Review Summary: Rapping? Turntables? This IS the same band that made Burn My Eyes right?Machine Head
’s debut, Burn My Eyes
, will forever be noted as one of the all time seminal groove metal albums, along with Pantera
’s Vulgar Display of Power
, and Sepultura
’s Chaos A.D
. It’s also one of the greatest metal albums of the 90’s: heavy, angst filled, and with balls the size of Texas. Machine Head
were a band with limitless potential, and their follow-up release, The More Things Change
, built on the foundations laid by their debut. Unfortunately it was around this time that nu-metal reared it’s ugly head, and in a bid to jump on the bandwagon as it were, The Burning Red
, their third album, took a lot of influence from this said genre. While it gained them new fans, it also alienated many of their old ones who believed the band had sold out. With Supercharger
, Machine Head
had two choices: continue on their nu-metal path and gain more popularity, or revert to the style on their previous albums and risk losing their new fans.
They chose poorly.
is an awful album, showing a great band at the very worst. Every speck of brilliance from Burn My Eyes
is blown away by a whirlwind of turntables, rapping, appauling lyrics and uninspired instrumentation.
The glorified intro, The Declaration
, leads straight into Bulldozer
, one of the stronger tracks on the album, featuring a solid riff and Robb Flynn’s instantly recognisable barked voice. The problems start on the next song, White Knuckle Blackout!
, which introduces Robb’s extremely weak attempt at rapping. The song (along with the other 13 on the album) also features some incredibly bad lyrics:
Adrenaline is my fuel when I've an obstacle to climb
Adrenaline is the lubrication, focusing my mind
Adrenaline is telling me when someone's thinking they're too cool
To raise my middle fingers up and say "*** you”
Or how about in the title track:
Charge me, charge you
Charge us, charge through
Is this the same man who wrote lines such as “let freedom ring with a shotgun blast”" This album shows that Robb has run out subjects to be angry about, often re-treading old ground, such as his broken childhood (Trephination
), the state of modern society (Blank Generation
), and just general ignorance of other people (Nausea, Kick You When You’re Down
The problems don’t end there though; the lead single, Crashing Around You
, shows exactly why Robb should stick to screams and growls. His weak singing voice comes across as cheesy and pretentious as he whines “when will you see that you cannot hide from me"” What’s even more surprising is when he decides to go all Tarzan on us for no apparent reason on American High
. Coincidentally, it’s this very same song that features an abundance of turntable scratching for no apparent reason other than to sound hip and trendy with the youngsters.
One thing I loved about Burn My Eyes
is that it actually sounds like a revolution. The groove riffs and pounding drums mimic the sound of marching troops and rebels ready for action. That sound is totally lost on Supercharger
: the guitars sound thin and lack power, the bass is inaudible for the most part and the drums sound more like a marching band than marching troops; basic metal fills dominate the album without any inspiration or enthusiasm portrayed in the slightest.
So, are there any redeeming features on Supercharger
" Well, in the context of the album, there are a few songs which aren’t THAT bad. The aforementioned Bulldozer
, plus Trephination
make the most of a bad situation and form three credible songs. Not highlights in Machine Head
’s catalogue by any means, but they certainly stand out on an album filled with mediocre material.
I suppose that we should be thankful that Supercharger
marked the end of an awkward period in Machine Head
’s career. For their next two albums they reverted back to their signature sound, leaving behind any trace of nu-metal influence portrayed on this record as well as The Burning Red
. However, a simple revert back to their old sound doesn’t erase two mediocre records from their catalogue, having said that, if you’re a huge Machine Head
or nu-metal fan then by all means go pick this up, you may find some enjoyment out of it. Everyone else should do themselves a favour and stay well clear.
Overall – 2/5