DIESEL MACHINE was founded in the mid-1990s by former musicians of the L.A. heavies WORLD IN PAIN and ELEVENTH HOUR. The hard groove metal of the band — consisting of AJ Cavalier (vocals), Patrick Lachman (guitar), Rich Gonzales (bass), and Shane Gaalaas (drums) — was compared with scene greats like PANTERA, CROWBAR and MACHINE HEAD. The only regular DIESEL MACHINE studio album to date, 2000’s “Torture Test”, was received enthusiastically by fans and critics alike and has retained its absolute cult status to this day. The uncompromising mixture of razor-sharp riffs, hammering rhythms as well as hardcore vocals fully met the spirit of the times and still hasn’t lost any of its power and relevance.
While the musicians were working on their second album, they were hit hard by fate: bassist Rich Gonzales suffered a nearly fatal motorcycle accident in the summer of 2002, which put him in the hospital for four months.
After DIESEL MACHINE was put on hold indefinitely, the individual members broke new musical ground: Lachman, at that time also the guitarist for HALFORD, became the singer of the promising but short-lived PANTERA spinoff DAMAGEPLAN and later founded THE MERCY CLINIC and BURN IT ALL with members of FEAR FACTORY; Cavalier founded ONE PERCENT SOUL and was also hired as frontman for SOIL; Gaalaas worked with the Japanese superstars B’Z and with the prog metal formation COSMOSQUAD; and finally, Gonzales also found his way back to music.
Although scattered all over the world, the connection between the members of DIESEL MACHINE remained unbroken throughout and created a new album in 2021.
DIESEL MACHINE is the giant Octopus of Metal with tentacles spreading in different directions at once but each controlled by and in the furtherance of a single minded center that organizes all the mayhem never letting loose the secret of how or why. Here there be industrial tones mixed with neo-classical guitar, world beat rhythms with near Death Metal vocals and punk attitude leavened by a traditional Metal confidence. Strains of MESHUGGAH, FEAR FACTORY, AGNOSTIC FRONT, BLACK SABBATH and dozens more converge to create something new, unique and brutally wonderful. Dissection is a pit-inducing monster at mid-tempo stomping through this record like Godzilla strolled through Tokyo. The lyric, once heard, is indelibly stamped on the brain leaving each subsequent airing a compulsory sing along. Be warned, you should have throat lozenges at the ready. The Punishment has a PANTERA-like guitar hook that could land a Whale. Rage plods along with knuckles dragging in the dirt until they are heaved straight across your jaw. The accented drum fills here are nothing short of brilliant. Driven by Pain would seem to be the thematic centrepiece for the entire disc and is also this collections best track. The vocal is very close to something Phil Anselmo might yelp but here it sounds infinitely more angry. DIESEL MACHINE stands in both scale of intensity and viciousness of intent leaving Torture Test no less than the areas best output since FEAR FACTORY’s debut. Should the various members be able to coordinate their incredibly full schedules, (guitarist Patrick Lachman is also a full time member of HALFORD and Shane Gaalaas’ talents behind the drum kit are much in demand), there could be live performances of this material, a prospect that is as frightening as it is exciting. Buy but beware, this is not for the weak eared.
1. Torture Test
2. Bones And All
4. The Punishment
5. Borrowed Time
8. Driven By Pain
9. Black Box
10. State Of Panic