MACHINE HEAD — Burn My Eyes (review)

MACHINE HEAD — Burn My Eyes album cover Album · 1994 · Groove Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
"Burn My Eyes" is the debut full-length studio album by US, thrash/groove metal act Machine Head. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in July 1994. Machine Head was formed in 1992 by former Forbidden and Vio-lence guitarist Robb Flynn (who is also the lead vocalist in Machine Head), guitarist Logan Mader, bassist Adam Duce, and drummer Tony Costanza. With that lineup Machine Head recorded their 1993 demo, which eventually got them signed to Roadrunner Records. Before recording "Burn My Eyes" Tony Costanza was replaced by Chris Kontos. Upon release "Burn My Eyes" was an almost instant success and with 400.000 copies sold, it was the best selling debut album released through Roadrunner Records until the release of Slipnot´s debut album in 1999.

While main songwriter Robb Flynn came from a Bay Area thrash metal background, the times they were a changin´ in the early 90s and especially Pantera and Sepultura (with "Chaos A.D. (1993)") had brought a more groove oriented element to thrash metal music, and with "Burn My Eyes", Machine Head followed suit.

The music on the album is at it´s roots thrash metal, but it´s far from the sound of 80s thrash metal (except for the fast thrashy riff on "Blood for Blood") and features hard edged groove oriented riffs and rhythms, raw and shouting hardcore influenced vocals, and the occasional alternative metal leaning. The latter is mostly heard in the clean vocal sections. The material on the 11 track, 55:37 minutes long album is of a consistently high quality, although tracks like the iconic album opener "Davidian", "Old", and "Death Church" are among the highlights.

The musicianship is on a high level on all posts. Machine Head are a tight unit, delivering precision playing, but never to a point where an organic approach is forgotten. While all involved are skilled musicians, I´ll give a special mention to drummer Chris Kontos, who´s relatively inventive playing style and impeccable sense for grooves carry the music far. The vocals by Robb Flynn are the only minor issue I have with "Burn My Eyes". They undeniably suit the music well, but he just doesn´t have a very powerful voice and his clean vocals aren´t that interesting either. He makes it´s work with what he´s got though, and that deserves some praise.

"Burn My Eyes" is a very well produced album featuring a powerful, heavy, and detailed production. It´s one of the most well sounding Colin Richardson productions, and considering his vast number of high quality production jobs, that says a lot. "Burn My Eyes" is through and through a high quality release, that to my ears is just short of being a masterpiece, but a 4.5 star (90%) rating is still well deserved.
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more than 2 years ago
An artist's early releases often get viewed differently after the event. The important thing here is that the band themselves consider it a demo. That makes it a demo in my book.
more than 2 years ago
It isn't really a real album though.

It was an independent album of demo quality and a band ambitiously calling it a demo when they are young and new and excited doesn't make it a real album. Its a demo, the band, label and vast majoirty of fans are all in agreement.

Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Not originally, it was released as an album. The band disowned it after getting signing to Roadrunner.
more than 2 years ago
Actually it's you that's incorrect Unitron - Slipknot's Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. which I presume you're referring to is considered a demo, not a full-length album.
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Still technically is the best selling debut through Roadrunner, because Slipknot's self-titled isn't their real debut! ;-)


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