Bloodstone & Diamonds

Bloodstone & Diamonds

The eighth album from Machine Head is a sonic journey into madness and back again. Brain-scrambling themes of death, regret, and dereliction provide emotional punches, but it’s the melodicism (especially on “Now We Die” and “Beneath the Silt”) and inescapable guitar shreds that carry this. “Night of Long Knives” documents the Charlie Manson murders with creepy aplomb, machine-gun drums, and kaleidoscopic guitars. “Killers & Kings” employs face-melting riffs to uphold Robb Flynn’s vocal pulverizing, which he abandons for a beautiful croon on “Damage Inside.” Flynn howls “No gentle mercies here” on the finale, “Take Me Through the Fire.”

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