It’s been a fairly tumultuous time for Machine Head in recent years, what with the well-documented problems between Robb and Adam which they went to therapy for, before Adam was eventually fired from the band last year, as well as the cancellation of their recent US tour, but they’re finally out the other side with their eighth studio album Bloodstone & Diamonds.
Machine Head’s last two releases The Locust and The Blackening only consisted of seven and eight tracks and whilst they were good albums, it almost felt like they hadn’t delivered a fully complete album, so seeing that Bloodstone & Diamonds featured twelve songs felt like a breath of fresh air, but sadly the album is anything but. Most of it is just the same old Machine Head we’re used to and this time round it feels like they’ve squeezed as many songs as they can onto the album rather than take a little more care with what they include and what they don’t – they can’t seem to find a happy medium.
It’s not like the songs on Bloodstone & Diamonds are bad, they’re just rather predictable and exactly like everything else they’ve put out recently, with their typical chugging guitar style complemented with Robb’s bellowed vocals atop of them. There’s nothing that quite makes them distinguishable or make you think that it’s actually new material; it’s just a bit generic and they just haven’t appeared to have tried anything new this time round. It’s just the same old format, and it’s getting a bit tired now.
Apparently they cancelled their US tour in order to complete this album but you wouldn’t have guessed since it does feel like a lazy album because all the songs follow the same format as the ones on their past releases. Like mentioned earlier, it’s not a bad album, but it’s certainly not a great one either. Decidedly average – Machine Head are capable of so much better.