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Machine Head – Bloodstone & Diamonds | Album Review

Machine Head recently unveiled their eighth full-length album Bloodstone & Diamonds. Find out what we thought here!

Source: Album Cover/PR

Its not been an easy ride for Machine Head in recent times. After spending three years playing relentlessly around the globe, including the world’s most illustrious rock and metal festivals, the time was right for the metal icons to release their eighth full-length album Bloodstone & Diamonds. But, not so fast. The band fell victim to their album being leaked, forcing the quartet to release a couple of tracks in haste and rage. But, this shouldn’t undermine what is without question one of the finest releases of their career so far. Prepare to experience Machine Head like you’ve never heard them before.

The album opens with previously released track ‘Now We Die’. In less than a millisecond (literally), Machine Head’s new focus and stance on the genre they’ve already acclaimed themselves with is evident. Orchestral music flutters in the background with a violin crescendo as Robb Flynn’s exemplary screams bombard their way through. This orchestra dip in and out all the way through, proving that combining these two opposites is one juxtaposition that were born to collide. If that wasn’t enough, the band take you in other new directions too.

In a very non-Machine Head fashion, interludes are used in the album. Whilst this doesn’t sound very heavy metal-like, its a superb touch that truly give this 12-track gem another dimension. ‘Damage Inside’ takes incredible pride in showing off Flynn’s clean vocals with a backing of just as talented clean instrumentals. Its placid tone creates an unbeatable euphoric atmosphere. ‘Imaginal Cells’ takes on a slightly heavier stance, intertwining with influences from classic metal. Its opening sounds as if Metallica were involved in some shape or form.

If you think you’ve lost the Machine Head that you know and love, then think again. There may be new additions to their sound, but the fundamentals are everything there is to be adored about these guys. ‘Killers & Kings’ and ‘Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones’ take their morbid track titles and whip them up into a concoction of fury, ferocity and a storm of riff energy. ‘Sail In To The Black’ arguably is unrivalled at this. Beginning with monk vocals that send you deep into Mordor, you’re then kicked up the backside with high-octane drum beats and flawless vocality.

Ultimately, whoever leaked Bloodstone & Diamonds before its official release, unlucky for you: as Machine Head have rivalled that with undeniably one of the best metal albums in recent years.

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