Posts Tagged ‘flynn’

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

Machine Head’s Robb Flynn Shares New Music Progress + Recaps Solo Shows

Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images Robb Flynn has been playing some solo shows of late, but Machine Head fans should not worry about the band’s future. In fact, the rocker revealed in his latest online posting that he and his bandmates recently got in their first jam session hoping to spark material for their next album. The vocalist explained, “Dave [McClain], Phil [Demmel] and I practiced the other day and it was a really productive first jam session. McClain had about five rockin’ riffs, Demmel brought in the skeleton of what feels like a great song and I had a few riffs that we rocked on, no full songs, but solid riffs. It felt good, good to be moving on from ‘Locust.’ Super proud of that record, but it’s time to move on, and we’re ready to move on. Bring on the future with an open embrace.” As for his solo shows, Flynn also provided a recap of what his week of acoustic dates entailed. The vocalist recalled, “The shows were awesome, really, really, REALLY awesome! I needed this so bad. To everyone who came out to these shows and made them such a special and intense event, thank you. They got heavy, really heavy and I had no idea how heavy these would get. Therapeutic. I didn’t know what to expect or what they would be like. I made no set list except the opening and closing song. Chose songs we probably won’t play live again or at least haven’t played live in a reeeeeeeally long time, and cover songs we would never cover. To my surprise I ended up telling a lot of stories before each song. Every time I thought I’d been going on too long with a story, (‘am I talking too much?’) people would ask for more. In Fullerton I got a ‘sto-ry, sto-ry, sto-ry’ chant, it was hilarious. It was surprising how fun these shows were.” Flynn calls the performances “a massive communal release” and admits he got choked up by the response on more than one occasion. The vocalist also stated that he underwent a master cleanse and went beyond the ten-day process to make sure he remained sober while doing the performances. Watch Robb Flynn Covering Alice in Chains’ ‘Sunshine’ [button href=”” title=”Next: Machine Head Discuss New Album Plans” align=”center”]

Down and Warbeast Provide Passion and Emotion at Los Angeles Tour Stop

Kathy Flynn, The temps may be chilly outside, but Down and Warbeast definitely brought the heat to West Hollywood’s Key Club Wednesday night (Jan. 16) for the Los Angeles stop of their winter tour. The two acts combined for a blistering night of rock and some rather emotional moments before all was said and done. As was announced right before the tour, both bands have dedicated the entire trek to the memory of late Rigor Mortis and Ministry guitarist Mike Scaccia and each of the acts made note of Scaccia’s legacy and friendship during their sets. During their performance, Warbeast dedicated tracks to the guitarist and urged fans to scream in his honor. It was obvious that frontman Bruce Corbitt was still feeling the loss of his onetime Rigor Mortis bandmate. Warbeast amped up the audience during their opening set. Guitarist Scott Shelby laid down some killer licks and Corbitt commanded the crowd throughout, with tracks like ‘Egotistical Bastard’ and ‘Krush the Enemy’ working the audience into a circle pit frenzy. The group ended their set on a high note with ‘It’ and ‘Birth of the Psycho,’ their two contributions to the newly released split EP with Phil Anselmo , ‘ War of the Gargantuas .’ Down were the night’s headliner and they did not disappoint with the audience passionately fist-pumping along to the band’s songs throughout the evening. Like Warbeast, Phil Anselmo offered his salute to Scaccia and also got a little teary-eyed mentioning the band’s home base of New Orleans before rocking out to ‘New Orleans Is a Dying Whore.’ But amidst the emotion, there was also some levity as Anselmo grabbed a bra that had been tossed onstage, gave it to drummer Jimmy Bower commenting that he thought it might not be big enough and then watched as Bower put on the undergarment to cover his shirtless body for the remainder of the show. Highlights of Down’s performance included a blistering version of ‘Witchtripper,’ fan favorites ‘Lifer’ and ‘Lysergic Funeral Procession,’ and the anthemic ‘Eyes of the South.’ The set also included an encore of ‘Stone the Crow’ and ‘Bury Me in Smoke,’ with members of Warbeast hopping up onstage for an extended jam on the final track. The Down / Warbeast ‘Weed and Speed’ tour rolls on into early February. To check out the remaining dates on the trek, click here . Take a look at our photo gallery from the Down / Warbeast show below. Down: Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, Warbeast: Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, (2) Kathy Flynn, Kathy Flynn, [button href=”” title=”Next: Down Discuss New Music Directions + Being Handsome” align=”center”]

Machine Head’s Robb Flynn Joins Tony La Russa + Friends at Animal Rescue Foundation Benefit Machine Head have built their fan base over a steadily strong career, but singer Robb Flynn still gets surprised by who some of his fans are. The rocker reveals in his latest journal that former baseball manager Tony LaRussa and his family have shown their fandom for his work in recent years, which is something that still blows him away. Flynn says, “Life has a funny way of playing out, how seemingly innocuous encounters can take you to place you never thought you’d go. Flash back to about a year and a half ago … I’m walking through Whole Foods in Walnut Creek, talking on the phone to my friend Tom when a lady and her daughter approach me wide-eyed. ‘Are you f—ing Robb Flynn?!’ … ‘I could be …’ They scream and make a big ‘ol to-do, ‘Oh my God, we’re huge fans, I love ‘The Blackening,’ I’m Tony LaRussa’s wife!’” Then, just last year when the band returned to play the Warfield in San Francisco, the LaRussa family came to the show. Flynn recalls, “My baseball fanatic dad FREAKS OUT, and Tony L blows my mind when he tells me that I ‘have so much charisma, he wishes he could bottle it and make his players drink it.’ Wow!!?? I’m not worthy!” After speaking some more, Flynn says they bonded over the fact that he got his dog from the Animal Rescue Foundation that LaRussa founded. The vocalist says he and LaRussa exchanged information and the manager reached out to him about attending his annual benefit. LaRussa also asked if he would perform as an anniversary gift for his metal-loving wife. The singer admits he was nervous, but says LaRussa’s intro was great. He recalls, “Tony LaRussa’s intro blew me up!! Dude rules. After that intro I could have farted for 10 minutes and people would have at least politely clapped. Did ‘Die Young’ first, went down good. I sang the end a lot better than at the Mitch [Lucker] benefit, and then came time for the debut of the acoustic version of ‘Darkness [Within],’ just me and an acoustic, no sing-alongs, no band to kick in the heavy — a new version I had never played live. It worked, it totally worked. I nailed most of it, was a little flat in some parts at the very end, but overall it felt good and I was proud of myself for taking up the challenge.” Flynn returned for the finale, joining all the evening’s performers and headliner Tony Orlando in taking on ‘Hey Jude’ with a little bit of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ thrown in to rock out. The evening also gave the singer a chance to meet some of his comedy heroes like Robin Williams and Dana Carvey. For more about Flynn’s night, check out his latest journal entry here . Watch Robb Flynn Perform ‘Darkness Within’ Acoustically Robb Flynn With Dana Carvey Robb Flynn With Robin Williams Robb Flynn With Tony Orlando [button href=”” title=”Next: Robb Flynn Performs at Mitch Lucker Memorial” align=”center”]

Machine Head’s Robb Flynn Releases Video Diary Documenting Successful Hernia Surgery

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire Machine Head recently were forced off the road as frontman Robb Flynn could no longer soldier through the pain of his double inguinal hernia. The band left a massive tour with Dethklok, All That Remains and the Black Dahlia Murder so Flynn could undergo emergency surgery. The singer went under the knife yesterday (Nov. 14), filming the process along the way. Robb Flynn’s surgery diary begins with the frontman being driven to the hospital, acting less than enthusiastic about the procedure, but reassured fans, “I’m a little nervous; I going under anesthesia, but I’m stoked to be getting it done. I’ve been putting it off for too damn long.” The rest of the short film includes Flynn giving very specific details and updates throughout the day, while showing off his ballin’ purple hospital socks. As a dazed Flynn woke up from the surgery, he seemed relieved to be done with his hernia burden. “Apparently it went really good,” assured Flynn. “I got a couple of holes in me. I’ve got some IV going, I’ve got some good drugs on me; not feeling a whole lot of pain right now … apparently my double inguinal hernia is fixed.” Flynn went on to thank his bandmates and friends for their support during the process, of course adding that his family jewels were feeling sore. Check out Robb Flynn’s surgery diary below. Robb Flynn’s Surgery Diary [button href=”” title=”Next: Read Initial Report on Robb Flynn’s Surgery” align=”center”]

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