Live albums no longer fulfill the cultural necessities of old, when precious few fans across the globe had the luxury of witnessing their favorite artists in concert, or even online, and an audio documentation of the experience therefore offered the next best thing. Moreover, ever since Cobain and company made it distasteful for rock bands to behave like actual, you know, rock stars on-stage (though pop and hip-hop artists obviously continue to enjoy these rights and their benefits), few bands remain committed to putting on a great show, worthy of visual -- never mind audio -- reproduction. Metal bands can be as guilty of this as anyone, but not nearly as frequently, and certainly not in the case of Bay Area veterans Machine Head -- and that's why the suitably named Machine F**king Head Live! justifiably exists. Captured at various locations across the globe, some nine years and at least one quasi-classic studio album (The Blackening) removed from the band's first live document, Hellalive, MFHL! really could have done without every last track from the most recent studio effort, Unto the Locust, but it wisely keeps references to 1999's nu-metal misstep The Burning Red and 2001's indefensible Supercharger to a bare minimum, so as to compile a convincing Machine Head greatest-hits set. Indeed, with undisputed metal classics such as "Old," "Davidian," "Ten Ton Hammer," "Imperium," and "Aesthetics of Hate" at their disposal, plus frontman Robb Flynn's full mastery of his MC role (armed with charisma and f-bombs aplenty), there's truly no need for the band to deviate from script into custom song parts or (God forbid!) extended drum solos in order to enjoy spontaneous audience participation on numerous occasions. This palpable audience excitement ultimately gives abundant audible evidence of Machine Head's riveting performance, and while not even that will motivate everyone to embrace that fading old industry standard -- the live album -- those who do will probably get their money's worth from Machine F**king Head Live!
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2