As far as corporate spearheaded holidays are concerned, Valentines day is easily the silliest. Do we really need to dedicate a specific day just to show the compassion we feel towards one another? Of course not, but the card companies needed to create one in order to capitalize on our emotions once more. Anyways, I might as well just take the high road this time and use the opportunity to talk about something that I personally love for this week’s throwback segment. “Burn My Eyes”, the debut album by none other than Machine Head! There are so many great things about this band, and specifically this album, so here are just a few of the highlights.
1. “Burn My Eyes” is a captivating experience form start to finish. From listening to this album non-stop for the past couple of days I was reminded of one of the reasons I liked it so much. There’s no filler! Seriously, any song from this release could be a single, from “Davidian” to “Blood for Blood”. Very few bands can honestly claim that kind of status from a debut effort. Even the semi-instrumental “Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies” seems to blend in perfectly with the rest of the album.
2. Machine Head’s debut is far superior to anything released by Vio-lence. By this I am referring to guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn’s original Bay Area thrash metal band. Coming from a huge fan of thrash I can honestly say that Vio-lence never caught my attention, mainly due to the fact that they sounded like a second-rate Exodus rip-off. With Machine Head though, Robb and company showed us that they could establish their own unique blend of metal. Years of growth as a musician without a doubt helped to give “Burn My Eyes” the sound of a mature effort.
3. The diversity within each song is astounding. Let’s take track 4, “None But My Own”, as an example. This song demonstrated the bands ability to easily transition between a soft, almost melodic style to an outburst of pure shred. A true standout moment is at the 3:45 minute mark when an aggressive solo breaks out overtop a toned down groove. Moments like this only helped to prove that Machine Head was capable of creating music that was simultaneously chaotic and mellow.
4. This album showcased the marriage of two heavy metal styles. Thrash Metal was the biggest thing to happen to metal in the 1980’s, until Pantera released their landmark album “Cowboys From Hell”, an album that brought grooves to the forefront of the heavy metal formula. As awesome as Dime and the boys were, their emphasis on grooves resulted in the placement of the “thrash” on the back-burner of their sound. With the release of “Burn My Eyes”, Machine Head challenged this notion of the “groove”. By placing equal emphasis on both their thrash and groove elements, this album proved that groove metal could be just as heavy as thrash metal. “A Thousand Lies” gives any Slayer song a run for it’s money.
5. Machine Fucking Head!
Well it’s fairly obvious that Machine Head is a badass band, and it’s even more obvious that “Burn My Eyes” would be the perfect gift for your significant other for tomorrow’s magnificent holiday of shit. Cheers!