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A great mainstream album... but not great metal. - 57%

GrimAndFrostbitten, August 7th, 2003

Considering my perspectives on music have changed considerably since I was 12 years old in 1995, I've decided to dust off an old album that, at one time in my ignorant head, thought was the epitome of heavy metal, along with Pantera. Though the riffs are detuned, sludgy and repetitive like something out of Ministry or Nine Inch Nails with a Pantera quasi-groove element, production is top-notch, however, and it's kept interesting -- for the most part.

The intro of Electric Head Pt. 1 starts out with some pretty cool creepy sounds, including organs, reversed moans, and industrial noises. It then segues into an over-distorted, detuned, slow and chunky, and VERY reptitive riff that I would have mistaken for heavy in the past, and have come to loathe. Rob Zombie's vocals still sound pretty damn cool, however, and I'd love to hear him sing in some real metal. Samples and other things touch up the song, and everything else is rather well done, and it would be pretty damned cool if this song had some REAL riffs.

Super-Charger Heaven - It begins with a pretty cool intro, and contains a good and memorable riff, even if it's in that half-sludge Pantera style. The lyrics, which I can almost still remember, are strange, gimmicky, hallucinated, laugably quasi-Satanic, and full of references to extremely obscure B-movies. The Latin rite of excomminucation is hilarious, and the guitar has some degree of technicality that keeps things from being boring. It's sort of a heavy pop song in my views nowadays, but still an enjoyable one. Best song on the album, easily.

Real Solution #9 - Beginning with something I think out of the Charles Manson trials, it winds into a sludgy, short, repetitive Ministry-style riff and some hard-rhymed (not quite rapped, but not far off) distorted vocals over drum beats. The loony sample of the televangelist is funny, though.

Creature of the Wheel is a slow, sludgy, repetive song. Without the samples, sound effects, and orchestrated noise from the guitars, it'd be rather pathetic instead of mediocre.

Electric Head Pt. 2 - It starts with a noticeablea and distinct ascending/descending riff, and then goes into ultra-detuned more while Rob Zombie and his army of "yeahs" hard rhymes and drones the bizarre lyrics over the low-tuned strumming, bass work, and drumming that isn't really anything special.

Grease Paint and Monkey Brains - Sludge and noise with slow moments of Rob sort of darkly whispering.

I Zombie - It begins with some strange opera recording that leads to a scream, along with actual tasteful use of the replace-fast-riffing-with-detuning-and-distortion style, however that may pale in comparison to real metal style. This is another good song for the album, though it's not as good as Super-Charger Heaven.

More Human than Human - The MTV buzz clip song that begins with its really naughty female orgasm. This song, immediately recognizable to almost anyone between the ages of 18-30 due to the overplaying of its intro, has a much stronger techno and rap influences, and probably paved the way for a lot of future crap with its success. It's a lot better than the rest of the stuff from the top 40's, but is still... meh.

El Phantasmo and the Chicken Run Blasto-rama - Is this a decent riff at the beginning? No... it devolves into more groove-style downtuning, with Rob Zombie showcasing the capacity of his lungs and the uses of the words "Yeah" and "Motherfucker" in his vocals, as usual.

Blur the Technicolor - It begins with some kind of tribal-sounding drum beat -- for all I know, it could have been from Cannibal Holocaust or something -- and then launches into some almost half-decent grooving. Rob Zombie returns with more quasi-hard rhyming, and

Blood Milk And Sky - Sounds real slow and chunky, but almost dreamy in its execution, and has some influences that I swear I heard in Tool. Rob sort of groans the lyrics for this, and it goes into some kind of strange thing with an abstract singing and screaming voice that's ok.

Oddly enough, I now find it somewhat arguable if this is really metal or not, but I suppose it sits on one side of the fence far enough to just make it, even if it's another 90s "heavy" band that relies on distortion and downtuning rather than quality riffing. For what it tries to achieve, it's well done, and obviously required some good degree of creativity, songwriting, and hard work, since the production is so well done, especially.

Even if it came out today and was overrated and worshipped as it was back then, I probably wouldn't bash it, though I wouldn't buy it or think much of it and would rate it much lower since I never was attached to it. It's not utter crap like the "heavy" stuff that makes it out there nowadays, but it really didn't lead anything in the right direction, though it probably remotely helped lead me and others to the path of real metal. I can't really headbang to it anymore, and see it more useful as nostalgiac background music, or just as pretty damned good dark/"heavy" pop music.