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Burn my head - 92%

The Thrasher, May 25th, 2012

The albums of Machine Head of “today” are completely strange from those that were made at the beginning (though indeed those decent are only two). “Burn My Eyes” was the first album of this band and one of the best (post) thrash metal albums of the ’90s years. In a few words, a very great debut influenced by thrash metal bands like Slayer and Metallica (in regards to the riffs, solos, and lyrics…) and Pantera and Sepultura (in regards ti the style of singing of Robb Flynn).

This album proposes to us thrash/groove metal that's raw and massive from to the old and wise Bay Area and this we can understand thanks to opener “Davidian” with effective drumming from Chris Kontos and a beautiful chorus that sets off one of the phrases most famous for the band: “let freedom ring with a shotgun blast”. The next one, “Old”, is also a good song that follows the same rhythm as the previous song, but this time to give way to the dances is the powerful bass of Adam Duce that can be heard easily. “A Thousand Lies” is also a very hectic song that rages after a slow start and possesses a solo that's distorted and fast. “None But my Own” has more or less the same level as the previous songs in that the chorus issues an inhuman rage. This song also possesses an adrenaline solo.

The other songs that have fascinated me on this album are two semi-ballads, “A Nation on Fire” and “I’m Your God Now”, an element that seeks traces of the ballads of Metallica. The first is good and triggers the end with an heavy riff accompanied with the pounding drums of Kontos. The second is my absolute favourite with a fantastic instrumental section where the singing of Flynn is clean at the beginning, but once more approaches to the chorus and the vocals become aggressive. Then there is the short “Blood for Blood”, a blow to the teeth of thrash metal that remembers old Slayer, an headbanging song where halfway though is a melodic part that can resume breathing and afterward breaks out again.

Unfortunately, this album presents “filler songs”, and these are “The Rage to Overcome”, “Death Church”, “Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies”, and the final track, “Block”. They aren’t bad, but rather on a good level, but not like the previous songs. The first has a good instrumental section, but the voice of Flynn isn’t very convincing. The second is slower and the rhythm drops, but it makes for pleasant listening, disturbing that species of a “subliminal message” that's at the beginning of the song. The third song is a semi-instrumental song of high-level when, at the end, Robb Flynn sets out screaming loudly the words of the title. The finale, “Block”, closes the album with violence, missing the solo and is replaced by an instrumental and spectacular section. Also, this one remembers the closing of Metallica’s albums (“Metal Militia”, “Damage, Inc.”, “Dyers Eve”, and “The Struggle Within”).

“Burn My Eyes”, after all, is a good album and doesn’t present significant drops in rhythm, but unfortunately after that “The More Things Change…” is oriented to a more commercial genre. But it must be remembered that this album and the next are the two open-circuits to the movement of post-thrash/groove metal, together with “Far Beyond Driven”.