Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

2001 – Part 1.5: Ozzy Osbourne – Down To Earth

This is the final album that makes up the 2001 – Part 1 post.

The first post was “In Search of Truth” from Evergrey. 

The second post was “Origin Of Symmetry” from Muse.

The third post was “Supercharger” from Machine Head.

The fourth post was “The World Needs A New Hero” from Megadeth.

The title according to Ozzy in an interview with Guitar World, for the November 2001 issue is in reference to Earth, the original name for Black Sabbath. His whole career is down to his involvement with Earth/Sabbath, hence the title of “Down To Earth”.

In addition, the photos of an X-Rayed Ozzy interspersed with physical Ozzy makes it look like someone is coming down from somewhere, with the destination hopefully being Earth.

Zakk Wylde was basically a session guitarist on this album. 

While Ozzy said that if it wasn’t for Tim Palmer, the album wouldn’t be, Zakk had a different view of Palmer. Tim Palmer’s resume at that point in time included working with U2, Tears For Fears and other British pop acts. He was definitely an unlikely choice for the producer gig. 

In the November, 2001 issue of Guitar World it was mentioned that, Palmer, apart from being the Producer is also a co-writer on the majority of the tracks and when it came time to Zakk redoing his riffs, the two didn’t see eye to eye. There were times in the studio where Palmer would take the guitar out of Zakk’s hands and say to Zakk, “can you play it more like this?”.

Zakk of course didn’t like this. Palmer also asked Zakk to use a Telecaster and Zakk said it’s Les Paul and Marshall’s all the way.

In the same Guitar World issue, Zakk was also displeased that he had to play riffs to some songs that Dave Grohl wrote, which Dave Grohl clarified a few years later that those same songs, he ended up using on his Probot project (King Diamond sang on one track and the Trouble singer, sang on the other track) as Grohl didn’t hear back from the Osbourne camp that any of the songs would be used.

“Foo Fighters is a fucking candy ass girl band, but you’ve got that motherfucker submitting songs for the album and those douche bags from the Offspring submitting songs, too.

I mean, none of these guys could play a Randy Rhoads solo if they tried. Dave Grohl. Fuck Dave Grohl. Let him get up there and play “Mr Crowley”; he can’t fuckin do it. And it’s like, you’re getting this guy to write songs for Ozzy? Just because he played drums for fucking Shitvana?”

Zakk Wylde – Guitar World, November 2001 issue. 

Yep, Zakk didn’t hold back.

“Gets Me Through”

A haunting piano riff starts the ride. 

Then the riff kicks in, heavy and syncopated. It’s not written by Zakk but Zakk made it sound like Zakk even though the person who wrote it, Tim Palmer didn’t end up being Zakk’s bestie.

I try to entertain you the best I can

The organ in the verses plays a Kashmir like chromatic ascending chord progression.

Stick around for the lead break. Zakk is melodic, then pentatonic, then emotive

“Facing Hell”

The intro riff is head banging material. This song is written by Osbourne, Palmer, Scott Humphrey and Geoff Nicholls.

Zakk mentioned that in the Guitar World, November 2001 issue he “just wanted to make it as slammin’ as he could.”

He changed a lot of the tracks around, not to the point where he would get a song writing credit on it, but he would change the riffs and modify them to what he wanted to do. 

“Dreamer”

It reminds me of “So Tired” from the “Bark At The Moon” with a bit of Lennon chucked in. It’s written by Marti Frederiksen and Mick Jones with Ozzy also listed as a writer.

Lyrically, it’s taken a page from Bob Daisley and the lyrics he wrote for “Revelation Mother Earth”. 

Your higher power may be God or Jesus Christ

I always found the lyric a bit weird, because God and Jesus Christ come from the same place of faith. If the song writing team was looking for a three syllable word then Buddhism fits to showcase a different higher power.

Make sure you check out Zakk’s lead break. 

“No Easy Way Out” 

It’s written by Osbourne and Palmer and it sounds like a cut from “No More Tears”. So whatever Zakk added to the riffs it works.

The crushing weight on my shoulders now is bearing down and it seems

“That I Never Had”

This one is credited to Osbourne, Frederiksen, Joe Holmes and Robert Trujilo but the riff sounds like it came from “Miracle Man.”

“Junkie”

The riff is excellent.

This one is credited to Osbourne, Frederiksen, Holmes and Trujilo. The title is pretty self-explanatory.

Running Out Of Time

It’s from the same “Dreamer” song writing team, who try and re-write the same song, but this one in the Chorus reminds me of the “Old L.A Tonight” bridge.

“Black Illusion”

This is a cut that is written by Osbourne, Palmer, Nicholls and Andy Sturmer from Jellyfish.  

It’s got a foot stomping groovy riff and it sounds like something that Zakk would write for Black Label Society.

“Alive”

It’s written by Danny Saber with Osbourne.

This is Ozzy telling the world that he is still alive and he doesn’t have any plans to go anywhere as he likes living. And if you look at the drugs and alcohol that Ozzy has abused his body with, rockers who have done less, didn’t make it.

“Can You Hear Them?”

The marching drum beat sends an image of the voices marching to its beat. This one reminds me of Jake E Lee for some reason. Maybe it’s the pre-chorus riff which sounds like something from “The Ultimate Sin” album.

So sick and tired of living and so afraid to die

I’ve lived so many lives and still I wonder why

The way the world perceives me is not the way I am

The one half thinks I’m crazy, the other thinks I’m mad

There is a bias when it comes to Ozzy.

He’s been labelled Satanic, but his whole life he’s worn the crucifix of Christ. He’s done some crazy stuff, but who hasn’t when they’ve been juiced up with drugs and alcohol.  

Check it out.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2001 – Part 1.4: Megadeth – The World Needs A New Hero

The Evergrey – “In Search Of Truth” post, the Muse – “Origin Of Symmetry” by post and the Machine Head – “Supercharger” post were meant to be part of one 2001 – Part 1 post, however after I finished writing those posts they had a lot of words in there to be part of one, so they ended up as separate posts.

This post is 1.4 and the upcoming Ozzy post will be 1.5.

Megadeth – The World Needs A New Hero

I was excited for this album as I am a fan of Al Pitrelli. I like his work with Widowmaker, his session and song writing work with Alice Copper (plus touring), Y&T, Savatage, Danger Danger, TSO and many more. Plus in the few interviews he had in the guitar magazines, he shares a wealth of information about soloing and modes and what not.

“The World Needs a Hero” is the ninth studio album and a return to the metal and sometimes thrash of Megadeth between the “Countdown To Extinction” to “Cryptic Writings” era.

And to understand this album, you need to understand what a commercial disappointment “Risk” was in 1999 and how it eventually led to the departure of Marty Friedman and Nick Menza.

And it’s their first album on Sanctuary after they parted ways from Capitol Records with cover art by Hugh Syme.

Drummer Jimmy DeGrasso also features on this and the usual two Dave’s, but in this case, this would be the last album Ellefson would feature on until 2010. It was DeGrasso who actually recommended Pitrelli to Mustaine.

“Disconnect”

The intro riff reminds of “Trust”.

I like the interlude when it’s just bass and chords ringing out and then the lead break from Pitrelli starts. And I played air guitar to every note.

Lyrically the song deals with living a double life between the person we portray to people which is very different to the person’s inner thoughts or even Google search history.

“The World Needs a Hero”

If it’s a musical hero, a techie hero, a sporting hero, an author, a politician, whatever. We all need someone to look up to, to aspire to be like. Sometimes it’s a parent, a brother or a sister or another family member. It’s not my favourite song but I do like the title.

“Moto Psycho”

This song is about people who commute to work every day and spend a lot of time on the road.

In between 1997 and to the end of 2000, I drove 80 minutes to get to work and 80 minutes to get home. Then I changed jobs and commuted via a train, which took me 90 minutes to get to work and 90 minutes to get home.

Do the math.

160 to 180 minutes a day on travelling. That’s 800 to 900 minutes a week travelling. 41600 to 46800 hours in the year wasted on the road building someone else’s dream instead of my own.

“1000 Times Goodbye”

The intro riff is enough to hook me in. And then the drums come in, building the section until the verses explode.

And for some reason it keeps reminding me of “Tornado Of Souls”.

From about 3.57, the solo section begins. And after Mustaine says “you suck”, Pitrelli takes over for another guitar hero moment.

Check it out.

“Burning Bridges”

Check out the harmonized guitar riff in the Chorus.

“Promises”

The acoustic riff reminds me of “Dream On”. The violins make it haunting.

The song is about relationships that can’t be together in this life because of religion or social norms.

“Recipe for Hate… Warhorse”

It’s fast Intro gives way to a bass riff and spoken verse. And it’s a weird song with flamenco inspired passages. More like MegaZappa than Megadeth.

“Losing My Senses”

No one likes it when people speak the truth and that’s how this song starts off.

Check out the main riff. It puts all those alternate metal acts to shame.

Or the “When The Levee Breaks” inspired solo section which gets Pitrelli soloing with a Middle Eastern vibe.

“Dread and the Fugitive Mind”

My favorite song on the album. Especially the “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine” section.

And don’t forget the whole interlude build up into the Pitrelli solo section.

“Silent Scorn”

An instrumental which gets played over the sound system at concerts.

“Return to Hangar”

The sequel to “Hangar 18” as the captive aliens from the first song escape and kill their captors. When I saw the band live, they played both songs back to back.

Make sure you check out the harmony lead break.

“When”

The main riff and structure of “When”, is reminiscent of “Am I Evil?” by Diamond Head, which Mustaine said was intentional.

After this album, the band was ended as Mustaine had to deal with a career ending arm injury. Then once he resurrected Megadeth, he had to deal with lawsuits from former members. But that story is for another day.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2001 – Part 1.3: Machine Head – Supercharger

The Evergrey “In Search Of Truth” post and “Origin Of Symmetry” by Muse post were meant to be part of this large post, however after I finished writing all of the posts they had a lot of words in there to be part of one post, so they ended up as separate posts.

The Machine Head post will be 1.3, the upcoming Megadeth post will be 1.4 and the Ozzy post will be 1.5.

Machine Head – Supercharger

Supercharger is their fourth album.

It came out just weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and it got lost in the aftermath. Roadrunner also gave them zero promotion and to this date, its considered a commercial failure by the label. They even went on tour for the album without any label support which was a slap in the face to the band as Robb Flynn has admitted that “The Burning Red” and “Supercharger” were albums that Roadrunner pressured them to do, so they could break into the mainstream.

But when the mainstream didn’t come, Flynn said that the band was going to return to “what we they did best”.

It is also the band’s last release to feature lead guitarist Ahrue Luster and as a by-product it set in stone the next 15 years.

For me, this was the first album I purchased from Machine Head.

And in relation to the album being a commercial failure, in a 2015 interview with LouderSound, this is what Robb Flynn had to say about it.

“Supercharger sold 250,000 copies. If that’s a disaster, I’ll take it.

We played nine shows in the UK, all sold out, and the US tour was mostly sold out, which was a first.

Every night when we play “Bulldozer”, that whole theory that everybody hates “Supercharger” gets completely stomped into the ground. We play “Bulldozer” and it’s one of the top five reactions of the night, every time”

After a minute of “The Declaration”, the iconic riff of “Bulldozer” kicks in. Listen to the drumming from Dave McClain in the intro. In the live arena, this song is powerful, mosh pit powerful.

“Full steam we go against the odds, headfirst we go against the grain”.

But the lack of solos is going with the grain, as between 1999 and 2005, there was a “no guitar solo” movement. This song was missing a ripping lead.

“Crashing Around You” is a great hard rock song. It was the only single from the album and it had a film clip with a burning San Francisco skyline and stuff crashing down around them.

It was pulled from MTV and rock radio because the term “crashing” was found to be offensive.

But the lyrics are excellent, the music grooves and having this song pulled from every promotional outlet definitely hurt the band. But the fans loved it.

When they pulled this song out for the concert, the place went nuts.

“Kick You When You’re Down” sounds like a track from the “Catharsis” album with its catchcry about believing in yourself and following your heart.

“Only the Names” deserves more attention. This Robb Flynn penned track is classic Machine Head merging all the doom from the early era. Tracks from the current era even sound like this song. That distorted riff would sink submarines it’s that heavy. Early Tool comes to mind here.

“All in Your Head” is one of my favourite Machine Head tracks. That intro, especially live, is head banging material and in its essence it’s basically a hard rock song.

“American High” kicks off with a Tarzan like vocal chant, which is actually the riff of the song. It sounds like the guys are having fun and Flynn brings out some of his spoken word raps in the verses but this song got slammed by the reviewers, for the Tarzan chant.

“Nausea” feels like a Deftones style track especially in the verses.

“Blank Generation” reminds me of early Tool. It’s Aggressive with a capital A.

“Trephination” has a cool bass riff to kick it off.

“Deafening Silence” keeps building until it explodes towards the end.

“Supercharger” has a great intro riff, but that dissonance Korn style riff in the first part of the verse didn’t enhance the song in anyway.

The Japanese version has a cover of “Hole in the Sky” from Black Sabbath as its bonus track. A lot of fans saw this as a weird choice considering the nu-metal style of the album.

But from a rhythm guitar point of view, there is a lot here to unpack.

And after being exposed to Machine Head by various band members this album was my first financial commitment to the band, so it holds a special place in my history.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2001 – Part 1.2: Muse – Origin Of Symmetry

The Evergrey “In Search Of Truth” post from last week was meant to be part of this post, however after I finished writing it, it was close to 2000 words, so it ended up as a separate post.

And as I was writing the rest of the posts for Muse (which will now be 1.2), Machine Head (which will be 1.3), Megadeth (which will be 1.4) and Ozzy, (which will be 1.5), I started to realise that maybe it’s best for these posts to be separate as well.

So here we go with the rest of 2001 – Part 1 in various stages

Muse – Origin Of Symmetry

Matt Bellamy is on vocals and guitars and midi sound effects and piano and organs and everything else, Chris Wolstenholme is on bass and Dominic Howard is on drums.

At the time, this was officially album number 2, hot on the heels of “Showbiz” from a few years before. It’s a progression, putting the building blocks in place for “Absolution” which came out in 2004 which to me is the piece d’resistance in their catalogue.

“New Born”

It starts off with an arpeggio guitar/piano that is sort of classical/lullaby like.

The bitterness inside
Is growing like the new born

The titles of the songs are hidden in verses or not even mentioned at all in the songs. They are linking something beautiful (the new born) with something bitter.

Check out the double time drumming, octave bass lines from the 2 minute mark over a pseudo classical chord progression and falsetto vocals.

And at the 3:30 mark, Bellamy pulls out one of his normal tremolo picked leads that outlines the notes of the major and minor chords in the progression.

“Bliss”

It’s got that TonePad effect to start off which continues throughout the song, under a layer of distorted bass lines and crashing drums.

“Space Dementia”

The piano riffs are clearly influenced by Sergei Rachmaninoff and his “Piano Concerto No. 2 In C Minor Op.18.” And I hadn’t listened to Rachmaninoff at all, until I read an interview with Bellamy who mentioned him as a major influence on this album and that actual concerto.

“Hyper Music”

It has this Hendrix like riff to start off the song or “Snakecharmer” from Rage Against The Machine comes to mind, before it moves into the Muse pseudo classical like chord progressions before moving back into blues hard rock and back again.

“Plug In Baby”

It’s got a great arena rock chorus and a memorable single note guitar riff done in the Muse pseudo classical way.

“Citizen Erased”

The intro riff hooks me in immediately to pick up my guitar and jam it. It’s metal like and with a lot of groove.

Break me in
Teach us to cheat
And to lie, cover up
What shouldn’t be shared?

The concept that we are all born without any viewpoints and we are made to be who we are by culture, the family, society and institutions.

The whole quietened down section is haunting.

You also need to listen to the outro.

“Micro Cuts”

A simple arpeggiated guitar riff, with a locked in bass and drum groove starts off the song, before Bellamy’s falsetto vocals take over. Make sure to stick around for the blues like breakdown riff to close out the song.

I’ve seen what you’re doing to me
Destroying puppet strings
To our souls

“Feeling Good”

It’s a great hard rock cover of a Nina Simone song released in 1965. It’s sleazy, groovy and it follows the pseudo classical chord progressions that Muse are so well known for.

Check it out.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Semi Obscure Machine Head songs

Getting dropped by Roadrunner U.S after the Supercharger album saved Machine Head. The first album Burn My Eyes (released in 1994) was a success. For a debut album Machine Head went on a three year victory lap. The second album The More Things Change (released in 1997) stagnated.

In order to keep their deal with Roadrunner Records going they had to resort to the metal music that was popular at the time. In this case it was Nu Metal. The Burning Red (released in 1999) and Supercharger (released in 2001) came and went during this period.

Then the band got dropped. They even got rejected by every record label they approached for a new deal.

They could have broken up. Instead they went away and wrote Through The Ashes of Empires (released in 2003) which they self-produced. Just like how Rush’s, 2112 laid the foundations of what was to come for Rush, Through The Ashes of Empires did the same for Machine Head.

The lifestyle of a musician isn’t just rags to riches. It cycles back to rags and then back to riches and back again. I always use the Apple analogy. Apple was a leader when it came out on the scene. Then it was going out of business. Then the company got Steve Jobs back in and it became a leader again. In the process, it changed the way live and how we consume music. Now it is running on fumes again.

The list of songs you are about to read are cult favourites. They are not the songs that Machine Head will put into a concert set list every time, however they deserve the same attention as the big ones.

Left Unfinished released in 2003 on Through The Ashes of Empires.

Lyrics and music are written by Robb Flynn. It starts off with the creepy tinker box music. Robb Flynn was adopted at birth. He told LA Weekly that for the longest time he hated his biological parents and never wanted anything to do with them. He wrote this song as a “F.U” to them.

After the tinker box music, a Pantera groove kicks in.

How Korn like are the verses? All the way from the vocal melody to the phased/flanged/tremolo’d guitars to the bass hitting the note and sliding the finger down to the hip hop groove of the drums.

The chorus again is a standout, with the perfect backing vocals of Adam Duce.

I’ll never forget
Life you disdain
So to the parents that bore me this pain
With all those things you left unfinished

This is real life, this is real hurt. This isn’t no Bon Jovi song written by a committee. It isn’t pretty. It is the anthem for all the other kids given up for adoption. I can never relate to the lyrical theme of the song however I can relate to the pain. Pain doesn’t discriminate. It affects us all. The abandonment that Robb feels can be translated to the abandonment a kid feels when the school bully lays into him or her.

You never could love me
I’m glad that you never did
My parents that raised me
Had plenty of that to give
And for that
I’ll love them forever with all my heart
But to you don’t let there be no mistake about it
F.U you cocksucker F.U, you whore
I’ll live my life the opposite of what you are
Love will be my rock
The rock that I stand on

It’s all there. The exorcism of a childhood denied from one set of parents to the childhood obtained from another set of parents. I can’t help but make the connection to Queensryche and Chris DeGarmo’s Bridge, which served as his exorcism of being abandoned by his father.

Don’t try to reach out to me
Don’t try to call
The boy that you created
Is dead for all you f&@king know
You just pretend you’ve never heard or seen
The name Lawrence Mathew Cardine

Wow. The world knows him as Robert Conrad Flynn. However his birth certificate states Lawrence Matthew Cardine. I have seen Robb perform with Machine Head on three occasions in Australia, and he commands the stage. When he says the words, the circle pit gets into a frenzy. You would never pick up on his wounded past.

We are all damaged a little bit. The ones that make it through the heartache and the depression end up changing the world.

As I have said many times, you cannot copy the vocal style of Robb Flynn. You need to have lived his lifestyle to have his vocal style. To me it is the best voice in the metal genre. He can be melodic in a Rob Halford /Bruce Dickinson way, he can be aggressive in a James Hetfield way, he can be progressive in a Jonathan Davis/Maynard Keenan way, he can be hardcore in a Phil Anselmo way and he can be deathly in a Chuck Schuldiner way.

In a world where everyone believes they are a winner, a world-beater who feels entitled to success, you have Robb Flynn the anti-hero to the victorious life portrayed by the fakes. The maestro Flynn who has more questions than answers.

People like Robb Flynn and Corey Taylor have made it through and they are changing the world.

Descend The Shades Of Night released in 2003 on Through The Ashes of Empires

Lyrics are written by Robb Flynn and the music is written by Robb Flynn and Dave McClain. It’s my favourite song on the album.

What can I say, when I heard this song I was in a bad place. The acoustic intro is so sad and depressing. The reason why this song connected with me, is knowing that there are other people out there feeling the same way.

Sitting in the empty black
The last slivers of dusk have passed
Accept the dawn to ease the fear
One day I will not be here

They don’t teach you about death in school. They don’t tell that death can come at any time. You feel invincible when you are 18. As you get older you start to think about death a bit more.

The lead break from Phil Demmel and Robb Flynn for some reason reminds me of Tesla. I know, they are two separate bands from two totally different time periods and genre’s, however the whole passage and even coming into the harmony guitars, just reminds of The Great Radio Controversy from Tesla released in 1988.

Then the sing with me part is up lifting.

It is the humanity in the song, knowing that Robb Flynn has got more questions than answers. We can put on a happy face and we can get along with those at work but what we really want to do is let go, be ourselves and be accepted.

Pearls Before The Swine released in 2011 on Unto The Locust

It’s a Robb Flynn, Phil Demmel and Dave McClain composition.

It’s the familiarity of the Ride The Lightning intro. The drums and bass groove from McClain and Dice is identical to what Ulrich and Burton play in Ride The Lightning. It is that familiarity that hooks me in. I didn’t like this song when I first heard it because the other songs like Unto The Locust, Be Still and Know, This Is The End, Darkness Within and Who We Are really stood out. However, playing those stand out songs to death, I unearthed this little gem, sitting between Darkness Within and Who We Are.

This is what guitarist Phil Demmel told Sonic Excess magazine about the song;

“It was a song without lyrics really for a while, without a concept. We kind of came up with an idea to write about addicts and addiction, when talking to each other and watching Breaking Bad episodes to kind of catch up and start again to see it. (laughs) It’s not a song about hope. It’s just a song about being in the throes of addiction, in its claws, and a lot of my lyrics are in there. So, there’s a lot of descriptive thoughts of addiction. It’s not a song of hope for sure. It’s not ‘Stairway To Heaven.'”

Lie in this state of perdition
Never to awake

Perdition – A state of eternal punishment and damnation into which a sinful person passes after death. What a powerful line that sums up what addiction and depression is.

Make love to denial her sober embrace
Nails they’ve embedded never to release

If you don’t realise you have a problem, you can never treat it.

Count the 12 times you step equal 12 times you fail
No abstination relapse tip the scale
As you swallow the hook and you chew on the line
Choke on the sinker in this sea of lies

Man, what a verse. The 12 steps of rehab just didn’t work out and before you know it, the habit is back; hook, line and sinker.

The passage from 3.18 is superb. The music, the build and the melodic vocals. People have tried to imitate Robb Flynn in his vocal style, however as far as I am concerned, you need to have lived his life in order to sing like him. His vocal style is his lifestyle. I will replay this song a thousand times just to hear this section.

Broke vows and broken rosaries
Bind these rusted hopeless dreams
Broke vows and broken rosaries
Bind these rusted hands in prayer
Faith trust and love are mowed down lonely In these killing fields

What a vocal melody. It’s goose bumps all the way. The double kick from McClain keeps it rolling.

Then it’s all thrash from 4.36. I would have loved to be in the studio when they wrote this bit. It would have been high fives all around. The whole song is progressive. Not in the weird time changes progressive, just the fusion of so many different styles and melodies and riffs.

Machine Head hold their own against the Big 4. Hell, that concept should be expanded to include Machine Head. Better yet get rid of Anthrax and put Machine Head on the bill.

A Farewell To Arms released in 2007 on The Blackening

This is the album where Machine Head finally got their victory lap. The Blackening is such a strong album that other songs could be missed if you don’t dig deep into it. A Farewell To Arms is unbelievable. Great music and great vocal melodies. The lyrics are written by Robb Flynn, Adam Duce and Phil Demmel. The music is written by Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel.

Mutilated lives
Blackening as coffin line the sides
Filled with fathers
Who has won?
When only sons
Hold their grieving heads and mourn
A farewell to arms

The end product of war for the ones that do not return. It comes across in a powerful way. While the verses are great what truly makes the track is the chorus.

I’ll wave this flag of white
So the venged see the light
We’ll pay for closed eyes
With our genocide

Is venged even a word? Who cares right, as it fits the vocal melody to a tee? The chorus has a similar guitar melody like Halo underpinning the vocal melody.

Then the Iron Maiden-esque lead break wails from 7.10. The drumming and the backing tracks all have that Maiden Trooper Gallop. Then at 7.40 it is the Creeping Death “Die By My Hand” part from Metallica.

Somehow they bring it all back to an ending reminiscent of Master Of Puppets, again from Metallica. Just when I think it’s over, a few more bars of clean tone and the immortal words A FAREWELL TO ARMS.

Who has won when we’re all dead? This song also points the finger at the rich and the government officials that pushed the country into war. One of the verses deals with how the children of the fallen are left without fathers and how the children of the government officials will never know what it is like to fight a war.

Kick You When You’re Down released in 2001 on Supercharger

It’s a Robb Flynn, Ahrue Luster, Adam Duce and Dave McClain composition. The Supercharger album didn’t get as much attention from me as it should have when it first came out. As I got older, I went back and listened to it. Now I appreciate it more.

You have to trust in yourself
You must believe in yourself
You have to follow your heart
You overcome, improve, endure

It’s the anthem for the determined. As the other lyrics in the song state, sometimes you fight and you win, sometimes you fight and you lose, however it is the fighter in you that will never lose. In the end you move forward by overcoming obstacles, improving on what you did before and enduring. Remember, to be a winner, you need to outlast the competition.

Deafening Silence released in 2001 on Supercharger

This song is a Robb Flynn, Ahrue Luster, Adam Duce and Dave McClain composition.

One thing I really liked about this period of Machine Head (1999 to 2001) is that Robb Flynn was pushing himself lyrically and really went to town writing about his own personal issues. That is why the albums that came after had the perfect mix of personal reflections, political reflections and religious reflections.

You drink a thousand lies,
to freeze the past in time

Numbing the present with alcohol. I am sure every metal head has been in this situation. That is why we gravitate to this kind of music. We are the outcasts, the ones that society couldn’t pigeon hole. Note the reference to a song from Burn My Eyes.

See the pain in my eyes
see the scars deep inside
My God, I’m down in this hole again
With the laughter I smile
with the tears that I cry
Keep going down this road called life

The chorus above speaks volumes about society in general. My favourite lines are “With the laughter I smile, with the tears that I cry, keep doing down this road called life.” That is who we are in a nutshell. We just roll along. The ones that don’t, end up taking their lives.

Silver released in 1999 on The Burning Red

It’s got similar lyrics from A Nation On Fire. This song really reminds of Tool, especially that Cold breakdown. Lyrics are written by Robb Flynn and the music is written by Robb Flynn, Dave McClain, Ahrue Luster and Dave McClain.

Take my hand
Across this land
Escape this, all the hell inside

Creating that other shell of a person to take the pain while the real person is hidden somewhere in the recesses of the mind.

Create this man
To make my stand
And break this hardened shell in time

It’s like this, we put out a face of confidence to all who see us, however inside, we are filled with doubt. We are scared. We are questioning. And if we feel like everything is going great, the real person will break away the mask and step into the light.

I see a mirror to me
The lines along my face are drawn in
I believe reflections bleed
The sorrows of our souls

I remember reading an interview with Robb Flynn that he was bulimic at one point in his life, always forcing himself to chuck up so that he can look the part. It’s a powerful verse with great imagery. We have all stood in front of the mirror and we have all judged our appearances.

A Thousand Lies released in 1994 on Burn My Eyes

The verse riff is the same as Cowboys From Hell from Pantera. Lyrics are written by Robb Flynn and the music is written by Robb Flynn, Chris Kontos, Logan Mader and Adam Duce.

In poverty there is no democracy

Basically in poverty there is the motto that only the strong survive. That whole fairness and equality is rubbish. Even in poverty there is class warfare.

This urban life is so volatile
An inner city or a concrete hell

This is it, you either live, or you die or you end up in prison.

What is a man who don’t stay true to the game
Don’t care for no one, only cares for his greed
He’s playin’ God killin’ thousands of people ‘
Cause the power is the fix that he needs

When Robb is writing about themes that piss him off, he is always on game. He is basically saying, who can we trust in this world anymore, when all we get is lies.

A Nation On Fire released in 1994 on Burn My Eyes

Lyrics are written by Robb Flynn and the music is written by Robb Flynn, Chris Kontos, Logan Mader and Adam Duce. The intro clean tone riff is that good, that it was re-written for A Farewell To Arms and Unto The Locust.

A world that spends more to kill than to cure

Another brilliant line. What kind of a world do we live in? Our Governments give more money to the military then what they do for research on finding cures.

So take my hand across this land

There are the lines that re-appear in Silver. It’s almost like he is saying to an angel to take him away from this world.

You tell me peace, Well I hear gunshots all night
The scars I have, I’ve earned ’cause I’ve had to fight

As we get older and we accumulate knowledge, we find it hard to believe the B.S that our Politicians try to push. The themes that Robb explores on the first Machine Head album keep re-occurring time and time again on other albums.

How cool is the SLOW part at the end. The groove just gets slower until the song ends.

I’m Your God Now released in 1994 on Burn My Eyes.

Lyrics are written by Robb Flynn and the music is written by Robb Flynn, Chris Kontos, Logan Mader and Adam Duce.

The vocal melody at the start is that good, that Robb Flynn used it again for A Farewell To Arms. It’s a sad and sorrowful tale of addiction. The “her” in the song is the heroin. Drug addiction is covered a far bit in the songs of Machine Head.

So pain told you to take her
Well I learned to accept that feeling
‘Cause I found how to numb it
If only for just a short while
I’d get so high, I’d forget my own name
I scarred my fist, I scarred my brain
I think that I’m going insane
I think that I’m going insane

This song was brought back into my memory when I was listening to the Sixx AM album and the song, The Girl With The Golden Eyes. Nikki Sixx is another person that struggled to deal with the abandonment of his father.

So now I’m in your system
And I’m what helps you numb your pain
With time you will confide in me
So lonely my friend, I’ve made you lose control
You’ll use me more and more with time
Our friendship grows with each mainline
So glad that you could be so blind
So glad that you could be so blind

Again I am thinking of the Sixx AM song.

She speaks to me in Persian
Tells me that she loves me
The Girl With Golden Eyes

And though I hardly know her
I let her in my veins
And trust her with my life

I wish I never kissed her
Cause I just can’t resist her
The Girl With Golden Eyes

Every time she whispers
Take me in your arms
The way you did last night

Everything will be alright
Everything will be okay

People like Robb Flynn, Nikki Sixx and Corey Taylor have made it through and they are changing the world.

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