And there are no bigger and more relevant acts in metal right now than the majestic Machine Head.
It might be five years since The Blackening first saw the light of day – and 2011’s Unto The Locust has been released since – but the momentum gained from that definitive record continues to carry Robb Flynn and co. forward.
Look out for news on tomorrow’s main stage set and all the latest from Download 2012 via Twitter @rushonrock
Band: Machine Head
Where: Jim Marshall Stage
Who: The saviours of heavy metal
Why Watch Machine Head: Apart from the fact that they delivered one of heavy metal’s definitive albums of the 21st century in the shape of The Blackening, the US band have got it nailed when it comes to pulling off the perfect live show. The shining light on day one’s controversial main stage line-up.
Why Miss Machine Head: Opeth will be playing for part of the Machine Head set and for fans of metal in all of its various guises this could cause a painful clash. And there’s a very real chance you could end up mingling with a Chase And Status fan (not that we know what one of them looks like) jostling for a prime dancing spot.
Must hear: Halo, from 2007’s The Blackening, is the best metal song of the last 10 years. Period. It’s dark and light shades, coupled with a riotous Robb Flynn vocal, make for the ultimate festival field filler. If they don’t play this everyone at RUSHONROCK will be devastated.
Overrated: Imperium, from 2003’s Through The Ashes Of Empires, represents Machine Head finding their feet as future gods of heavy metal. It’s big, booming and bad for your ears but nowhere near as slick as the best that The Blackening has to offer.