Posts Tagged ‘machine’

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

Dave Grohl Talks ‘Sound City’ Documentary and More on ‘The Colbert Report’

Comedy Central Dave Grohl has been all over TV recently. Supporting his new documentary, ‘Sound City,’ which chronicles the legendary albums that have been the recorded at Sound City Studios, Grohl graced ‘The Colbert Report’ stage on Feb. 13 to promote the film. Prolific musician and rock’s most lovable overachiever Dave Grohl was in New York City last night to perform with the Sound City Players, a group of musicians who have recorded at Sound City Studios, including Grohl’s Foo Fighters bandmates, Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk , Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic , Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks, rock legend John Fogerty + many more. Before the NYC performance, however, Grohl stopped by ‘The Colbert Report’ for an hilarious interview with host Stephen Colbert. Having recently finished guest-hosting the E! talk show ‘Chelsea Lately’ for a week, Dave Grohl answered Colbert-esque questions such as, “You sold 30 million copies of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ alone, why not phone it in and get fat?” and “Do you think about the [‘Nevermind’] sessions now and go, ‘Why didn’t we turn up the drums?’” After naming off a litany of artists who recorded on Sound City’s board such as Rage Against the Machine, Barry White and the now-imprisoned Charles Manson, Grohl shot the funny right back at Colbert. “The first thing we had to do when we got it [the Sound City board] was open it up and scrub all the cocaine and fried chicken out of it,” Grohl joked. “And that was just Barry White!” Check out Dave Grohl’s full interview with Steven Colbert via the video player below. Dave Grohl Talks ‘Sound City’ on ‘The Colbert Report’ [button href=”” title=”Dave Grohl Explains History of Rock ‘n’ Roll on ‘Chelsea Lately'” align=”center”]

Machine Head Win Metal Video of the Year in the 2012 Loudwire Music Awards

Roadrunner Coming in strong in the 2012 Loudwire Music Awards with more than half of the overall vote for Metal Video of the Year is Machine Head for ‘Darkness Within.’ The honor is incredibly well-earned, as the visual accompaniment for ‘Darkness Within’ plays more like an acclaimed short film rather than a music video. The brilliance of ‘Darkness Within’ managed to beat the cartoon clairvoyance of Dethklok, the messianic time traveling of High on Fire, the disturbing Job for a Cowboy and the acid-laced ape assault of Pig Destroyer. Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn praised bands such as Behemoth and Rammstein for their game-changing music videos, which inspired Flynn and the rest of Machine Head to create something more than just “dudes in a warehouse playing.” Congrats to Machine Head for winning the 2012 Loudwire Music Award for Metal Video of the Year. See the full results below and click on the red button to find out the next winner: [button href=”” title=”Next Winner: Rock Goddess of the Year” align=”center”] Voting Results: Sorry, you need to have javascript running to see this poll.

David Draiman’s Device Confirm Release Date of Self-Titled Debut Album

Adam Bettcher, Getty Images Vocalist David Draiman has been hard at work with his new project Device since the indefinite hiatus of Disturbed was announced in late 2011. After much anticipation and ballpark estimates as to when the first Device album would be unleashed, we can now confirm that the band’s debut album will be self-titled and see the light of day on April 9 via Warner Bros Records. On Friday, we reported that Draiman had unveiled an all-star lineup of guest musicians on the album, as well as revealing that  Evanescence drummer Will Hunt and Dope / Eve to Adam guitarist Virus will join Draiman on Device’s three-man touring lineup. Meanwhile, ex- Filter  guitarist Geno Lenardo, who co-wrote and recorded Device’s debut album with David Draiman, will not be joining the outfit on the road. In a press release, Draiman describes the album as follows, “It’s not metal”, Draiman says. “It’s influenced by early Industrial rock (i.e., Nine Inch Nails/Ministry) and has a dark electronic vibe. At the same time, these are big, anthemic, and intensely melodic songs. It’s futuristic rock.” In a new video interview with Artisan News Service , David Draiman speaks about how Device came together. “I was first approached by Geno Lenardo, who was working on a number of tracks for the ‘Underworld’ soundtrack for the last ‘Underworld’ film that came out … and he asked me if I would be interested in being a part of one of the tracks and I asked him to send me the music that he had in mind and I was able to make a really compelling and powerful song … [I] found that working with him as a songwriting partner was very easy and fluid. He’s a very strong songwriter in his own right.” Device’s first single, ‘Vilify,’ is set to hit radio on Feb. 19. The band just filmed a video for the song and have described it as “amazing / groundbreaking.’ Draiman and Lenardo were able to recruit an army of legendary musicians as contributors for the first Device album, including Black Sabbath  bassist  Geezer Butler , Deep Purple  singer-bassist  Glenn Hughes , Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows , System of a Down  singer  Serj Tankian , Rage Against the Machine guitar great Tom Morello and Halestorm  frontwoman  Lzzy Hale . Prepare yourself for Device’s self-titled debut album, which will drop on April 9, and stay tuned for the unveiling of the single ‘Vilify,’ which will see a release this February. David Draiman Goes In-Depth About Device [button href=”” title=”David Draiman Urges Fans to Support Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe” align=”center”]

Dave Grohl’s ‘Sound City’ Documentary to Receive Theatrical Release

Theo Wargo, Getty Images While the lucky few are flocking to Park City, Utah this coming week for the Sundance Film Festival premiere of Dave Grohl ‘s ‘Sound City’ documentary, there are a lot of other music fans chomping at the bit to check out the star-studded flick. Those cries for more screenings have been answered with a one-night theatrical release set to take place in a number of major cities later this month. A majority of the screenings will take place Jan. 31. In total, 44 cities in the U.S. and Canada will show the film on the 31st, with an additional eight screenings of the movie the following day (Feb. 1). Fans in Phoenix, Portland and Columbus will also have more chances to check out the film during select dates in February. For a full rundown of when and where the movie is playing, visit the ‘Sound City’ website here . Grohl shot the documentary about the legendary Sound City studio in Hollywood and the very rare Neve console that recorded some of the top albums in history. The film features members of Rage Against the Machine , Nine Inch Nails , Nirvana , Foo Fighters , Queens of the Stone Age , Slipknot , Ratt , Metallica and many more. For those unable to get to one of the screenings, the film will also be released digitally on Feb. 1. You can currently pre-order a DRM-free download of the movie here . The ‘Sound City’ soundtrack is expected to arrive March 12 and can be pre-ordered via iTunes . Watch the ‘Sound City’ Trailer [button href=”” title=”Next: Dave Grohl Reveals Sundance Film Festival Concert Guests” align=”center”]

Dave Grohl Reveals Full Sound City Players Lineup for Sundance Film Festival Gig

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images After spending the last day teasing some of the people who would be joining him at the Sundance Film Festival , Dave Grohl has revealed all of the guests that will make up his Sound City Players lineup for the special show. As previously reported, Grohl will be playing a show in Park City Utah Jan. 18 to coincide with the premiere of his new ‘Sound City’ documentary , which is based on the legendary Hollywood recording studio. The singer already teased a photo with him performing alongside Queens of the Stone Age ‘s Alain Johannes and Foo Fighters ‘ Taylor Hawkins . Plus, Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor had confirmed his participation in a Salt Lake City newspaper. Now Grohl has revealed the full lineup in a new tweet . It includes many of the ‘Sound City’ soundtrack contributors, including his Foo Fighters bandmates Rami Jaffe, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear along with his onetime Nirvana partner Krist Novoselic . In addition, Grohl’s Queens of the Stone Age pals Johannes and Chris Goss are taking part. The rest of the lineup includes a number of familiar names. Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk, John Fogerty , Stevie Nicks , Cheap Trick ‘s Rick Nielsen , Rick Springfield, Fear’s Lee Ving and violinist Jessy Greene will also join in on the fun. Tickets for the show go on sale today at 5:00PM PT/8:00PM ET at . [button href=”” title=”Next: Watch the ‘Sound City’ Trailer” align=”center”]

Machine Head Perform Pantera’s ‘F—ing Hostile’ in Memory of Dimebag Darrell

Facebook: Machine Head It’s been eight years since the tragic onstage murder of Pantera / Damageplan guitar legend ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott , but the utter outpouring of love, respect and the desire to memorialize the man has not diminished one iota. Among those who honored Dimebag’s legacy this year are  Robb Flynn and the rest of Machine Head . On Saturday, Dec. 8, the eighth anniversary of Dimebag’s passing, Machine Head performed a set in Atlanta, Ga. After concluding the song ‘Beautiful Mourning,’ Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn began to address the Atlanta audience about the death of Dimebag, along with the morbid and unfortunate anniversary day. “I’m sure all of you know, or maybe some of you don’t know, but today is Dec. 8th,” begins Flynn. “Eight years ago; this is f—ing mind-boggling to even believe, but eight years ago, Dimebag Darrell was killed onstage, man. The legacy that that man left in the world, the footprint that that dude left on the f—ing entire metal universe was unf—ing believable.” Flynn continues, “We called him a brother, man. We were friends. We had so many incredible drunken f—ing nights and hung over mornings on those two tours that we did with them. He was an amazing, amazing individual … We’re not here to celebrate his death, we’re here to celebrate his life right now, ladies and gentlemen.” After the heart-wrenching speech, Machine Head blasted into a cover of Pantera’s ‘F—ing Hostile,’ which received an explosive reaction from the crowd (watch below). Halfway across the country in Kansas City, Mo., Hellyeah , Lamb of God , In Flames and Sylosis were also paying tribute to the beloved guitarist by kicking back shots of Black Tooth Grin, Dimebag’s signature mix of whisky and Coke. Check out this fan-filmed footage of Machine Head performing ‘F—ing Hostile’ in Atlanta. Machine Head Cover Pantera’s ‘F—ing Hostile’ (Live)