Veteran metal outfit Machine Head kicked off the weekend by releasing three new songs.
The band premiered its new three-song single, ‘Arrows in Words From The Sky‘ Friday. The single features the songs ‘Become The Firestorm,’ ‘Rotten,’ and ‘Arrows in Words From The Sky.’
Front man Robb Flynn talked about the songs in a prepared statement.
“The lyrics to these songs took to me places inside I didn’t want to go, from the bile and negativity on “Rotten,” to nothing-will-beat-me-down fury of “Become The Firestorm,” to the title track “Arrows” being one of the saddest songs I’ve ever written, yet somehow has the power to lift me up out of what was a very dark time in my life,” he said. “My hope is that by sharing these dark experiences with the Head Cases of the world, it can save someone else out of that same dark place.”
The exclusive digital-only release opens with a song whose guitar riffs exhibit a full-on thrash/death style approach and sound. The ferocity in the guitars and precision in the time keeping, bass, and vocals partners well with the uplifting lyrical theme about overcoming life’s obstacles and adversity.
‘Rotten’ meanwhile boasts a sound that will appeal to Machine Head’s longtime fans. The riffs, vocals, bass, and drums immediately lend themselves to works from the band’s debut album, Burn My Eyes, which the band released more than 25 years ago. The arrangement partners just as well with the anger and frustration presented through the song’s lyrical theme. The thoughts and emotions that front man Robb Flynn presents here will resonate with a wide range of audiences. The pairing of the song’s musical and lyrical content makes the song stand out even more.
‘Arrows in Words From The Sky,’ with is deeply contemplative and introspective content (which ultimately proves uplifting in its own right) makes for its own accessibility. The heaviness here is a blend of sludge, doom, and 80s hair metal riffage along with some heavy bass and drums. Flynn’s own vocal delivery is powerful in its own right here, especially in the presentation of the layered screams.
‘Arrows in Words From The Sky’ features Machine Head’s first new music since the release of its then latest single, ‘My Hands Are Empty‘ and its video in November.
More information on Machine Head’s new music is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Machine Head front man Robb Flynn has heard the pleas of the band’s fans.
Flynn debuted the acoustic take of the band’s song ‘Circle The Drain‘ Friday along with its video. The debut of the song’s acoustic take comes eight months after the band debuted the full, heavier version as an intentional anti-Valentines Day anthem.
Flynn talked about the creation of the song’s acoustic take in a recent interview.
““When the pandemic hit in March, and all Machine Head tours got canceled, I started doing free Acoustic Happy Hour shows on Machine Head‘s Facebook page to get out the pent-up energy, entertain some friends, have some laughs, and have a few drinks every Friday, “said Flynn. “As we had just released our new song “Circle The Drain” fans started asking for me to play it, so I started messing around with it and came up with a re-imagined version of it. It got a phenomenal response… People genuinely loved it, and were continually asking me to release it, and so I recorded it a few weeks back in my home studio, and here it is.”
The newly released acoustic take of of ‘Circle The Drain’ is a dramatically different take of the original, electric version of the song, and gives the song a completely new identity from that of the full version. The song’s original take presents someone who has been overwhelmed by the anger felt in realizing he has been deceived by his loved one. The acoustic take meanwhile, presents someone who is more torn. It makes for an interesting presentation.
Flynn talked back in February, about the inspiration behind the song’s lyrical theme.
“The song is inspired by an acquaintance of mine who returned from Afghanistan, only to have his relationship fall apart with his girl,” he said. “She had messed around on him, then got paranoid about him messing around on her, and drove him crazy. We had a conversation on Valentine’s Day and he said to me, ‘They were just circling the drain…’ The phrase struck me. A few days later I incorporated it into the song I’d been working on.”
Flynn continued, “It was a strange parallel with my life at the time, having recently had two band members quit, and even more bizarrely, two long-time couple friends of my wife and I, also divorced. It was breakup season, and it played out with friends taking sides, people not being invited to certain events anymore, social and emotional pressure and all the typical stuff that happens when a relationship goes bad.”
Flynn, referring back to his story about his friend who was in Afghanistan, said hearing the story and writing the song from the story was cathartic.
“Watching this guy pull through it helped me pull through my own upheaval,” he said. “the lyrics to ‘Circle The Drain’ came out of that frustrating time. It’s a sad song about relationships gone bad, but accepting that it’s over, and making yourself move on. I wrote it in a more metaphorical tone, as I didn’t want it to be about my life, but to be about anybody’s life who may be going through a rough time like that. It may not be a song that connects with everyone, especially those in a solid relationship. But if the day ever comes when your life goes awry, this song will be a lifeline for you, something to help pull you up out of that dark place. the irony that he and i had the original conversation on Valentine’s Day, and we are now releasing it on Valentine’s Day isn’t lost on me. It really is the anti-Valentine’s Day song.”
The acoustic take of ‘Circle The Drain’ is just the latest song that Machine Head has released. The band also released two other new songs, ‘Bulletproof‘ and ‘Stop The Bleeding.’ The songs make up the band’s two-song single, Civil Unrest. Both songs are available to stream and download here.
‘Stop The Bleeding’ features guest vocals from Killswitch Engage front man Jesse Leach. While Flynn said in an interview about the song, that he brought Leach on-board because the song has a KsE sound, a close listen also reveals an old school Machine Head sound. The song’s lyrical content addresses the events that followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of a group of Minneapolis, MN police officers.
Flynn discussed the song’s inspiration in a recent interview.
“I wrote and sang the lyrics on Wednesday May 27th, 2020, the day that the four officers who murdered George Floyd were (originally) not charged with anything,” he said. “This day was engulfed in protests and riots across America. I drove into Oakland, past large demonstrations already happening and, in a fury, wrote down everything I was feeling after watching the horrific footage. Within hours, what I wanted to say, what I needed to say had been recorded in the song.”
Additionally, Flynn talked about bringing Leach on for the song, noting that the collaboration was in the works even before the events of May 27.
“I had been speaking with Jesse for maybe 6 months about singing on the song, as it always had a little bit of a Killswitch vibe to me,” said Flynn. “Unfortunately (or fortunately), our schedules hadn’t lined up, but with the subsequent lockdown from coronavirus, we had time to make it work. After what happened to George Floyd, I sent him the lyrics I’d written, and he replied saying he was “100% on board”. Jesse is someone I consider to be a pioneer and, in many ways, one of the men who changed the face of metal. His contribution to this song made it extremely powerful and it’s an honor to have him be a part of it.”
Leach spoke highly of Flynn in discussing the song’s creation in his own comments, adding he was glad to take part in the song.
“Being asked to be part of this song is an honor,” said Leach. “Yes, because it’s Machine Head, but more importantly, this is a message that needs to be heard and spread. These issues concerning abuses of power and racism are timeless. I have written about these previously and I’ll write about them again. I think Robb really nailed this one, both lyrically and sonically. My hope is this song helps awaken those who hear it. Robb has been a frequent voice of the voiceless in these times, so teaming up with him is a no brainer. We need more of our Metal Community to speak out on social issues and help raise awareness, especially during these crucial times. Music is the soundtrack to our lives, it transcends language and culture. This is the reason we as musicians need to do our part to spark thought and discussion on these types of issues. We can make a difference through music and we can help stop the bleeding.”
Flynn talked about the lyrical theme of ‘Bulletproof’ during a separate, recent interview.
“The lyrics for ‘Bulletproof’ were finished in the aftermath of not only the Ahmaud Arbery murder at the hands of white supremacist, but everything twisting out of control in our world,” he said. “The isolation and craziness of the pandemic, the lockdown protesters storming government buildings with AR-15‘s, as well as the blatant lies and conspiracies pouring out of our political leaders’ mouths, hour by hour, day after day.”
More information on Machine Head’s new single is available along with all of Machine Head’s latest news at:
Machine Head has been a leader in the metal world since the release of its groundbreaking debut album, Burn My Eyes, in 1994. In the near two decades since the release of that album, this pounding metal “machine” has only gotten better with every release. Even through an alleged dispute with Roadrunner Records at one point, this band has persevered and improved with every release, proving to the entire metal world that it has and continues to mean business every time out. That success translates not just to the band’s full length studio releases, but also to its live releases. With the release of its third overall live release, Machine Head has proven once more why it is not just one of the top metal bands in the world, but also one of the best live metal bands in the world, too.
Machine F**king Head Live is Machine Head’s latest live release. For those who have never had the opportunity to experience this band live, this release is just like the band’s studio albums. Experiencing this band live is equivalent to attending a master class on how to put on a successful live show. The band’s first live release, Hellalive was good. The band’s live DVD, Elegies was better. This new release is near the peak, if not the peak, for a live Machine Head release. Sure the pyro is a great effect. But it’s the band’s music and stage presence that continues to make it a leader both in the metal world and the live metal community. It opens fittingly with the audience chanting the phrase that would become the title of this release as the show’s opener, ‘I Am Hell’ slowly built until it absolutely exploded much to the joy of those in attendance. The energy of this opener was pummeling to say the least. And the band barely let up from there as it launched right into another more recent song in ‘Be Still And Know.’ All four of the band’s members—Adam Duce (bass) Robb Flynn (guitars/vocals), Phil Demmel (guitar) and Dave McClain (drums)—do their part on this song, keeping both the music and the audience moving.
While this new live release didn’t come with a companion DVD or even Blu-ray, the energy of both the band and the audience translates quite well even purely in audio format. By the time the band kicks into the anthem that is ‘Imperium’, Machine Head have collectively worked its audience into an absolutely wild frenzy. One need not even see the show to understand that. The reaction between front man Robb Flynn and the audience is enough to know that. Not a moment is wasted from this point on throughout the new double disc live release as the band not only owns the stage with each performance, but completely dominates and destroys it, blowing away audiences over and over. By the time the final strains of ‘Davidian’ fade away, fans new and old alike will leave this live release completely breathless. Audiences will have grown to understand by the final moments of this release just why Machine Head is and always will be one of the metal community’s elite both in the studio and on the stage.