Metal Review: Machine Head: Bloodstone & Diamonds (2014)

Machine Head: Bloodstone & Diamonds

Purchase Machine Head: Bloodstone & Diamonds

Groove metal giants Machine are back with their eighth full-length studio release, “Bloodstone & Diamonds,” and it is exactly what I expected – an absolutely crushing riff fest that fits within the Machine Head arsenal perfectly.

In the last three years since the release of “Unto the Locust,” the band has dealt with some turbulent times with the departure of bassist Adam Duce and the ensuing lawsuits that followed. Most recently, the band cancelled a tour at the last second much to the chagrin of some of their colleagues and fan alike to finish recording their new album. Just the other day, the band made a bold statement in announcing that they will hit the road with no supporting bands nor any local band support and will deliver a two-hour show each night. They are also not playing festivals in the near future and quite possibly ever again. Machine Head wants to play music to their die-hard fans and to stop reaching out to new listeners on the road.

Machine Head burst onto the scene with “Burn My Eyes” and their amazing hit Davidian, which blew me away at first listen (and still does today). From that point forward, many fans called their sophomore effort and step back, and their subsequent releases were not exactly heralded by fans. I have to be honest that I never felt like the band ever releases any sub-par album.

With 2007, “The Blackening” was released and Machine Head became somewhat of a household name. That opus is simply astounding and somewhat of a change of pace for the band. “The Blackening” built upon the success that the track Imperium began and band evolved overnight. “Unto the Locust” followed and was a somewhat logical progression for the band with a lot of similarities, but a little more intricacy in their songwriting.

“Bloodstone & Diamonds” takes a lot of what was done in their previous two albums and merges them together to form another great suite of songs which clocks in at 71 minutes in length during its twelve songs.

From the opener, Now We Die, and its string opening to the powerful closing riffs of Take Me Through the Fire, there is never a weak spot on the album. Machine Head stays true to their sound and blitzes the listener with riff after riff and frontman Robb Flynn’s amazing vocals. Phil Demmel and Flynn interplay with each other during leads and rhythms as great as ever. Drummer Dave McClain has never had any issues keeping up with the band as his drums have always been a huge part of their sound. Newcomer bassist Jared MacEachern is a welcome addition to the band and fits in perfectly.

“Bloodstone & Diamonds” does have some different elements as well including some string arrangements and some more mellow elements which the band has sparsely used throughout their career, but the heart and soul of the band are the guitar riffs and Flynn’s vocals, which is still hear and better than ever.

Machine Head: Bloodstone & Diamonds Rating

8.5 Stars (8.5 / 10)

Bloodstone & Diamonds Tracklisting

1. Now We Die
2. Killers & Kings
3. Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones
4. Night of Long Knives
5. Sail into the Black
6. Eyes of the Dead
7. Beneath the Silt
8. In Comes the Flood
9. Damage Inside
10. Game Over
11. Imaginal Cells
12. Take Me Through the Fire

Machine Head Lineup

Robb Flynn – Vocals, Guitar
Phil Demmel – Guitar
Jared MacEachern – Bass
Dave McClain – Drums

Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records