MACHINE HEAD: Back On U.K. SONISPHERE Bill?

A very reliable source has informed BLABBERMOUTH.NET that San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD will return to the billing of this weekend's Sonisphere festival at the legendary Knebworth Park, United Kingdom. The band — which has removed its Sonisphere cancelation announcement from the group's official web site — will occupy the "special guests" slot (see poster below) on Sunday (August 2) and will perform right before LIMP BIZKIT.

MACHINE HEAD announced on July 7 that they were pulling out of the U.K. Sonisphere because the event's promoter "placed, unbeknownst to us, LIMP BIZKIT in our third slot on the festival. Seeing as the running order was a significant part of the negotiation and agreement between us and the promoter, and the fact that we had been advertised in that slot since the festival's announcement, you can imagine our surprise when we were 'told' that we would now be playing in the fourth slot, under LIMP BIZKIT, and bizarrely, it was actually expected that we would quietly move down the bill without issue."

The band added in the statement, "MACHINE HEAD turned down the U.K.'s Download festival, a festival we are very fond of — which, incidentally, had us above LIMP BIZKIT — to commit to the Knebworth festival, as we felt a closer kinship to the bands performing this year. In an effort to make this situation in Knebworth work, we spent more than a week striving to resolve this issue in a proper manner. Unfortunately, that did not happen."

As previously reported, MACHINE HEAD guitarist Phil Demmel collapsed on stage on Saturday (July 25) during the band's set at the Sonisphere festival in Pori, Finland. Although Phil had to be helped off stage, he quickly regained consciousness and issued an apology to the fans "for cheating them of their last song." He told Team Sonisphere a short time later, "I feel I short-changed the fans and really want to make it up for them. Thanks for all the concern."

MACHINE HEAD is continuing to tour in support of its Grammy-nominated album "The Blackening", which was re-released as a "special edition" last October via Roadrunner Records.

Hailed unanimously as the best metal album of 2007 by journalists, metal radio stations and fans alike, "The Blackening" earned a Grammy nomination for the fan-favorite track "Aesthetics of Hate".

"The Blackening Special Edition" is two-disc CD/DVD set that features an assortment of extras, including rare bonus tracks such as covers of IRON MAIDEN's "Hallowed Be Thy Name", over an hour of live performance footage from With Full Force, Download and Rock in Rio festivals, three uncensored music videos for "Aesthetics of Hate", "Now I Lay Thee Down" and "Halo", a "making-of" featurette on each video, "The Making of The Blackening" and expanded artwork. There's also what many hardcore fans have been rabidly waiting for: four never-before-seen performances of MACHINE HEAD celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut album, "Burn My Eyes", captured in Philadelphia in 2004.

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