"Bloodstone & Diamonds"

By Theron Moore

 "Bloodstone & Diamonds" finds Machine Head moving closer and closer towards the hallowed ground where Metallica resides that's heavy enough to satisfy metal heads and commercial enough to land them in the Billboard Top 100 and maybe, just maybe, solidify them once and for all as a major, arena headling act.

 Each song is a well balanced arrangement of heaviness and melody, never veering to far one way or the other.  Examples include  "Ghosts will Haunt my Bones" ,"Night of Long Knives" and "Eyes of the Dead."

 "Bloodstone & Diamonds" is highly polished, well formulated heavy metal almost to the point to where it's predictable, that ism, you know how each song will be structured -- heaviness, melody, slightly thrashy, return to melody.

 Am I saying this is a bad record?  No, commercially speaking it's quite good.  Track 5, "Sail into the Black," has a nice haunting quality to it.  It starts out slow and builds into something crunch worthy towards the middle and end.  But for me personally, it's too safe, just like this record as a whole, not my cup of tea. I get it, bands want to grow, sell records, do big tours and if you're metal, god forbid, this is the way to do it, it's a page taken right out of Metallica's playbook. Just ask Slipknot, they do it too.

"Bloodstone & Diamonds" is something I refer to as "Best Buy" rock and roll and it's clear that Machine Head is being groomed to be the next Metallica.  If you like commercial metal with a safe edginess to it, this is your band and your record.   "Burn My Eyes" it is not.