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Formed in 1991 in Oakland, California. Machine Head were later signed to Roadrunner Records on the back of a demo that had been recorded during the early months of the band's conception.
Machine Head then headed to Berkley in California to begin the recording process of what would later become 'Burn My Eyes'. The album was released in 1994 to huge critical acclaim.
The first single from the album, 'Davidian', also released in 1994, was an instant hit and has stood the test of time, still being considered a classic even to this day. It opens with a load, deep and powerful drum fill followed by Flynn's signature riffs which include plenty of pitch harmonics.
Each track flows seemlessly into the next, which each being driven by a powerful bass line provided by Adam Duce and quick, powerful drums from (now ex drummer) Tony Costanza.
Robb Flynn's vocals are always somewhere between a full on growl, and clean singing, it's a unique singing style that not many can pull off, but Flynn does perfectly throughout the entire album.
It would be difficult to pick a favourite track from this album, as each of them are wonderfully written, recorded and produced. A personal favourite however would be 'I'm your god now'. One of the longer tracks from the album, it begins slowly with Duce providing a slow, mellow bassline on which Flynn comes in with subtle guitar notes. The songs builds over the next 5 minutes to produce a finale of pure thrash metal that cannot be listened to sitting still.
Nearly 20 years after it's release, Burn My Eyes remains a classic, an album that launched the career of one of heavy metals finest bands. It's an album I am proud to own and will never tire of.
Full Track Listing:
3) A Thousand Lies
4) None but My Own
5) The Rage to Overcome
6) Death Church
7) A Nation on Fire
8) Blood for Blood
9) I'm Your God Now
10) Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies
Many metal bands come out with Debut albums that are no exactly their best material, but are just good enough to get them known. In this case with Machine Head, they make an album that gets them known and is also some of the best material that they've ever came up with (so far). This album is just SO GROOVEY. It's sort of like a mix between your bog standard thrash band and Pantera with a bit of originality thrown in there making an awesome combination of music that is just epic to drive around to with the windows down and enjoy the odd looks you get from people outside. For me, this album represents something the the music industry has needed for a long time. It's heavy but not so heavy that it puts people off from listening to it unlike those progressive death metal bands that seems to be the hype these days. Sometimes you just can't beat some traditional metal that's had some modern influences?
Keep in mind I did see these guys 3 days ago in Belfast and wow... best night ever. I even caught Adam Duce's bass pick thrown straight to my hand AND then one of Robb Flynn's! Safe to say everybody around me was about to lynch me because of my rediculous luck... anyway....
A huge fat song to open the album, full of heavy riffs and pounding drums fitting in with Machine Heads agressive powerful approach to song writing. You can hear Machine Heads signiture harmonics in the opening riff soon breaking into a powerful drum fill section that was brutal live. The entire hall turned into one huge circle pit during this track. Epic!
Probably one of my favorite riffs of all time just because of the sheer drive in it. It's not just one note or two chords, it's complex but at the same time simple enough to be memorable. Once again this was just breathtaking live I was really really hoping that they would play this and they did.
A thousand lies
Wouldn't call this one anything special, but at the same time it's not a bad tune, the intro is a nice little change from just riffs but it soon breaks into typical thrash style song layouts. The singing in this one is very thrash-like and wouldn't be out of place in an Evile album.
None But My Own
The intro to this does sound very like A Thousand Lies... Kind of odd that they're back to back? Anyway it's still a good part of the album and fits in perfectly. Some of the quieter verses in this are a nice change and makes the song more memorable and different.
The Rage to Overcome
More powerful drums from Machine Heads second drummer (If my history is correct they wrote these songs with a drummer, then got a new one when recording. I think he's called Chris something).
Song features a pretty nice solo and typical riffs not unlike the rest of the album.
Something different to break the album up! This song begins with recorded effects and radio chatter of some sort setting an atmosphere. Another kick ass riff in this song as well! That's the key word when it comes to this album, riffs!
A Nation on Fire
This song has a nice buildup to a catchy chorus and guitar phrasing. There's not really anything unique in this song to talk about, it's relatively calm in comparison to the rest of the songs on the album so is a bit of fresh air.
Blood for Blood
Fast and powerful and just typical thrash! This is probably the thrashiest song on the entire album whilst also having some nice melodic phrases inbetween riffs. I wouldn't call myself the biggest thrash fan, but this stuff is good!
I'm Your God Now
Once again I think this sounds really like a Nation On Fire but I guess you're allowed to use similar chord progression in the same album. Nice snare drum/march accompanyment to the opening section of this song being a lot differernt from the typical 4/4 beats that usually are featured.
Real Eyes, Realise, Real Lies
I'd love to see this one developing into a full time song. It's got such a good riff! This song is sort of an atmospheric composition with radio chatter in the background that would serve as a really good intro to an album.
Nice bassy song here with more nice riffs. The bass is certainly the key instrument in this song! It's a good round up to the album but i'd love to hear a nice long solo section that would have wrapped it up nicely.
Overall this is a nice album, but some parts do get repetitive. It's got some great songs and great riffs but a few tracks feel like fillers and sound similar.
"Burn My Eyes" is the debut album by American thrash metal band, Machine Head. It was released in 1994 on Roadrunner Records and produced by Colin Richardson. The line-up for the album was Rob Flynn (vocals/guitar), Logan Mader (guitar), Adam Duce (bass) and Chris Kontos (drums).
As far as debut thrash metal albums go, you don't get a lot better than "Burn My Eyes". Metallica's "Kill 'Em All", Evile's "Enter the Grave" and Exodus' "Bonded by Blood" stick out as debut metal albums that completely blast the ears off you, and this is no exception to the rule. When Robb Flynn left Vio-lence, he started something very special and along with Mader, Duce and Kontos, recorded this album. Is it any good? Let's find out!
Right from the off with "Davidian", Machine Head start to rebuild your lost belief in thrash with pounding drums, massive riffs and what's become synonymous with the band, Robb Flynn's lyrics, "Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast" in the chorus. This is a song about the Waco siege in 1993, when the Branch Davidians, led by David Koresh, holed up in the Mount Carmel Center, besieged by the FBI, ATF and other branches of law enforcement. 76 cult members died during the assault to retake the building. It also has a double meaning, in that it relates to the gun laws of America. Although the lyrics do not say whether they're pro or anti guns, they suggest that people are allowed to carry weapons because of a constitution signed many years ago.
Here is a song about how Evangelism had taken over the world, and how the greed and corruption of the modern church is destroying generations of families. It is another extremely powerful song, led by the pulsing rhythm of Adam Duce's bass. The song gets very fast towards the end with all instruments pounding in unison, until the final chorus comes in. The song can be likened to groove metal, but it is very sparse in its acknowledgement, leaning more towards traditional thrash metal than anything. If Machine Head intended to bring their music into the world kicking and screaming, they definitely achieved it with the first two tracks.
A Thousand Lies
The song starts out slow but when it gets going, it gives out the impression that Machine Head knows how to bring thrash and groove metal together into one song. It's heavy in most places, but it also has a jump-a-long feel to it which will get the gig goer bouncing. Some critics say that the song is too much like a rap but it is hard to pick that up. The lyrics are sung at a decent pace, but there are so many other metal songs that are, which don't get the same treatment. It is a song about America in the Gulf War, and seemingly points to both Bush administrations and their involvement in what could be classed as an 'illegal war' by some. The track's bridge spits furiously with some great guitar work, backed up by the drums.
None But My Own
Here is a song of two tales, as it has one of the heaviest riffs on the album with the main bulk of the track being played at a slower tempo. It does kick in during the chorus, though, and throws out some incredibly heavy vibes - almost like a brewing storm which stirs awhile before hitting with its full onslaught and then dying down again. Here again is another excellent solo during the bridge, giving fans exactly what they want, as far as a thrash metal track goes. It is a song about a man who has suffered abuse at the hands of his father. He's saying that no matter what is done to him he won't break, and eventually he's going to find strength from somewhere to put an end to it.
The Rage to Overcome
The song comes in with Kontos playing his drum kit to good use which continues when the guitars roll in. This track is all about the skinsman and it is full of double bass with fills and chops galore, but is also not without the standard solo, which Mader rips through with ease. It is a song about how the narrator feels that he lets his anger build to the point of bursting. He feels that there will be hell to pay if he lets it all out, so it is for the best for everyone around him that he suffers in silence. It is probably the most underrated song on the album, but it wouldn't be much without Chris Kontos.
This song begins with narration from the testimony of Charles Manson during the Tate-LaBianca murder trial, which reads:
"Is it a conspiracy that the music is telling the youth to rise up against the establishment because the establishment is rapidly destroying things? Is that a conspiracy? The music speaks to you every day, but you are too deaf, dumb, and blind to even listen to the music. It is not my conspiracy. It is not my music. I hear what it relates. It says "Rise," it says "Kill.""
It is a track which has many groove-based riffs but not a lot more going for it, and comes across as a little too repetitive throughout. It does have a pretty good solo during the bridge, but that sludgy riff is ever-present in the background, and it doesn't help the track along.
A Nation on Fire
The song begins with a chilling acoustic intro and is one of those classic songs that builds its heaviness until it explodes in the chorus, but it is going on towards the end of the song where it really kicks it up a notch. The last minute of the track is a full-on assault of thrash metal, with all five members playing their instruments to a rapid speed. This is Machine Head taking influence from Slayer, Megadeth and early Metallica, and it doesn't get much better than a band throwing it to the extreme to get the desired result.
Blood for Blood
This song carries on where "A Nation on Fire" left off, with a song that injects venom into the album like no other has done. The riffs are fast and furious and Flynn's vocals are angry as he tells the listener that if someone comes for him and hits out, he's going to hit back. No matter what you do, he's going to do the same. An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. The song sounds a lot like something Slipknot would do, and it is clear that the band from Iowa was influenced by Machine Head, especially with their guitar sound. It is also evident that Machine Head, in turn, was influenced by Pantera, as Flynn sounds not unlike Phil Anselmo here. It won't be a song to everyone's liking, but the seasoned thrash fan will love it for its energy.
I'm Your God Now
Every thrash band had their ballad 'back in the day', and Machine Head was no exception. Metallica did it with "Fade to Black", Overkill with "Soulitude" and Megadeth's "A Tout le Monde" are all examples of these. It is a song about heroin addiction, and how the pain keeps getting worse and worse for the user, to the extent of doing anything they can to get more. It eventually suggests that the drug is the narrator's life, and it will choose when to take it from him. It has an incredible outro that does not fail to whip the moshpit into a frenzy before breaking down into an acoustic finale that gives the listener (or concert goer) time to breathe.
Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies
This song is about the desire for change in America. It deals with the subject of persecution against all races and colour, as well as the riots of Los Angeles following on from the Rodney King beating by police officers. The key is that Machine Head is not saying that people should be treated differently because of their race, but that everyone should be given an equal throw of the dice - it is entirely their choice on what they do with it. The song is mostly all spoken word taken from various interviews with members of the public, speeches by politicians and words from famous figures, but the main theme which keeps being repeated is that "America has to go through some type of radical change."
More crunchy groove riffs are in store here, as the final song of the album comes into play. "Block" is a song about how the media refuse to report on some stories, which sensationalizing others. Fights between black and white factions in America go largely unreported, but when a politician eats a burger, it is big news. It ends the album on a high note, though, because the thrashing is relentless and welcoming to the ears. Kontos' double bass pedals work as fast as they can near the end of the song, backed up by bruising riffs and thundering basslines. Machine Head has obviously taken the time to listen to what they have recorded, to determine the running order.
If you're looking for a pure thrash album there are hundreds, if not thousands, out there. But you'll not go wrong with "Burn My Eyes". Debut albums are what puts a band on the world stage if they're good enough, and this certainly is worthy of that. Machine Head has undergone a few line-up changes over the years since its release, and only Robb Flynn remains of the original members, but this was a raw Machine Head that pounded out something special, and it could be argued that it is the band's best album in their back catalog.
3. A Thousand Lies
4. None But My Own
5. The Rage to Overcome
6. Death Church
7. A Nation on Fire
8. Blood for Blood
9. I'm Your God Now
10. Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies
My rating: 9/10
Burn My Eyes is one of the standout albums of 90s metal. The fact it was a debut album makes it more impressive. I remember listening to this as an 11 year old when my guitar teacher leant it to me - Rob Flynn's vocals actually scared me a little, such is the harsh venom in his voice.
The album has often been described as the link between thrash metal, such as early Metallica and Slayer and the groove metal style that Pantera established with Vulgar Display of Power. However there are also influences from rap present - this can be seen in the band's, especially Rob's, fashion sense and occasionally in the lyrics - although nothing like the extent of The Burning Red (a latter Machine Head album) that actually features full on rapping. The lyrics range from topics such a street violence, civil disorder and drug abuse - it is an angry album, as most good metal albums are.
There are some stand out tracks here - Davidian, Old, Blood for Blood, I'm Your God Now and Block, and whilst some of the other tracks are not hugely distinct, the album fits together well.
I would be surprised if anyone into metal didn't already have this, but if you like your music to take no prisoners, this is for you.
This album is one of the best debut metal releases of all time and still one of Machine Heads greatest albums.
From the opening Chris Kontos drum fill to the blast beat ending of "Block", this album delivers an onslaught of groove, aggression and riffs of a band pushing to make it in what was a dieing genre back in the mid-90's. You have to remember that this album came out during the peak of grunge which was the nail in the coffin of the 80's thrash scene.
The influences of Pantera's groove driven sound are evident as well as rap influenced fashion and vocal aggression. The classic growl of the 5150 amp has been tailored and captured perfectly by producer Colin Richardson and the trade mark Vinnie Paul "Click" on the kick drum really highlights how skilled Kontos was.
The lyrics read like a social commentary of Oakland in the 90's and this honest approach to writing really helped the band connect with the fans. Like all good songs, these related to the listener and grabbed hold of that teenage angst.
The tone and ferocity in this album was fresh and new compared to most other releases of the time and the band have never really captured that again. through constant line up changes and dabbling in different styles they got close with "Through The Ashes of Empires" in terms of sound and groove but the aggression and passion of "Burn My Eyes" will probably never be recreated.
'Burn My Eyes' is one of the defining metal albums of the nineties, though not for all the right reasons. Old-school metal fans may despise its influential groove metal style in the aftermath of eighties thrash, but it still packed enough of a punch to make a significant impact in the rock world, along with the band's contemporaries such as Pantera and Sepultura. The fact that I traditionally dislike anything to do with these bands and their infuriating legacy doesn't stop me from enjoying this in its own right.
Like all Machine Head albums, there are a couple of good songs here amidst a lot of filler that all sounds pretty much the same, but this is their best work by far and contains enough distinctive songs to avoid having to skip around, something I find impossible to avoid on their subsequent releases. Although the predominant style is rooted in slowed thrash replete with mosh-pit-pleasing breakdowns, in many ways a variation on slow Slayer, guitarist Logan Mader introduces enough originality into many of the riffs to keep things interesting, while the rhythm section provides an excellent backdrop to songs such as 'Old.'
Opener 'Davidian' is the band's best song and a staple of nineties metal, but isn't perfect by any means, particularly the instrumental finale which sounds conspicuously tagged on and even a little pointless. The album loses energy after this, especially in slower numbers such as 'Death Church,' but after a couple of listens there are enough songs that will remain memorable, even if it's occasionally merely down to the catchy choruses.
This band are like a speeded up pantera full of guitar harmonics and breakdowns in the drum department. The solos are excellent, keeping to exotic type guitar scales rather than using penatonic scales. This creates quite a menacing air of violence on the album.
Generally the songs stick around the themes of war and street violence, being that the band are from the rougher edged streets of brooklyn. This is a beast of an album.
Good?Great?Amazing?Mosh fuelling?Try all of these plus sublime and u have burn my eyes. Machine Heads debut album has successfully left a good impression on the metal loving segment of the music population. Your blasted away from the git go with one of the best meatl songs not only by machine head but in metals history, Davidian. Rolling drum beat, intense riffs lead into a superb build up climaxing in the powerfull and memorable words, "Let freedom ring with the shotgun blast", and who said they weren't political! However unlike some metal albums, the best isnt over after the first song and each and every song, unique in its individual genius and mighty riffs, leaves any true metal fan smiling as they imagine what the mosh would be like to the music theyre listening, and believe me it is intense. Stand out songs include Devidian, Old, Nation on fire and Block but really this is an album where every song is listened to and appreciated. The amulgamation of intense drums, meaty riffs and a voice coarse enough to blow you away makes this album a definate buy. p.s. look at my name, nuff said.
A stunning debut album from this new band from Oakland, California. The now legendary roar of 'Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast' from vocalist/guitarist Rob Flynn opens the album in style on the track `Davidian`. The opening three tracks are all pretty instant but the rest of the album takes a little more time to get into. Obviously influenced by the likes of Slayer, Metallica and Pantera but also by the Hardcore punk scene. It`s the mixture of these influences that has enabled to create their own distinct sound and really begin a new chapter of metal. A great first album!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
3 Thousand Lies
4 None But My Own
5 Rage To Overcome
6 Death Church
7 Nation On Fire
8 Blood For Blood
9 I'm Your God Now
10 Real Eyes Realize Real Lies