The Burning Red

The Burning Red
Studio album by Machine Head
Released July 27, 1999
Recorded 1999 at Indigo Ranch Studios in Malibu, California
Length 50:00
Label Roadrunner
Producer Ross Robinson
Machine Head chronology
The More Things Change...
The Burning Red
Singles from The Burning Red
  1. "From This Day"
    Released: October 31, 1999
  2. "Silver"
    Released: January 22, 2000
  3. "The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears"
    Released: June 26, 2000
Professional ratings
Review scores
Chronicles of Chaos9/10[4]

The Burning Red is the third album by the American heavy metal band Machine Head. It is the band's second best selling album in the US, selling as many copies in three years as Burn My Eyes sold in almost eight years (1994–2002).[6] The album has sold over 134,000 copies in the US[7] and it was certified silver in 2011 by the BPI for sales of 60,000 in the UK.[8]

Music and lyrics

Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader quit the band in 1998 following the recording of their album The More Things Change...; he was replaced by Ahrue Luster. With the recording of The Burning Red, the band added new elements to its music, including a small amount of rapping vocals, a move which some believe to have been influenced by Luster himself.[9] The album shows the band experimenting musically, using a disco drum line in "The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears", putting some rapping vocals in "Desire To Fire", and a layer of crooning vocals on "Silver". Citing the need for a few B-side tracks, producer Ross Robinson encouraged the band to record a smooth-sounding cover of the Police song "Message in a Bottle" after hearing Robb Flynn experiment with it during rehearsal. The song ended up on the album, not used as a B-side. Joel McIver said that anyone dismissing the album as nu metal has not listened to it, or is not a fan of the "atmospheric, impassioned groove-metal that Machine Head were focusing on at this stage."[3] Rick Anderson of AllMusic called the album "aggro-metal".[10] Responding to critics, McClain stated the band was not trying to emulate popular trends; they simply "wanted to sound different".[9] Flynn said that the band had been pigeonholed by those who complained that the two prior albums were too similar to each other, so the band had determined to reach for different influences on this project.[3]

Amy Sciaretto of CMJ said that, despite the presence of Robinson who had produced Limp Bizkit and Korn, The Burning Red shows the progression of Machine Head's own "visceral, gut-grinding" sound rather than an imitation of Korn.[11][12]

The song "Five" is about a sexual abuse incident Flynn suffered as a five-year-old child. Flynn said that recording the song was difficult enough for him; he would never perform it on stage.[3]


The album was added to US radio playlists on July 12, 1999, and it was released for retail sale on July 27.[12] The Burning Red was well received by critics, and it sold well, but the band's change in image and musical direction was highly criticized, with critics and fans alike accusing the band of "selling out".[9] However, Rick Anderson of AllMusic was among those who praised the album, stating Machine Head was "sounding a bit looser and less constricted musically than they have in the past".[10] David Jarman wrote for CMJ that the album was "pretty much aggro business-as-usual" for fans who were already familiar with the "aggression and alienation" of late-1990s metal musical trends, but that listeners could expect to revel in the album's "thunderous visceral crunch."[13] The Burning Red became Machine Head's top selling album for a number of years, and debuted at number 88 on the Billboard 200.[14][15]

Track listing

All lyrics written by Robb Flynn; all music composed by Machine Head, except where noted.

1."Enter the Phoenix"  0:53
2."Desire to Fire"  4:49
3."Nothing Left" (music: Flynn/McClain*)4:05
4."The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears" (music: Luster/Flynn*)4:11
5."Silver"  3:52
6."From This Day" (music: Flynn/McClain/Luster*)3:56
7."Exhale the Vile"  4:57
8."Message in a Bottle" (The Police cover; written by Sting)3:32
9."Devil with the King's Card"  4:05
10."I Defy"  3:42
11."Five"  5:18
12."The Burning Red"  6:44
Total length:50:00


Chart positions

Chart (1999) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[16] 30
Austrian Albums Chart[17] 22
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[18] 35
Dutch Albums Chart[19] 35
Finnish Albums Chart[20] 12
French Albums Chart[21] 55
German Albums Chart[22] 15
New Zealand Albums Chart[23] 47
Norwegian Albums Chart[24] 35
Swedish Albums Chart[25] 17
UK Album Chart[26] 13
The Billboard 200[27] 88


  1. Bryant, Tom (July 4, 2007). "Archived Kerrang! interview - July 4, 2007". Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  2. 1 2 "The Burning Red - Machine Head". Allmusic.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 McIver, Joel (2012). Machine Head: Inside The Machine. Music Sales Group. pp. 90–93. ISBN 9780857127983.
  4. Webb, Jody (December 8, 1999). "CoC: Machine Head - The Burning Red: Review". Chronicles of Chaos. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  5. "NME Reviews - The Burning Red". NME. September 12, 2005. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  6. " Report". Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  8. "Certified Awards". Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  9. 1 2 3 Wiederorn, Jon (May 2007). "Machine Head: Through the Ashes". Revolver Magazine.
  10. 1 2 Anderson, Rick. "The Burning Red overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  11. Sciaretto, Amy (August 2, 1999). "Machine Head: The Bay Area's Weightiest Export Burns Red Hot". CMJ New Music Report. 59 (629): 56–7. ISSN 0890-0795.
  12. 1 2 "Machine Head: The Burning Red (Roadrunner)". CMJ New Music Report. 59 (626): 30. July 12, 1999. ISSN 0890-0795.
  13. Jarman, David (September 1999). "Machine Head: The Burning Red". CMJ New Music Monthly (73): 58. ISSN 1074-6978.
  14. "Artist chart history". Billboard charts. Archived from the original on June 28, 2015. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  15. "Metal/Hard Rock Album Sales In The US As Reported By SoundScan". 2002-04-30. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  16. "Machine Head - The Burning Red".
  17. "Machine Head - The Burning Red".
  18. "Machine Head - The Burning Red".
  19. "Machine Head - The Burning Red".
  20. "Machine Head - The Burning Red".
  21. "Machine Head - The Burning Red".
  22. "Chartverfolgung / Machine Head / Longplay" (in German).
  23. "Machine Head - The Burning Red".
  24. "Machine Head - The Burning Red".
  25. "Machine Head - The Burning Red".
  26. "Machine Head UK Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  27. "The Burning Red - Machine Head". Billboard.
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