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Well chosen single - 87%

gasmask_colostomy, December 5th, 2014

Let's be honest, Machine Head took a dive soon after releasing their first album, heading down a path of increasing grooviness and nu metal trend hopping, which culminated in a god awful polka dot hair dye and two stinkers in the form of 'The Burning Red' and 'Supercharger'. The band certainly had the right idea at first though, since 'Burn My Eyes' was not only a great album, but the band picked 'Old' as the single. 'Old' was probably the best song on the debut to silence the naysayers, since it is the thrashiest and riffiest cut, 'Blood for Blood' notwithstanding.

The introduction is bass heavy with that ominous voice over - "1994: corruption, racism, hate...the church has failed...Jesus came down - and he shot" to set up the religious theme, before the riffs smash down. The first one is not bad, but the second is off the handle, making the groove subsidiary to the thrash and sounding huge as a result, especially that deeper catcall at its end. The chorus pushes through Robb Flynn's held notes and circles back to the first riff on the cry of "Jesus wept!" The build up after the second chorus is a little off the boil and indicates the territories the band would be heading towards, though the song ends on a strong note. The only thing missing is a solo.

'Old' isn't Machine Head's signature song by any means, but it's one of the most formidable songs they have written and deserves its place - both revered and maligned - in the book of heavy metal history.