Machine Head are a band that has a fair few ups & downs throughout their career…from the early highs of the hugely successful Burn My Eyes & The More Things Change albums to the lows of The Burning Red & Supercharger (even though they are good albums). They reinvented themselves with the album Through the Ashes of Empires & went on to create the critically acclaimed album, The Blackening. Their last album, Unto the Locust was well received & they have slipped comfortably into their role as heavy metal stars.
With their new album, Bloodstone & Diamonds due out in a few weeks this top 10 might need updating once it is released but for now this is the top 10 Machine Head songs.
10 – Take My Scars (The More Things Change…)
That damn opening…the build up to the ‘lose your shit’ moment, it is perfect Machine Head.
9 – I Am Hell (Sonata in C#) (Unto the Locust)
The opening song on Unto the Locust opens with a very softly sung “Sangre Sani” which is then followed by the heaviest Machine Head I have ever heard before it opens up into a more traditional ‘Head song. It is a killer opener to a strong album.
8 – Days Turn Blue to Grey (Through the Ashes of Empires)
For me this was the Machine Head of old throwing off the shackles of their past & really opening up their musical repertoire. Robb Flynn’s voice is on fire here…particularly near the end.
7 – Desire to Fire (The Burning Red)
I have such a soft spot for this punchy little number which just makes me want to give myself a head injury. It is classic Machine head combing speed, heaviness & killer riffs.
6 – Davidian (Burn My Eyes)
A guaranteed live song no matter how many times you’ve seen Machine Head, the song is that good & that important. Crushingly heavy throughout but never more so when the chorus gets shouted out “let freedom ring with a shotgun blast!”
5 – Now I Lay Thee Down (The Blackening)
Showcasing the versatility of Machine Head, the song manages to be heavy but not in the traditional sense. It’s a song about Flynn’s vocals more then anything & he absolutely soars here.
4 – Ten Ton Hammer (The More Things Change…)
The opening song on the 2nd album continues the work of its predecessor by being pure head-banging gold. Though there are signs of the ‘Head’s changing style within the chorus.
3 – Halo (The Blackening)
Man, what can I say about Halo to describe its awesomeness…for me I’ve always loved it for the insane duelling guitars at the latter part of song. It’s the kind of song that makes hairs stand up on my neck & a song I will never get tired of hearing live.
2 – Descend the Shades of Night (Through the Ashes of Empires)
This song, no wonder we got The Blackening afterwards…the writing was on the wall here. Deceptively soft at times as the band heavies up the chorus & it works wonderfully. The guitar solo near the end is still one of my favourite from Machine Head to date.
1 – Imperium (Through the Ashes of Empires)
My favourite Machine Head song by a mile & easily their best in my opinion. Being the first song of the new Machine Head that followed Supercharger the pressure to deliver must have been immense but it does, ten-fold. So heavy, so much rhythm & melody, so well structured & it has some of the most aggressive ‘Head lyrics to date.
“Hear me now, words I vow, no fucking regrets”
“Fuck these chains, no god damn slave, I will be different”
“I’ll stand here defiantly, my middle finger raised, fuck your prejudice”