"Bloodstone & Diamonds", the new album from San Francisco Bay area metallers MACHINE HEAD, can be streamed in its entirety below. Due on November 10 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment, the CD was produced by MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn and Juan Urteaga, and like the last seven of eight MACHINE HEAD albums, was masterfully mixed by Colin Richardson. Additional tracking, editing, and mixing was done with Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, TESTAMENT, ARCH ENEMY) and Steve Lagudi.
Regarding the musical direction of "Bloodstone & Diamonds", Flynn told Metal Hammer magazine: "There's definitely a lot of urgency on this record. It's a really heavy record arid there's a dark and evil vibe to a lot of it, but I feel like there's more of a rock vibe in there too. It's stripped down at times, and I like that. I think that sense of urgency has carried over from the demos we did, which were all done very quickly and spontaneously. We tried to keep that spontaneous vibe on the album."
He continued: "At one point we started getting really anal on the tracks and spending tons of time on stuff, and we'd listen back and say, 'You know what? This doesn't have the vibe of the demos.' The demos were so fuckin' frantic, so we changed our mindset and now it's a little bit looser. Some of the guitar takes are basically live. Often, 40 or 50 percent of a song came from a spontaneous, live take and that's killer! It adds energy and makes the songs feel alive."
Regarding the "Bloodstone & Diamonds" album title, Flynn said: "Without getting too philosophical on ya, bloodstone and diamonds represent two of the hardest materials on earth. It is also a lyric from the opening track of the album, 'Now We Die'.
"In many cultures, the bloodstone has been used as an amulet to protect against evil, and is the symbol of justice. Diamonds are the hardest natural material on earth (which is how we feel about our music), and it also represents the diamond logo I drew 22 years ago (in my wife's apartment on Dover St. in Oakland) that has become the symbol for the band."
"Bloodstone & Diamonds" track listing:
01. Now We Die
02. Killers & Kings
03. Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones
04. Night Of Long Knives
05. Sail Into The Black
06. Eyes Of The Dead
07. Beneath The Silt
08. In Comes The Flood
09. Damage Inside
10. Game Over
11. Imaginal Cells (instrumental)
12. Take Me Through The Fire
Photo credit: Travis Shinn