When I heard Van Halen were getting back together with David Lee Roth I was excited at the possibilities, but also realized that it could be a complete failure also. After hearing the first new material with David Lee Roth on vocals since 1984, I have to say, i’m quite impressed at how good it actually turned out to be.
Musically, this record features everything you could ever want from a Van Halen album, including: face-melting solo’s on songs like “China Town”, “As Is”, and “Big River”, there are also alot of EVH’s signature heavy, upbeat riffs that make you wanna pump your fist in triumph like “Bullethead”, “Honeybabysweetiedoll”, “She’s The Woman”, and “Blood And Fire”. Another cool aspect of this album is the fact that the bass duties are being handled by Eddie Van Halen’s twenty year old son Wolfgang and he rips!
If you’re a fan of Van Halen, you’ll love this album because it has plenty of memorable riffs, plus, it’s a great album to listen to while driving due to it being full of upbeat songs with an almost punk rock fury at times. There are only two songs on this album that I don’t like, the first single “Tattoo”, and the bluesy “Stay Frosty” mostly due to Diamond Dave’s horribly cheesy lyrics, but considering how long DLR and EVH have been apart, a reunion record with two bad songs on it is a victory in my book.
I was a huge fan of Psycroptic’s 2003 album “The Scepter Of The Ancients”, however, they got rid of the vocalist from that album and haven’t seemed to recover properly since then. I really did expect this album to be a technical masterpiece, and though most of the songs on here are very fast, and very technical, they just don’t have any qualities that really grab you by the balls.
It seems that this album’s major fault is that it is way over-produced and robotic sounding as opposed to the looser nature of their previous albums which gave them a rawer, less generic feel. Don’t get me wrong, I love technical death metal as much as the next guy, but when all the songs on an album sound the same to a point where you can’t tell when one song ends and the next begins, there’s a problem.
If you are a fan of their last two albums then this album is still worth checking out. My main problem with this record is that, aside from the robotic production, it sounds just like the last two decapitated albums, as well as other bands like Job For A Cowboy who also play lifeless, boring death metal, if you want really awesome death metal, check out Exhumed, or Disma.
This album is Mark Lanegan’s first studio album in 8 years and it’s a doozy. This record was produced by Alain Johannes who was a member of Queens Of The Stone Age when Lanegan was in the band; Johannes was also in the band Them Crooked Vultures as well as playing plenty of instruments on this album. Johannes wasn’t the only guest on this album, however, it also features guys like Dave Catching, Chris Goss, and Josh Homme who are all desert rock royalty.
The funny thing about this album is, even though it has a very slow, bluesy style at times, as well as fast upbeat rock songs, and even a song with a disco-esque vibe, every single song features a nice electronic feel to it courtesy of Johannes and though it’s hard to grasp at first, it works pretty well in the grand scheme of things.
Clearly Mark Lanegan has forgotten all about his roots in the grunge band “Screaming Trees”, because there aren’t many elements of that style on this record, but his days in Queens Of The Stone Age are much more visible on this album. If you are a fan of Mark Lanegan’s voice, which sounds like he gargles with dirt from a graveyard, or if you’re a fan of the current, more electronics based style of desert rock Josh Homme and Alain Johannes have been putting out lately, then this album is absolutely worth checking out.
Fortunately, Metal Blade records has reissued this album on vinyl as well as two other Bolt Thrower albums. This record is probably the last album Bolt Thrower will ever put out, and honestly, it’s my favorite Bolt Thrower album by far due to the crushing production and some of the greatest riffs they’ve ever recorded.
The actual record sounds phenomenal and sounds like it came from the original master tapes and not just a digital copy like some labels do nowadays. The packaging is a gatefold packaging with lyrics and some cool artwork, the album also comes with a bonus track that sounds just as good as any of the other songs on this album.
This album is actually one of my favorite metal albums of all time, honestly. It has massive, crushing riffs that are so catchy they’ll stay in your head for days, it’s got a blistering pace with a huge amount of bass in the mix that makes it impossible to not headbang to. I’ve had alot of good memories listening to this album and headbanging like an idiot to some of the heaviest riffs i’ve ever heard, and i’m very glad to finally own it on wax, I just hope my neighbor enjoys listenign to it as much as I do.
February 9, 2012 | Categories: New Releases, Record Reviews | Tags: bolt thrower, decapitated, job for a cowboy, mark lanegan, metal blade records, psycroptic, queens of the stone age, them crooked vultures, van halen | 1 Comment »