MACHINE HEAD — Burn My Eyes (review)

MACHINE HEAD — Burn My Eyes album cover Album · 1994 · Groove Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2.5/5 ·
Unitron
LET FREEDOM RING WITH A SHOTGUN BLAST!

This is the now iconic phrase that is shouted in the opening track of Machine Head's debut album, Burn My Eyes. While I can't say I'm a fan of really much of any Machine Head's output, they started out strong and had the makings of rivaling Pantera and Meshuggah in the realm of killer groove metal bands. While Machine Head would fall victim to the whiny side of nu-metal (and later Metalcore with some of their more recent stuff to a certain extent), their debut is packed with pummeling grooves and gruff vocals delivered with much conviction.

Burn My Eyes came onto the blossoming groove metal scene in 1994, when Pantera, White Zombie, Sepultura, and Fight were delivering fist-pumping punishing groove metal and Meshuggah were beginning to make their transition from tech thrash to tech groove. Burn My Eyes fits right in, while mixing some Alice in Chains-esque alternative metal and Fear Factory-esque industrial elements to make themselves stand out among the crowd. For every crushing powerhouse like opener "Davidian", there will be a more dreary segment in another song. There's a perfect balance here between pure aggression and melancholic AiC-esque passages, something that wouldn't be reached again until Sevendust's 1997 debut. The opening song and "Block", the former being my favorite on the album, never let up with their crushing riffing while most of the other songs mix the styles up. "A Thousand Lies" and a "A Nation on Fire" are the best examples of this and favorites of mine.

For me this is Machine Head's best album and one that I don't think they'll ever top. It's crushingly heavy, but at the same time can be quite melodic in a way that doesn't come off as whiny like their later albums suffer from. If you're a fan of Pantera, Alice in Chains, and especially Sevendust I can only highly recommend this album. Certainly a classic groove metal album. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!
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siLLy puPPy wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Thanks for this review :) I hadn't listened to Machine Head in a while and threw this on and remembered that i loved this album although i like their newer albums better, this still rocks!
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Live is where you should hear Machine Head though. They are one of the most entertaining live acts I´ve seen.
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I agree with the AIC influence in the clean vocal parts. I like this one a lot too. The NeXT one has some killer tracks too, but is not at all as great. Since "The Blackening" I think they´ve picked up a bit more thrash Again, and I quite enjoy the last couple of albums, although they certainly aren´t 100% thrash metal. It´s sort of a combination of thrash, groove, alternative, and metalcore.
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I wouldn't say it sounds like AiC as much as the melodies and some of Flynn's vocals are in similar vein, it's the closest comparison I could make. It certainly does rock though, and it's a shame they never made anything quite like it after.
Vim Fuego wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Can't say I've ever noticed a big Alice In Chains influence in this album, but then AIC is a band I've always avoided like the plague! This album was very hard to label when it first came out, because it was almost thrash, but not quite. It was long before groove metal was even considered a label. I've never really cared what it was labelled as. All I know is it still rocks like a bastard!

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