California based thrash outfit Machine Head have released some serious details about their upcoming recording, Bloodstone & Diamonds. Word is the album is due out in November and will feature a 28 page booklet with the standard issue CD and a 48 page hardcover leather-bound mediabook with the special edition. The album is being released via Nuclear Blast and was partly recorded at Green Day’s JingleTown Recording (really?) compound in Oakland, California.
To see the track listing, some artwork, and a rather large assemblage of quotes from frontman Robb Flynn click right here.
Bloodstone & Diamonds will be the follow up to 2011’s Unto The Locust and the band’s eight overall effort. This also marks the first time that the band have ever released an album on a record label other than Roadrunner. Machine Head will be touring with Battlecross, Children Of Bodom, and Epica through October and into November. Hopefully they pepper in some new songs so we can get a taste of what to expect. You can find dates and venues right here.
“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
Frontman Robb Flynn recently had all of the following to say about every conceivable aspect of this album:
“I cannot even begin to tell you how proud we are of this album. It’s been a heck of a ride. It looked like it might not ever happen again at one point, but man, this album is a milestone for us.
“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.”
“10 songs, an interlude, and an instrumental with an audio collage of spoken word snippets (think ‘Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies’) by Dr. Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman, taken from their (incredibly inspiring) audiobook ‘Spontaneous Evolution’.
“It was once again produced by your truly The General and Juan Urteaga, and like the last seven out of eight albums, masterfully mixed by Colin Richardson. Additional tracking, editing, and mixing was done with heavy metal legend Andy Sneap and Steve Lagudi.
“Guest musicians include two different string quartets featuring the original Quartet Rouge that appeared on our last album ‘Unto The Locust’. And a new all-male quartet which we featured on the song ‘In Comes The Flood’.
“String arrangements for two of the songs, ‘Now We Die’ and ‘Sail Into The Black’, came courtesy of myself and Rhys Fulber who has worked with everyone from Sarah McLachlan to Fear Factory, and the string arrangement for ‘In Comes The Flood’ came courtesy of myself and ex-Worship and current-Bring Me The Horizon keyboardist Jordan Fish, who is a producer in his own right.
“We worked with several artists to complete the 28-page ‘standard’ CD booklet, as well as the 48-page hardcover leather-bound mediabook that will serve as the special edition, including Rafal Wechterowicz, Marcelo Vasco, and longtime Machine Head art-collaborator Strephon Taylor. The theme was to have both CD and hardcover mediabook look like an old alchemy book from the 1800s, with weathered edges, sepia toned pages, and magic / masonic / alchemy themed woodcarvings throughout.
“It turned out fucking amazing!!
“All album photos were done with our friend Travis Shinn, who took some mind-bogglingly awesome photos, that again, were set to match the theme of the book with an old 1800s / alchemy feel to them.”
As far as the musical direction goes, Flynn recently told Metal Hammer:
“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.”
“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.”