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I can't believe it. I got this album, being so excited to further my roots in the branch offs of Black Sabbath and their greatness. Unfortuantely, I was thrown into a brick wall on this one. There's some good moments, but mostly the album sounds too nu-metal, which is mainly what turned me off on it. But I gave it a listen (or two or three) anyway, and it is good every once in awhile when I get in the mood for it. Alas, Burton C. Bell's vocals are part of what lead to the ruination of this album. In fact, if it wasn't for the awesome bass playing (when you can hear it), it would be even worse. There are practically NO SOLOS on the album. I about freaked when I realized that.
The first track isn't too bad, actually. Catatonic Eclipse has the best singing on the album, you can actually hear the bass and the guitar playing isn't too bad either. It sounds quite Black Sabbath-y in the middle of the song too, which is really good. Burton has long drawn out vocals here unlike his later screaming.
Then comes Drive Boy, Shooting. The vocals are too "wannabe hardcore". The intro riff is great, but after that the song is a downhill slide. This is followed by the track Giving Up The Ghost which has highly audible bass, but loses many points because of the lyrics. It's about how Tony Iommi should give up trying with Black Sabbath, which would've coincided with the aftermath of Cross Purposes: Live and somewhere around Forbidden.
Plastic Planet, the title track, sounds like Max Calvera (ex-Sepultura, Soulfly) screaming over a nu-metal guitar riff. Definitely not a good title track. The cleaner singing on this song leaves much to be desired too. But amazing, the drummer for this album really shines here. Smooth drum lines that don't sound repetitive, punkish, nor nu-metalish.
Then comes The Invisible... Holy crap is this song new metal. The guitar tone makes me cringe when I listen to it. The riff has to be some horrid drop tuning, and it's mindless and feelingless. After that comes Seance Fiction, which gets point for an awesome name and ambient intro to the track (a modified voice plus synth, I believe... or perhaps pick scrapes on the guitar). The riff here is pretty hard hittingly doomish, and not overly offensive. One of the better songs on the album. Nice clean - possibly acoustic - interlude, and the other decent vocals from Burton. Geezer's bass is pretty buried on this track.
Then comes House of Clouds which is crazily upbeat in tempo, but the riff just doesn't fit the great drumming at all. And the vocals don't help it either. Same with Detective 27. X13 is better, with a cool intro riff that is nice and distorted. The vocals are pretty decent here too, starting out singing about "nuclear family", possibly being the best lyrics on the album too. I like how the guitar plays, then the lyrics, then the guitar back in. The double bass on this song is absolutely insane, as well. The bass is too quiet here, too.
Sci-Clone is just moderately nu-metal again, but then you get to Cycle of Sixty which is what makes this album not too bad at all. The vocals aren't the best clean singing, but their livable over this oddly accoustic number. The drums are nice in the background, but can't really hear much of the bass at all. Then it gets all quiet as the singing goes on then it ends. Definitely a unique way to end an album.
The reason this album didn't get a lower score from me, is I find it is like Slayer in that it is good for one thing: Playing First Person Shooter PC Games. Nothing like playing Soldier of Fortune with heavy, and fast, metal music. Really gets your blood pumpin'. Other than that, if you don't already own this album don't go rush out and buy it... But if it's in a bargain bin for like $5 new or used, then I'd say go ahead and go for it. Every once in awhile, you'll get a strange hankering to listen to it that you really can't explain. At least, I know I do. That, and the production is really high quality too, which helps take the edge off the nu-metalness of it. Though it isn't as nu-metal sounding as Ohmwork is (unsure about Black Science, though).