Machine Head's Robb Flynn calls out Rolling Stone over exclusion of thrash legends from 'best metal songs' list: "there are glaring omissions I have to mention"

Machine Head’s Robb Flynn holding a baseball bat
(Image credit: Travis Shinn)

Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn has commented on Rolling Stone's much-discussed 100 greatest heavy metal songs of all time list, thanking the magazine for the inclusion of his band's classic hallmark anthem Davidian, but also questioning their decision to omit two of thrash metal's most important artists.

"No Exodus? No Testament?" he asks in a lengthy and eloquent Instagram post uploaded yesterday (Wednesday March 15). "Bay Area Thrash Metal is still an extremely vital and powerful force in music, and it wasn’t just Metallica that brought it to the World. Upon formation, Exodus were literally the most exciting band around. Crafting timeless songs like Bonded By Blood, A Lesson In Violence, or their own 'pit anthem' - The Toxic Waltz, all deserve similar honors on such a list. When I was a teenager growing up in the Bay Area, I cannot express how important and influential Exodus and guitarist Gary Holt were and remain. Without Gary, there is no Robb Flynn. Without Exodus, there is no Machine Head.

"And when it comes to Testament?," he adds. "The word that continues to flash before my eyes is ‘impact.’ I can assure you that every single Rock/Metal guitar player on the face of the planet’s collective jaws hit the floor when they heard Alex Skolnick play. His adding of classical arpeggio sweeps into songs like Over The Wall, and Disciples Of The Watch, was game changing. Soon everybody from Kirk Hammett of Metallica to Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest was doing it. The commanding bellow of singer Chuck Billy was an absolute precursor to the Death and Black Metal vocal that would soon follow and continue until this day. That's undeniable impact."

Flynn ends the post with another heartfelt thanks to Rolling Stone for including Machine Head in the list, adding: "on behalf of the Heavy Metal community, thank you for representing our genre in your publication."

Emerging from California's Bay Area in the early 90s, Machine Head were hugely influenced by the explosion of thrash metal bands that dominated the metal scene there throughout the 80s. Prior to forming Machine Head, Robb Flynn played in Bay Area thrash metal bands Forbidden and Vio-Lence. Machine Head's crushing latest album, Of Kingdom And Crown, is out now.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.