Posts Tagged ‘classic’

Machine Head – Bloodstone & Diamonds

It’s been a turbulent three years in the metal world since Machine Head released Unto the Locust to much critical praise. We’ve seen the continued rise of djent and it’s bastardizations, deathcore’s leanings into more progressive territories, progressive metal’s leanings into softer and more introspective territories, black metal through the eyes of shoegazers, and the return of a few old school death metal bands. The late nineties saw the band conform to the sound of the times, adopting the nu-metal style introduced by bands like Rage Against the Machine , Korn , and Limp Bizkit in years prior. Luckily, the current musical climate has had no impact on Machine Head, who have chosen to pound the flag they’ve been flying since their triumphant return to form with 2004’s Through the Ashes of Empires deeper into the ground, resulting in Bloodstone & Diamonds , their latest gem and first release for Nuclear Blast . Whereas Machine Head merely flirted with orchestral arrangements in the past, opening track ‘Now We Die’ starts off with a full on string section, setting the tone for the prodigious journey that lay ahead. The return of producer Colin Richardson is immediately apparent once things kick in: buzzsaw quad-layered guitars, drums punchier than Mike Tyson, and distorted bass sitting perfectly in the mix to complement the guitars. The sonics of Unto the Locust were perfectly appropriate for most metal albums of its caliber, but Richardson’s return makes it apparent that there is an intangible magic when the two work together. This is also the first album to feature new bassist Jared MacEachern after the well publicized fallout with original bassist Adam Duce , leaving Flynn as the sole original member. The band has been fraught with lineup changes over the years, but the heart of Machine Head has always been with Flynn. By the time second track, ‘Killers and Kings,’ bulldozes it’s way through the speakers, any apprehension is completely removed. Drummer Dave McClain ’s tasteful and simple ride bell play during the choruses carries the song masterfully, and his performance throughout the album is a testament to powerful modern metal drumming. Bloodstone & Diamonds does not wear any masks, exuding an honesty lost on much of today’s metal. In Machine Head’s case, perhaps it is a continued rebellion against their “experimental” period from 1999’s The Burning Red to 2001’s Supercharger . Despite this, the band have retained the best parts of said period while keeping the foundation they built in the beginning with Burn My Eyes , and also venturing into new territory. ‘Eyes of the Dead’ is the most representative track of their career by far, and perhaps the strongest track on the album. The intro reeks of early Megadeth with the ascending tapping lick over the pulsing drums, calling to mind ‘The Conjuring’ from the classic Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? . The verses thrash about in the melodeath way the band adopted on Through the Ashes of Empires , with a deadly infectious chorus with Flynn chanting “Murder! Murder!” and a follow-up hook worthy of the best melodic moments from The Burning Red . Add a whammy bar breakdown groove in the mid-section worthy of 1997’s The More Things Change and you have a massive recipe for success, all while not sounding the least bit derivative. From a performance aspect, this album marks some of Robb Flynn ’s most impassioned and versatile singing in years. The airy falsetto of the verses on ‘Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones’ are simultaneously sensuous and foreboding, counteracting perfectly with the bendy groove that follows. Without a doubt the biggest surprise found here is the brooding and eerie ‘Sail Into The Black’. Parts of this song reek of Ulver ’s dark ambient masterpiece Shadows Of The Sun , which is absolutely not a bad thing. Whether this is mere coincidence remains to be seen, but the drone of the baritone choir, thick and enveloping vocal harmonies, and subtle orchestral elements call the album to mind. It’s not until around the halfway mark when the trademark chainsaw guitars, distorted bass, and pounding drums kick in do we have any inkling that we’re still listening to Machine Head. While past tracks like ‘Violate’ and ‘Down to None’ extracted the sludgiest roots of the band, they have dug even deeper into the muck with the swampy ‘Beneath the Silt’. The track opens like an audio engineer’s dream, with the drums pounding out a gigantic fill that highlights the perfectly roomy mix. This is followed by possibly the lowest tuning the band have used to date, with a simple, bluesy, and filthy riff flinging gunk all over the precious and pretty melodic moments delivered on the previous six tracks. The song is not lost on melody however, with Flynn’s hypnotic falsetto covering the chuggy verse like an opiate laced wine basted over a stuffed pig. ‘Game Over’ smacks of bitterness and regret lyrically, quite obviously being an elegy to the friendship between Flynn and Duce. As Flynn cries “Another time, when music’s all we had, bonded by anger and addictions, so glad, always together, but no words are spoken, this is the sound of a friendship broken”, it’s hard to imagine it being anything but. Flynn also took to the mic in the past to deal with former guitarist Logan Mader ’s departure with the Sabbath infused ‘Devil With the King’s Card’ from The Burning Red , so this comes as no surprise. The only downside to this album is the sprinkled on patriotism of ‘In Comes the Flood’. The majority of the music is superb, with the use of orchestra in the beginning and the cascading classical melodies on the tail of the main riff. The problem is the uninspired populist ranting over the top of everything, especially the tired sounding “Wake up, America!” over a riff that drags harder than Ru Paul. Leaving this track off the album would have eschewed a perfect score. Despite this setback, Machine Head have delivered yet another classic addition to their catalog to rival and revel in the most triumphant moments of their career. ? Machine Head’s Bloodstone & Diamonds gets… 4.5/5 -DW

2013 Loudwire Rock Bowl – Round 1

Super Bowl XLVII, featuring the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Baltimore Ravens, is just around the corner, and we’ve got football fever. And what goes better with some bone-crushing, hard-hitting gridiron action that some truly amped-up, adrenaline-fueled riffing and rocking. That’s what you’ll find in the 2013 Loudwire Rock Bowl, where we pit 16 football-ready tracks into a matchup to determine which song gets you hyped for some pigskin action the most. With only 16 songs, there will be some tough choices made. There are a number of tracks in our first round that are already stadium anthems and there’s no shortage of big name acts vying for gridiron domination. There are rock vets like Metallica and Pantera seeking a Loudwire Rock Bowl victory with some of their classic songs, but they’ll have to get past next generation cuts from  Five Finger Death Punch , Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat . What songs will emerge victorious? That’s for you to decide. You can vote in each of the eight first round matches every hour until Sunday, Jan. 27 at 11:59PM ET. After a few more rounds, the 2013 Loudwire Rock Bowl winner will be crowned Feb. 4 — the day after Super Bowl XLVII. Click on the button below to start voting in the eight Round 1 matchups: [button href=”http://loudwire.com/metallica-vs-volbeat-2013-loudwire-rock-bowl-round-1/” title=”Start Voting in the 2013 Loudwire Rock Bowl Here” align=”center”]

Daily Reload: Soundgarden, Anthrax + More

Jim Dyson, Getty Images – Soundgarden ‘s Chris Cornell discusses the likelihood of more music and touring from the band. [ Loudwire ] – Anthrax ‘s Scott Ian offers a few more details about the exit of the band’s guitarist Rob Caggiano . [ Loudwire ] – Ozzy Osbourne ‘s recent house fire may put a damper on the potential sale of the estate to Jessica Simpson . [ Loudwire ] – There are now dates for the fifth annual ‘HardDrive Live’ tour, featuring Bullet for My Valentine and Halestorm . [ Loudwire ] – Cannibal Corpse and Napalm Death head up to the 2013 Decibel Magazine tour. [ Loudwire ] – Rush will continue support of their ‘Clockwork Angels’ album with a 2013 trek. [ Ultimate Classic Rock ] – Happy 64th birthday to former Journey singer Steve Perry . Ultimate Classic Rock looks back at his finest work with the 10 Best Journey Songs. [ Ultimate Classic Rock ] – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club will follow their upcoming ‘Sound City’ performance with a string of spring 2013 tour dates. [ Diffuser.fm ] – Kings of Leon will headline the 2013 Governors Ball. [ Diffuser.fm ]

Daily Reload: Vince Neil, Anthrax + More

Tenth Street Entertainment Here’s a look at the top stories of the day on Loudwire and around the Web: – Motley Crue singer Vince Neil battled with some of his Twitter followers about gun control following the horrific Newtown Elementary School shooting. [ Loudwire ] – Anthrax have been named as the headlining act for the 2013 Metal Alliance tour with support from Municipal Waste , Exodus and more. Anthrax will also be playing one of their classic albums in its entirety. [ Loudwire ] – Exclusive: In This Moment release Sluggo Remix of their song ‘Blood.’ [ Loudwire ] – Machine Head ‘s Robb Flynn struck by taxi in New York City and later slams All That Remains onstage for an additional issue. [ Loudwire ] – Hatebreed vocalist and Connecticut resident Jamey Jasta offers heartfelt comments on the recent school shooting. [ Loudwire ] – Jason Newsted posts letter revealing his self-titled band’s ‘Metal’ EP. [ Ultimate Metallica ] – KISS characters to star in 2013 individual comic book issues. [ Ultimate Classic Rock ] – 49 Years Ago: First Beatles airplay on American radio. Find out which song it was here. [ Ultimate Classic Rock ] – Nirvana reunion rumors are “nonsense” according to rep of Dave Grohl. [ Diffuser.fm ] – Social Distortion announce additional West Coast dates. [ Rock Music Report ]

Daily Reload: Lamb of God, Bon Jovi + More

Epic – Lamb of God ‘s Chris Adler shares what the period was like during Randy Blythe ‘s incarceration from the band members’ perspective. [ Loudwire ] – The daughter of rocker Jon Bon Jovi was arrested after an alleged heroin overdose. [ Loudwire ] – Soundgarden ‘s November mini-trek is underway, with a review and photo gallery from the New York performance. [ Loudwire ] – Stone Sour have offered up a trippy new video for their single, ‘Absolute Zero.’ [ Loudwire ] – Black metal and Internet memes apparently do make a good combination. Check out a few funnies from the dark side. [ Loudwire ] – Ever wonder how the Metallica song ‘Creeping Death’ came to be? [ Ultimate Metallica ] – Ted Nugent ‘s drummer Mick Brown has entered a guilty plea to a DUI incident with a golf cart this summer. [ Ultimate Classic Rock ] – ZZ Top , Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rush were among the names called at the Classic Rock Roll of Honor. [ Ultimate Classic Rock ] – The Clash had a lot of great songs. Check out this list of their 10 Best. [ Diffuser.fm ] – AWOLNATION are heading to late night, then hitting the road. [ Rock Music Report ]

Elvis Presley’s ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ Gets Andy Rehfeldt Death Metal Makeover

RCA Elvis Presley’s ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ have just been turned blood red, as remix master Andy Rehfeldt has given the classic rock ‘n’ roll track a technical death metal makeover. Originally written by Carl Perkins, ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ was taken to new heights by ‘The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ –Elvis Presley. Country legend Johnny Cash also had a hand in creating the concept for the ’50s track after telling Perkins a story about how a military airman, who Cash met while serving in Germany, had dubbed his military regulation air shoes as “blue suede shoes.” Shortly after, Perkins was playing a dance party when he saw a man lambast the girl he was dancing with for stepping on his blue suede shoes. Perkins began to write the classic track that very night. ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ certainly has a rich history, having been covered by acts such as Black Sabbath , Jimi Hendrix, Helloween and the Beatles, but Rehfeldt is likely the first to turn the song into technical death metal madness. Rehfeldt, who has made viral ‘Radio Disney’ makeovers of Slipknot ‘s ‘Wait and Bleed’ and Slayer ‘s ‘Angel of Death,’ along with death metal versions of the Jonas Brothers’ ‘Paranoid’ and Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby,’ has created another hilarious remix spliced with video of Elvis Presley performing ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’ If you want to see Elvis Presley shred on his acoustic guitar and unleash demonic gutturals while shakin’ those morally corrupting hips like only he can, then check out this death metal version of the classic, ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’ Elvis Presley, ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ (Death Metal Version) [button href=”http://loudwire.com/best-death-metal-makeovers-of-pop-songs/” title=”Next: Watch the 10 Best Death Metal Makeovers of Pop Songs” align=”center”]

Axl Rose on Feud With Slash + Duff McKagan: I’m Surviving This War, Not the One Who Created It

Robert Cianflone, Getty Images Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose is certainly one of the most beloved, but also detested musicians in rock history. It’s almost impossible to run into anyone who doesn’t have an opinion on Rose as a human being, but the GN’R icon recently partook in an interview that went pretty deep into the mind of one of rock’s most polarizing figures. In Rose’s in-depth interview with USA Today , the singer attributed the lengthy process of writing the ‘Chinese Democracy’ album to mental abuse caused by former Guns guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan . “[Slash and McKagan] did more damage to my ability as a writer,” claims Rose. “To those three, it was all crap. It beat me down so much. At the time of the [‘Use Your Illusion’] tours, Slash and Duff said, ‘You’re an idiot, you’re a loser.’ I didn’t write for years. I felt I was hindered for a very long time. I was also trying to figure out what I wanted to say, when it’s right to be venting and when you’re digging a bigger hole. Lyrics on ‘Chinese’ took a long time.” Rose also explored the idea of how the classic GN’R lineup could have lasted longer. “Maybe if we could have worked together in the way ‘Appetite’ was put together. I was really naïve,” says the singer. “I thought the success of that record would bring everyone together more. It did the exact opposite. They got success and wanted to run in their own directions. I thought they’d go, ‘Whoa, it did work.’ But they wanted to do their own huge bigger success off of Guns.” On the possibility of a truce amongst the classic members, Rose comments, “I feel that ball’s not in my court. I’m surviving this war, not the one who created this war.” Additionally, when asked about fans who consider the current Guns N’ Roses lineup as illegitimate, the singer simply responded, “They can think whatever they want. I’m not interested in their opinions.” Rose says that the band is currently writing and working on their next release, and added, “[The next album] will come out sooner.” Check out the full Axl Rose interview at USAToday.com . [button href=”http://loudwire.com/slash-wife-critiques-axl-rose-jimmy-kimmel-appearance-weighs-in-on-his-weight/” title=”Next: Slash’s Wife Criticizes Axl Rose’s Appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel'” align=”center”]

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