Machine Head
Burn My Eyes


4.5
superb

Review

by YHB USER (9 Reviews)
December 3rd, 2007 | 12 replies | 10,641 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The album that truly started the phrase "Machine F***ing Head"

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

The recent uproar following Machine Head’s 2007 album, and subsequent sixth studio release, The Blackening, has managed to re-pique my interest in the ‘Head. After being somewhat disappointed with The Blackening (nevermind my 8/10 score… the way some critics and some fans who had previewed the album were talking, I was half expecting the second coming of Jesus), I decided to dig out all the old Machine Head albums, have a good listen to each, and remind myself what exactly it is about Machine Head that makes people lose themselves.

A listen to the phenomenal opener of Burn My Eyes, Davidian, bought back some of the old memories of the band that I had forgotten during my recent discovery of several bands that were new to me (Every Time I Die, Porcupine Tree, Opeth) - it was as simple as it could really get: it bought new hope to those who didn’t think that metal still had what it took to survive in today’s modern metal world. Iron Maiden weren’t as good as they used to, Black Sabbath had gone off the rails, Metallica and Megadeth had sold out, and the only other bands really making waves to metal fans was Pantera and Sepultura - and no offence to either band, but they just weren’t as good as MH.

As you continue through the album’s play list, as I did, then a question may appear in your head; what would have happened if Machine Head had managed to build on this, instead of trying to impress the mainstream, and created another one of these classic, pure thrash albums? The possibilities could have been endless, such is the class and confidence that oozes from BME. Everyone knows what happened; they diversified, they got worse, and the people that persevered in the face of depreciating albums had to continue looking to album number one for confirmation that this was a great band (until 2003, with “Through The Ashes Of Empires”).

Never the less, there are some great songs on here, no matter what would happen in the near future. If there was an essence of thrash metal, then Machine Head certainly drank from that elixir on this album; indeed, from personal opinion, the only albums that manage to top it in its genre are Metallica’s ‘Master Of Puppets’ and Megadeth’s ‘Rust In Peace’. Those certainly are lofty pedestals to be attempting to gain access to, indeed.

But enough about the bare-bones around Burn My Eyes; in listening to the album, from the opening strains of Davidian to the all-out Block there’s absolutely no letting up in the intensity of these eleven songs, save for the more restrained and elegant sounds of the bass-led I’m Your God Now a hugely personal religious experience from the minds of these several men. Rob Flynn was most definitely paying attention to bands such as Pantera, as the intensity of the six-string axe is bought to the fore with the same kind of relentless intent as Dimebag Darrell.

It may seem that I’m trying too hard to shove this album down people’s throats; believe me, I’m not intentionally trying to. I’m giving an honest opinion of an album that I believe was the mid-way point between the golden 80s era and the current revival in some damn good metal; this along with several other bands from the Roadrunner Records stable, which were Fear Factory, Sepultura and Type O Negative. This foursome were all bands that bought something succinctly different, and yet reshaped metal in ways that they each saw fit, and so, bought the 80s to the thousands. And it brings me to my point: only Machine Head have managed to come back from the doldrums they all suffered from to become a true force in heavy metal (Fear Factory also made a comeback, but not to the level that Machine Head managed).

Each song is a personal master class - the aforementioned Davidian and others such as A Thousand Lies and None But My Own and each one was infused with the sort of melody that would have made Metallica blush - albeit with a heavy, lightning-quick guitar tone. It was heavy, and full on, but in a way that you could stand back and appreciate what exactly was happening. They were heavy, but they also had the good sense to know about melody, and that in heavy metal, speed isn’t everything (it counts for a lot, but it isn’t everything). This really hits home during the introduction to A Nation On Fire; it greatly reduces the r.p.m, and it features as one of the (many) must-hear cuts on this little silver disc.

There aren’t any major flaws in Burn My Eyes’ armour. Sure, there’s little niggles, as with any album (most likely, the fact that Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies isn’t very long, or that A Thousand Lies and None But My Own pretty much have the same riff, albeit at different tempos - or the ridiculous vocals on the introduction to Death Church), but saying so would be petty, and the fact is that on an album that manages to not have a completely duff track, picking out flaws shouldn’t be a factor in listening to this album. In this reviewer’s opinion, it’s one of the ten best metal albums out there, it’s the reason people didn’t write Machine Head from it’s release until “Through The Ashes...”, and it’s the best reason for getting into Machine Head as a band.

There’s little else to be said; if you hate thrash metal, stay far, far away. If you don’t, and you don’t already own this, then you can do one hell of a lot worse than to pick up a copy. And soon.

Verdict: 9/10
The one-band thrash revival - buy it, love it, cherish it

Standout tracks:
- Davidian
- Old
- None But My Own
- I'm Your God Now
- Block



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user ratings (868)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Altmer
December 3rd 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good album, but not this good.

gigi666
December 3rd 2007



257 Comments


^ second that. The main riff in Old is so goddamn groovy it's unbelievable...

Confessed2005
December 3rd 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, it is an amazing album with some truly killer songs on it but I don't quite feel that it is a classic.

DerMond
December 3rd 2007



126 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is a good album, but not this good.

as far as i'm concerned The Blackening IS the second coming of Jesus.

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 3rd 2007



3709 Comments


the way some critics and some fans who had previewed the album were talking, I was half expecting the second coming of Jesus
Well at least they weren't lying when they called it the Machine Head's And Justice For All.

joshuatree
Emeritus
December 3rd 2007



3743 Comments


I liked The Blackening

/goes my credibility


/or what little I had

Wizard
December 3rd 2007



19344 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it bought new hope

*brought
Other than that, I was amazed at how well written this review was. Spot on review. A Nation On Fire is by far the highlight of this album. The breakdown (excuse my poor word choice), fast speed metal at the end gets me pumped. I still prefer The Blackening over this simply because that album has so many good riffs in it; not that this album doesn't either.

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

Cytologic
December 4th 2007



32 Comments


The singer's voice really grates on my nerves. Its just irritating in my humble opinion, and I hate the guitar tone. Especially on The Blackening, one of my least favourite albums in the genre.

Mungo
December 7th 2007



6 Comments


I'm not the biggest fan of the album to be honest. It has some great tracks such as Davidian, Old, and Blood for Blood, but the rest is sort of 'travelling in second gear' if ya get what I mean. The vocals could've been done better as well.

Oh, and while I liked your review, Machine Head are groove metal, not thrash. Listen to any thrash from the 80s then listen to this; there is a difference.

Altmer
December 7th 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The only difference really is there is slightly less speed. Machine Head, even if they aren't 100% thrash, are close enough to be considered thrash.

YHB
December 7th 2007



45 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks everyone. And to the_wizard, thanks, but it should have been well written. It took me nearly five months :P I'm a busier person than I was before.

I feel it's a classic because of the good to duff track quota, and also because of the song writing; it really struck a chord with me. I love this album, but I tried my best to make myself not seem like a fanboy.

LaughingSkull
December 6th 2013



217 Comments


Good review, have a pos.

I would also include Real Eyes Realize Real Lies in the recommended tracks. Such a cool instrumental, with all its background noises from news reports.



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