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Machine Head - The Burning Red Review

by Matt Hensch

Few things in life can match the utter crap that is Machine Head's 1999 catastrophe The Burning Red. Now you might think I'm being a bit carried away with such a bold statement, but coming from a devoted metalhead, I mean every word of it. The last thing I EVER wanted to hear was a nu-metal album, and that's exactly what The Burning Red is. Everything from the easy guitar playing to the deep distortion to the rapping vocals to the angst-y lyrics plague this record from start to finish.

It seems Machine Head thought it would be cool to completely disown their groove/thrash sound and replace it with mainstream rock. The repugnant riffs are composed of standard nu-metal worship with little variation or variety. The simple guitar structure is repeated quite frequently as there is just one effortless riff for each song that repeats over and over until it finally ends. The drumming takes a big dump on any possible enjoyment as every track has the same simple drum pattern with minimal changes. And did I mention there aren't any guitar solos throughout the painful course of this LP? It becomes painfully obvious within seconds of listening that The Burning Red isn't metal, but a total mallcore sellout. If Korn and Machine Head decided to make a baby, The Burning Red would be the foul offspring.

Just when you think this record couldn't get any worse, you hear Robert Flynn and his rapping vocal style. The Machine Head frontman decided to hop on the trendy bandwagon by rapping over the mallcore riffs to make The Burning Red a sellout of the ages. All the rhyming and rapping he does sounds disgraceful, embarrassing, and even humorous at times. Flynn also makes some attempts at singing, but he just sounds like a generic grunge singer. I'm not sure if Flynn wanted to be a Fred Durst clone or some alternative rock clown when he sang on this record, but he sounds atrocious overall and his new vocal attempts should have avoided in the first place. I can't believe the same guy who sang on Burn My Eyes was responsible for making such an abominable vocal performance!

I've heard some terrible stuff before, but none of that can match the utter repulsiveness of this album. Machine Head have thankfully returned to their metal roots in recent times, yet this abomination is still a friendly reminder of what Robert Flynn and company wanted to become. Spend you're money on something you'll actually enjoy and avoid The Burning Red like you would a rabid dog.

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Machine Head - The Burning Red


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