, and an audience-involved chorus.
Highlights on “Machine F’ing Head Live”’s second disc include the fiery, swirling thrash of the Sepultura/Soulfly-reminiscent “Darkness Within”; the blistering “Who We Are” (which is home to the extensive use of excellent, all-over-the-map guitar soloing); and “Halo,” which is seemingly tailor-made for head-banging (Flynn even admits it is!). It has abrasive buzzsaw riffing and towering, dizzying melodic solo flights to go along with its sweet, sing-song-worthy melodic singing, and crunching, skull-rattling grooves. And, of course, one must not forget to mention the inclusion of the set’s final song, “Davidan.” It might now be a nineteen year-old hit single, but it is still every bit as potent and vibrant as it was when it premiered on Machine Head’s 1994 debut, “Burn My Eyes.” (At the beginning of it, frontman Rob Flynn proclaims “I wanna see this place explode” -- and it almost surely did just that once the band lunged into the meat of the song.) Suffice it to say, it is a truly anthemic song, and I cannot think of a better way to close out the album.
on January 27, 2013
If you're looking for just straight up heavy metal with no nonsense breakdown garbage and no lengthy jams, you listen to Machine Head. If you're just angry and want to bang your head there is no better band to do it to than this. Machine Head is pure unadulterated metal, and this live album is absolutely relentless. Listening to Machine Head albums you can feel the intensity in their sound, and know they will put on a killer show, after listening to this you realize you may not come out alive. You see all the older greats on here like Bulldozer, Old, Ten Ton Hammer, and The Blood the Sweat the Tears. The absolute classic from Through the Ashes... Imperium, a couple good ones from The Blackening, Good Mourning and Halo, as well as the majority of Unto The Locust. This is a GREAT live album, very high energy and very intense. Whether you're an old Machine Head fan or you've never experienced them before this is an album you don't want to miss. Bang your freakin' head!