Sunday, March 31, 2013

Machine Head, Burn My Eyes

It has not been a good month for famous bands staying together, between Dave Lombardo leaving Slayer, Scott Weiland getting fired again and more recently Adam Duce leaving Machine Head after 21 years. It sounds like an awful situation, but not one that will cripple the band. Machine Head's best songwriting days are behind them, and as anyone who ever saw them on a 360-degree stage can tell you, Robb Flynn is the only one in the band with any stage charisma. They'll be able to tour on their great songs for the rest of their lives, and that seems fair.

Said great songs are nearly all on 1994's Burn My Eyes. I'm not a big believer in Machine Head's 2000s comeback. Writing long metal songs does not make them epics. But on their debut, Machine Head were better than any groove metal band that wasn't Pantera. Pushing the extremity of singable metal further than their thrash metal influences, while grounding themselves in thrash's double bass pedals, hardcore breakdowns and reality-based lyrics, Machine Head shaped the next two decades of metalcore and played it harder than nearly anyone else does today. Duce's controlled bass lines are at the forefront of many of the best songs, including "Block" and "Old." His place in metal history is safe.

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