MACHINE HEAD kicked off the first leg of its 25th-anniversary tour for the band's classic debut, "Burn My Eyes", Saturday night (October 5) in Freiburg, Germany.
Building on the band's previous "An Evening With…" format, the "Burn My Eyes" anniversary show is described in a press release as "a three-hour musical extravaganza," comprised of two parts: part one consists of a battery of MACHINE HEAD's modern classics, such as "Imperium", "Halo" and "Locust", featuring guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn and bassist Jared MacEachern performing alongside new recruits, Polish guitarist Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka (DECAPITATED) and British drummer Matt Alston (DEVILMENT, EASTERN FRONT); part two features "Burn My Eyes" played in its entirety for the first time ever, with original drummer Chris Kontos and guitarist Logan Mader joining in.
MACHINE HEAD's setlist for the Freiburg show was as follows:
02. Take My Scars
03. Now We Die
04. Beautiful Mourning
05. Clenching The Fists Of Dissent
07. I Am Hell (Sonata In C#)
08. Aesthetics Of Hate
09. Darkness Within
11. From This Day
12. Ten Ton Hammer
13. Is There Anybody Out There?
17. A Thousand Lies
18. None But My Own
19. The Rage To Overcome
20. Death Church
21. A Nation On Fire
22. Blood For Blood
23. I'm Your God Now
24. Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies
Fan-filmed video footage can be seen below.
Prior to the tour's launch, Kiełtyka stated about his new gig: "It's a huge honor to be able to play at the same stage with the mighty MACHINE HEAD. I grew up on their music and when I heard I will join them on this tour, I was literally stoked!
"As a 13-year-old, I was learning songs from 'Burn My Eyes' who is still one of my favorite albums EVER, that album had also a big influence on my playing and my guitar skills.
"MACHINE HEAD is not just a band, it's an institution who has still a big influence on how all metal scene looks like, so for me as a musician and also a metal fan it's something special to be able to be a small part of it.
"That will be definitely a huge lesson and experience for me to be a part of such a professional team."
Alston commented: "I'm honored that I will be playing drums for MACHINE HEAD for the next world tour cycle alongside Chris Kontos on their 'Burn My Eyes' 25th-anniversary tour.
"It was a pleasure working for MH over last year's world tour, but now having the opportunity to be playing their songs is something I never would have imagined while growing up and listening to their music."
Flynn spoke to U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine about the decision to effectively split the set with new musicians playing the non-"Burn My Eyes" songs. He said: "As I was figuring it out with Logan, Chris and Jared, I explained that I can't even imagine playing a MACHINE HEAD show and not playing 'Halo'; 'Imperium'; 'Aesthetics Of Hate'; 'From This Day'; 'The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears…', 'Now We Die' — or even 'Catharsis'. 'Darkness Within' is a show-stopping moment, every time. We had to think about how we were going to pull this off. I wanted to honor Chris and Logan and not have them needing to learn 40 other fucking songs to be able to pull it off.
"It's kind of weird. We're gonna have a lot of motherfuckers on tour," he said. "But it's gonna be fucking awesome. I think it's gonna be a bit of a goddamn circus. I really want to pay tribute to the guys that were there and built it with me. I think it's gonna break the fucking Internet!"
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.
Mader contributed to two MACHINE HEAD albums, the aforementioned "Burn My Eyes" and "The More Things Change", before exiting the group and being replaced by Ahrue Luster and, later on, Phil Demmel.
Demmel and McClain exited MACHINE HEAD last fall.
When he announced his departure from the band, Demmel, who first played with Flynn in VIO-LENCE in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said in a statement saying that it was "simply time" for him "to step away and do something else musically." He later revealed in an interview that he was minimally involved in the making of MACHINE HEAD's latest album, 2018's "Catharsis", a record that he said he hated. He also said that MACHINE HEAD gradually "became a Robb Flynn solo project, and that isn't what I signed up for."
This past June, McClain told "Robb's MetalWorks" that he no longer believed in MACHINE HEAD's songs and musical direction toward the end of his tenure with the band.