Machine Head need no introduction here. They have penned some epic doses of metal since their debut album, Burn My Eyes, was released in 1994. Despite a foray into nu-metal on a couple of releases, Rob Flynn and Machine Head have continued to beat their drum on the road and in the studio year after year, city after city.
Flynn, guitarist Phil Demmel, drummer Dave McClain, and new bassist Jared Maceachern posses a work ethic that is well-known in the industry, and they will stop at nothing to reach metal fans across the globe. They are once again taking aim at the world with their new release, Bloodstone & Diamonds, which is also their first for Nuclear Blast Records.
Machine Head are on full-blast from the first note of the first song, “Now We Die,” and it takes little time for them to demonstrate what they do best. It’s heavy, fast, and furious. Flynn’s vocals spew forth unabashedly, and he sounds pissed! The band is tight, and they prove they haven’t missed a beat since 2011’s Unto the Locust. “Killers & Kings,” originally released back in April, is another example of the keen songwriting and performance skills that they possess. It is fast, and the gang-shouted choruses that will stick in your head for days. The song has a thrashy feel to it from beginning to end. “Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones” is haunting and melodic, although it still retains that traditional Machine Head feel. Flynn uses this track to demonstrate why he is one of the most versatile metal vocalists in the business. “Night of Long Knives,” a story about Charles Manson and his notorious family, returns to the groove-type thrash that the band does so well. “Sail Into The Black” opens with a passage that recalls Gregorian chant before becoming even more haunting. It’s a very eerie and depressing. “Beneath the Silt” is a different animal all together with a Pantera feel. “Damage Inside” is another slow and dark number, and you can really tell the band has dealt with some extreme emotions over the last few years. “Game Over” is my favorite song on the album. The opening riff explodes with Flynn’s vocals before leading into a blistering bridge with an epic metal feel. It epitomizes Machine Head‘s abilities.
While I don’t think Bloodstone & Diamonds tops Burn My Eyes or The Blackening, it is better than Unto The Locust. It is metal at it’s best from Machine Head.
Bloodstone & Diamonds is out now on Nuclear Blast Records.
Rating: 4/5 Stars