enters the Billboard chart this week at #21
Spotify online listen
4.0 of 5.0 by allmusic
8th studio album
you get your moneys worth with 71 minutes
first time hearing the band
not the worst of the metal sub-genres for me
so SteveO, what is it?
about half as long would have been better
artist website - http://www.machinehead1.com/home.html
Bio - from allmusic
Influential West Coast heavy metal quartet Machine Head formed in 1992 around the talents of ex-Vio-lence guitar players Robert Flynn and Phil
Demmel, bass player Adam Duce, and drummer Chris Kontos. Their D.I.Y. work ethic, aggressive playing, and relentless self-promotion eventually
landed them a deal with Roadrunner Records, a relationship that would extend all the way through 2005. Their blistering debut, 1992's Burn My
Eyes, blended the powerful, modern attack of Pantera and Alice in Chains with the volatility of classic thrash bands like Death Angel and
Slayer, earning them a huge European following. The record sold over 500,000 copies and spawned a massive international tour that lasted almost
Kontos was replaced by new drummer Dave McClain on 1997's More Things Change, an album that saw the band blending speed and progressive metal
with dizzying results. The excessive touring and high-octane lifestyle took its toll on the group, but the bandmembers fought through their
demons on 1999's Burning Red, resulting in the hit "From This Day," their first commercial single and video. Supercharger was released in 2001,
followed by the concert album Hellalive and the critically lauded Through the Ashes of Empires in 2003. The DVD Elegies arrived in 2005,
followed by the classic new phase Blackening in 2007.
In late 2010, Machine Head went back into the studio, setting up shop in Green Day's Jingletown Studios to begin work on a new album. Produced
by Flynn himself, the band released its seventh album, Unto the Locust, in 2011. The band returned the following year with the enthusiastically
titled live album Machine F**king Head Live! and continued touring relentlessly both in the United States and throughout Europe.
In February of 2013, Duce left the band. This made Flynn the only original member. After a series of auditions, Jared MacEachern, formerly of
Sanctify, was named as his replacement. The group returned to the studio in February of 2014 and built on the more intense sounds of their
previous two studio albums. They emerged with Bloodstone & Diamonds in November.
Album Review - from allmusic
It's been three years since Machine Head released Unto the Locust, widely considered the mainstream metal album of 2011. That was no small feat:
four years later it was followed by The Blackening, which is arguably regarded as their magnum opus. Bloodstone & Diamonds is the first MH
offering without founding bassist Adam Duce; he has been replaced by former Sanctity guitarist Jared MacEachern. In keeping with the restless
musical vision of MH, this set is wildly ambitious. Produced by frontman and guitarist Robb Flynn with Juan Urteaga, and mixed by Colin
Richardson, it clocks in at over 70 minutes through 12 tracks. Bloodstone & Diamonds is, thankfully, bone-crunching in numerous places, but its
depth and breadth are considerable, its dark, sometimes menacing vibe crosses the divergent paths of its predecessors, yet is in keeping with
their signature sound. There are loads of thrash and killer hard rock, though not as much groove metal as some longtime fans might like. Opener
"And Now We Die," with its layered soundscape intro and woven strings, clocks moves through phases that combine all three of these dynamics.
First single "Killers and Kings," with its unrelenting crack and roar, has a hooky, chanted chorus and a walloping thrash riff that drive it.
"Night of the Long Knives," a narrative about the Manson murders, is one of the ugliest tracks MH has ever cut. The twin leads, reverbed drums,
and slamming bassline/guitar vamp are careening death metal. The gorgeous Tibetan-style monastic chant that introduces "Sail Into the Black"
belies a simple modal melody with droning, fingerpicked, acoustic guitars, sparse pianos, and strings, for four minutes before the punishing big
noise takes over for its final half. "Beneath the Silt," with its growled and clean lead vocals, is heavy on the groove, while "Gamer Over" is
overdriven hard rock with an excellent vocal. Between them is the startling "In Comes the Flood," with a chamber string intro and a female
backing chorale singing "America the Beautiful," with symphonic metal interludes and blasting drums. It eventually becomes a huge cinematic
elegy. The set closes with the martial death metal anthem that is the raging "Take Me Through the Fire." Given its range, variety, and length,
Bloodstone & Diamonds is a labyrinthine musical and atmospheric journey full of textural and dynamic twists and turns. At times it's even
exhausting. That's hardly a bad thing. Given how closely woven these tracks are, the album requires attention -- and numerous listenings -- to
fully appreciate what is on offer. Here Machine Head take one sonic attack and push toward and through the boundaries of another. This set is a
major go; it extends the qualitative trajectory of The Blackening and Unto the Locust.
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