This past weekend, San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD celebrated the 26th anniversary of their debut album, "Burn My Eyes".
Released worldwide on August 9, 1994, "Burn My Eyes" was and still is considered to be one of the most important albums of its genre, garnering the band an unprecedented level of recognition and spawning a myriad of imitators — all from just MACHINE HEAD's first record.
Last year, three-fourths of the "Burn My Eyes" lineup reunited to celebrate the LP's 25th anniversary. Joining guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn and bassist Jared MacEachern were returning members Logan Mader (guitarist) and Chris Kontos (drums).
Earlier today, Flynn said in a statement: "26 years ago… crazy. That you still care about this record is humbling. This album changed my life in so many ways I can't even begin to explain.
"It was quite special to participate in the 25th anniversary alongside Chris, Logan and Jared. We put on a HELLUVA show for those who got to see it.
"It's crazy to think we would have been doing tour dates til the end of the year. The U.S. dates and EU dates we were fortunate enough to perform for you were nothing short of life-affirming.
"We shall see each other in the future, Head Cases. We love you all. Stay strong through the craziness!!"
Kontos added: "Yeah, one year after the 25th anniversary of 'Burn My Eyes', things could not be more different.
"It was amazing and an honor to be able to perform the 'Burn My Eyes' record in its entirety over the past year and a half with Robb, Logan and Jared. It was truly an experience I will never forget.
"Hopefully we can get back on the road and complete our 'Burn My Eyes' 25th mission at some point after the COVID-19 pandemic. Until then, please continue to enjoy 'Burn My Eyes' on its 26th anniversary.
"I have much gratitude that this record still means so much to many people around the world 26 years later.
"Until we meet again, much love and respect."
Mader said: "'Burn My Eyes' is already turning 26.... Damn, they grow up so fast!
"I am confident that we will complete the anniversary tour when the end of the world is over. For now, I'm heartbroken as we all wait.
"I miss my brothers in 'young MACHINE HEAD' and I miss my brothers in 'old MACHINE HEAD.' I miss the fans, I miss the amazing MACHINE HEAD crew, the freedom to travel and share adventures around the globe.
"As an optimist, I use this downtime to the best of my abilities and hope that the rest of U.S. will do the same. Positive thoughts and efforts, especially in dark times, have an exponential positive effect on the co-creative consciousness of our entire species on earth.
"Stay strong, Much love."
Added MacEachern: "Reflecting on an album like this is an emotionally poignant exercise on its own under any normal circumstance… but times are not normal. The issues within the scope of this record may have altered and aged, yet they still remain. It is a personal and relevant call to arms, then and now.
"It was such an honor and a privilege for us to share that rage with you, to let it wash over us all, and to be able to release it in a way that we ALL could feel together. Go back and listen. Let it spur us to action in our own lives, let it fuel the rage to overcome!"
Asked by Metal Hammer if it bothers him that some fans still regard "Burn My Eyes" as MACHINE HEAD's best album, Flynn said: "No. The clincher for me, and this rarely happens, is when someone says, 'You should write 'Burn My Eyes' again,' but it'd be so phony! I'm not 24, fuckin' running around on the streets. It was real and that's why it came out the way it did. If I tried to do it now, it wouldn't be real. Those times made me who I am and affected me forever and I'm fearless because of them, but I'd like to think that I've aged gracefully and I hope to continue to do that. How dumb would it be for some -something dude to be acting like some teenage gangster? It'd be ridiculous."
Kontos left MACHINE HEAD before the release of the band's second album, 1997's "The More Things Change", and was replaced by Dave McClain.
McClain and guitarist Phil Demmel exited MACHINE HEAD in the fall of 2018.
Duce, who played bass on "Burn My Eyes", was fired from MACHINE HEAD in February 2013. He was replaced four months later by MacEachern. Adam later sued MACHINE HEAD, claiming that the other bandmembers "simply kicked him out of the band and presumed he would forget about over two decades of hard work, dedication, and effort" he put into the group. Duce also said his likeness was used on the band's web site and in promotions without his authorization. The lawsuit was settled out of court in July 2014.