Review Summary: Machine Head debuted with the album “Burn My Eyes”, and just like many bands starting out; it is usually seen as machine head at their best. It featured some angry riffage; Elements of their future thrash state, some decently constructed solos and som0 of 1 thought this review was well written
What I really like about this album is the fact Machine head have not been afraid to try new and innovative things that many bands were to scared to try around this time. This includes the drum role in “I’m Your God Now” and the opening riff section to “The Rage To Overcome”.
The opening song “Davidian”, is hands down one of the most quality tracks on the album, and one of the best opening songs of all time. It starts with a harrowing riff, easily identified as machine head the moment it starts. It the carries into another more powerful riff. The cry; “Let freedom reign with a shotgun blast!!” Signals some more riffage and this is all meaty power chords. The song the goes on to repeat before a mild guitar solo seemingly finishes it. Everything builds up and you think the song is about to end, and then…. BANG! Ear abuse! They let the song die with another insane piece of riffage. Note: How excellent the drums were during the main riff. What a hard riff to cover on drums, but they nail it!
The next song “Old” is a favourite to be played on tour. It starts off with some whispering before their into the first true riff. This riff is amazing, highly energetic, combining aggression with technicalities. The verse then almost intrudes, because you were so caught up in that riff! The verse ends quickly, and would be my least liked factor of this song. The chorus is power chord filled and sounds aggressive yet melodic, showing signs of what was to come for machine head. The song basically goes down the line the same way the first half did, leaving the song with a good note.
The next song, “A Thousand Lies” Was one of my favourites from the album. It consisted of quite a few riffs and a pretty cruisy first riff, leading into a slightly more frantic riff which they carry out to good effect before the power chords dominate the next riff. The first two riffs lead into this well. The verses use this power chord riff and a power chord of the second frantic is primarily used for the bridge before the clean version of the second riff is again used. The goes through this band repeats the heavy power chord riff three times for maximum affect. The end riff is carried out slower and slower each time, making a great song all-round with changes of pace and aggression
The next song “None But My Own” has some pretty awesome lyrical matter. The intro is a nifty short riff repeated a few times before the loud, blazing distorted guitar takes you on a journey. To the listener’s surprise, Machine head slow the verse down, providing a unique mixture of song types used in the album. It then builds back up in the chorus, just as loud and distorted as before. They then rip out with another riff after the chorus much like “Davidian”. This occurs with the first two verses and choruses, surprisingly the second chorus differentiates. Then the after chorus riff comes in with yells of “Burn” this time. After this comes a few pretty cool solo’s before repeating the last verse and chorus, and then to finish up is a thrash riff. It is fast and angry. What else is missing from a prime thrash riff? You can feel the passion in this song; it’s obviously close to their hearts. This easily makes this one of the best songs from the album.
The next, and in my mind, most controversial song on the album was “ The Rage To Overcome”. It started with a short drum intro followed by some extremely distorted guitar. This is built on quite a bit before the main riff comes in. It’s either power chords or opens. Either way it sounds pretty tough after the first riff. The verses concede of the distorted riff in the background. It is very annoying and kind of kills the song until the main riff comes in again. I guess they kind of wanted this to be the build-up. Distorted riff than main riff and it works well as distorted and clean usually does. After the second verse it follows in to some riffage afterwards before a brief solo. You will find that most solos on this album are rather brief and sometime uninventive. The last verse has no distorted riff and its finally pleasure brought to the ears and when the main riff comes back in, its devastatingly epic.
The next song, “Death Church”, was a good song but it got quite repetitive and predictable on the first listen. The intro consists of some distorted speaking before some bass and a nifty guitar riff before finally the main riff comes it. This is my favourite main riff from the whole album. The verses are unique as they are the only time ion the whole album where Robb actually tries to sing and he pulls it off well before an angry chorus is repeated with the first riff. This repeats twice. I find the chorus is quite annoying, as the first riff u=is shrill. The solo in this song is again distorted and untimed. The song then finishes with another verse and chorus.
“A Nation On Fire” was the best song on the album. It opened with a beautiful handpicked riff which improved as it went along before Robb started the first verse which also brought along the main riff. This then travelled into another riff well worth banging your head to. Rob completes the chorus, definitely the catchiest on the album. This is repeated twice before another thrash riff is chosen to finish the song. It is very similar to the end thrash riff to none but my own. This a beautifully constructed riff and the high point in the album, and the song quality steadily declines from here, until a peak at the end.
The next song was the albums shortest non-instrumental, “Blood For Blood”. It began much like “The Rage To Overcome” with distorted riffage, kind of sounding like slipknot. This all builds up too form the main riff, again a thrash riff, and this is one quality riff, probably the best thrash riff of the entire album. The verses in this song are short and hasty, and the choruses are poorly executed and also short. After the first few verses are done, in what feels like a few seconds, they introduce a new riff which just can’t find its way and sounds awkward the whole time. The only upsides to this song are the solo and that sick main riff which should have been played more.
The next song and in my mind, the most interesting song on the album, “I’m Your God Now”, consists of Robb pouring his heart out about his drug problems. The intro is much like that of “A Nation On Fire” however it does not develop so rapidly. The verse is sung well and the chorus is introduced after an angry power riff from Mader. The chorus is sung with passion and frustration. It develops well. Next may be a petty detail, but I believe that the guitar that brings the chorus to the verse, the high distortion electric guitar, is the best way of going back to the verse. It is cohesive and makes the song all that more listener-friendly. This is repeated twice before another angry riff that reeks of rage fills the ear drums. It is expanded on before the solo and the last chorus. The opening bass riff finishes off the song. This song shows great diversification in the song on this album. Some are thrash, some are classic Metallica style heavy metal and some are slower. Amazing differentiation, leaving the listener with but a boring though in mind.
The next song “Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies” is an semi-instrumental with various quotes referring to racism and police in America, that is more for sentimental reasons that actual song like reasons. There is little riff variation and the main message is repeated at the end. “America has to go through radical change”. It is a lead on to the next song.
The last song of the album “Block” is a place keeper. There are various great riffs throughout the song, and all of which are energetic, which is what you want to feel coming away from an album. It had an annoying chorus but the riffs made well up for that.