Kontos was replaced by new drummer Dave McClain on 1997's More Things Change, an album that saw the band blending speed and progressive metal with dizzying results. The excessive touring and high-octane lifestyle took its toll on the group, but the bandmembers fought through their demons on 1999's Burning Red, resulting in the hit "From This Day," their first commercial single and video. Supercharger was released in 2001, followed by the concert album Hellalive and the critically lauded Through the Ashes of Empires in 2003. The DVD Elegies arrived in 2005, followed by Blackening in 2007.
In late 2010, Machine Head went back into the studio, setting up shop in Green Day's Jingletown Studios to begin work on a new album. Produced by Flynn himself, the band released its seventh album, Unto the Locust, in 2011. The band returned the following year with the enthusiastically titled live album Machine F**king Head Live! ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi