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Just as there are songs/albums that are so good that they literally take a person back to a past experience in life associated with them, there can also be ones that work in the opposite respect. When I reminisce on everything that I positively couldn’t stand about the music of the 90s, I always find myself somewhere in the midst of the latter part of the decade when Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, and Soulfly enjoyed widespread circulation and my high school days were coming to a close. This particular time period is negative primarily because it also coincided with the demise of my first actual metal band (a Black Sabbath cover band) when everyone, save me, jumped on the nu-metal bandwagon and suddenly my love of guitar soloing became a staple of gayness. Suffice to say, I have a bone to pick here beyond the mere terribleness of this single’s contents.
There’s much to be said for how anti-metal the person of Fred Durst is with his wigger image of a backwards ball cap and baggy, thug-inspired clothes, or the hokey addition of DJ scratches into a metal song, but the most offensive thing about this sad collection of the songs is the outright commercial pandering and trend-hopping displayed by Max Cavalera. This isn’t a mere experiment in innovation (that’s what was going on 4 years earlier with KoRn), this is a man voluntarily going from being a pioneer of a genre to a wannabe to the point of literally sounding indistinct from that of Jonathan Davis. There’s maybe a slight nod towards Cavalera’s uniquely political past in the lyrics, but its presented in a manner more indicative of the reactionary, jock-like tough guy B.S. that listens more like a 4th rate Pantera clone distilled to the point of unintentional slapstick comedy.
Musically, the contents on here mostly resemble the stagnant mess of muddy 2 note guitar drones, hypnotic beats and gibberish-like scat vocals (imitating percussion instruments rather than brass ones) featured on Sepultura’s “Roots”, to the point of sounding like a carbon copy sequel to said album. The lead off song features our favorite man to hate providing his gimp-like screams alongside Max’s unoriginal mallcore growls, but perhaps the truly offensive thing about “Bleed” is the slavish reliance upon gimmicks and sound effects to cover up the idiotically oversimplified formula at play. “No Hope=No Fear” is the same general story minus the presence of Durst and DJ Lethal, thus the KoRn worship is even more pronounced, though the musical format still maintains a somewhat tribal, percussive tendency. In fact, the entire essence of this music seems to be attempting to render the concept of the metal band arrangement into a mock percussion ensemble of sorts, and in the most grating way possible.
There’s nothing redeeming about this group of songs to speak of, even and especially the butchered Discharge cover at the end. Just as was the case on “Roots”, Max has decided to throw in a token thrash/crossover song that was good in its original form, and then butchers it with his annoying mallcore vocal style and a bare bones instrumental recreation that offers no real distinction from the original other than being of a lower production quality. This whole album just reeks of laziness and indifference musically, while attempting to sound brutal by just loading on the yells and noise as if that will turn a mess of muddy diarrhea into rock solid metal. This music sucked horribly when it was popular, and in this day and age where even this band has moved away from this style for something more metallic, anybody who likes this stuff should be at least somewhat embarrassed to admit it publicly. Sadly, I have a feeling that at least one or two of my old high school buddies might still be following Fred Durst’s antics and being impressed by them, which may explain why I lost track of them after graduation.