Machine Head: Bloodstone & Diamonds
This is my Album of The Year. I can’t say that I’ve been buried in New Releases to review but I have to say that of all of the albums I’ve been exposed to this year this is the best.
There are some truly crushing riffs on this album (a section in Killers and Kings just after the solo is the musical equivalent of an earthquake), some great harmony guitar work with intricate lines interweaving, some of Dave McClain’s most aggressive and adventurous drumming and new guy Jared MacEachern is doing a hero’s job of filling the viking longboat sized hole left by the departure of Adam Duce.
Rob Flynn gets his Middle Earth on with a Dwarfish vocal intro on Sail Into The Black before it gets epic; Night of the Long Knives is a deranged yet catchy blast of old school metal while opener Now We Die sets the bar high and forces the rest of the album to live up to it.
I saw the guys live at the Camden Roundhouse earlier this month and they were superb. I saw them on the Burn My Eyes tour (1994!), the Through The Ashes Of Empires tour (2004) and now on the Bloodstone and Diamonds tour (2014). Having seen them at 10 year intervals I can honestly say that they just get better and better.
10/10 Just can’t stop listening to it.
Next Best Album Of 2014:
Bloodshot Dawn – Demons.
Some superb riffing, utterly twisted drumming and some slabs of pure awesome. The boys have made a modern masterpiece of melodic death metal with a proggy edge to it.
Most Disappointing Album of the Year:
Mastodon – Once More Around The Sun. Just sounds like a collection of B-Sides or a Mastodon cover band. So disappointing… 🙁