Mudvayne
L.D. 50


4.0
excellent

Review

by Cam EMERITUS
September 15th, 2007 | 496 replies | 33,049 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yes, it is that good.

Although I would like to be the last to admit it, if it wasn't for nu-metal, I wouldn't like the more extreme music that I love today. When you're a thirteen-year-old and you're already sick of the computer-generated boy bands and pop princesses, you're next step out of the mainstream isn't going to involve buying an Opeth album. For my sixth-grade brain, I was convinced that Slipknot, System of a Down, Korn, Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, and Linkin Park were the complete opposite of the pop kings, when they were actually aiming for the same goal. And while most of the bands from this dark musical period of my life I will never listen to again in my life, some are actually pretty good. Mudvayne is one of those bands.

Mudvayne was always headbanging slightly ahead of the nu-metal curve: they were heavy, brutal, and uncompromising, yet oddly progressive in their overall musical goal. Not many bands that I know of can successfully combine Sepultura-type vocals with a Slipknot-esque guitar sound, while sprinkling RHCP-style basslines that funk heavily under the surrounding chaos. All of that obvious brilliance, while maintaining the perfect blend of positivity and dark angst.

While their admittedly goofy and stereotypically nu-metal appearance (like Slipknot, Mushroomhead, and early System of a Down), Mudvayne may seem less- how do you put this?- real. But don't worry: Mudvayne is full of great instrumentalists and make great music despite their appearance. Guitarist Gurrg really doesn't dish out anything special, but the rhythm section is enough for you to be asking for seconds. sPaG, despite his amazing name, is a very talented drummer. He's able to play very powerfully and with heavy accents during the choruses, while keeping a loose, funky beat during the usually heavier verses, such as in "-1". And while I already briefly mentioned bassist Ryknow earlier in the review, his talent is definitely worth mentioning once more. His basslines range from being nothing more than dark metal riffs, such as in "Cradle", to funky rhythms that simply blow you away, as in "Nothing to Gein".

But what shines the most here is Kud's vocals: this man needs some ritalin, and ***in' FAST. Most of the time he's screaming barely unintelligeable lyrics, changing pitches twelve times in one verse. His screams are particularly evil, and while they won't blow you away with their pure black heaviness, like Mikael Åkerfeldt may, they still bring your heart up a couple of beats. If you had to pinpoint Kud's greatest talent among his many, you would have to say his unmatched ability to go from soft croons to instant spinetingling screams loud enough to raise the dead.

But now it's time to examine the negatives of L.D 50. The album is definitely way too long, especially when the songs don't change pace or style very often, and it's often difficult to sit all the way through this. This isn't a large complaint, since the songs are so great, but this doesn't work too great as an album. My only other complaints would be regarding the quality of the lyrics (of which are usually barely understandable, so this is only a problem if you're know-it-all nit-picker) and the dark ambient interludes, which remind me shudderingly of other bands with certain ambient interludes. But, as you can see, these negatives are minor and don't really inhibit the pure fun that this album brings to the table.

Like other unfortunate bands such as Television, Joy Division, The Doors, Linkin Park, and The Ramones, Mudvayne has never been able to top their debut. They've mellowed, and they've dropped the silly makeup, but they've never reached the atmospheric peak of L.D. 50. And that's okay, since they left us with an uncompromising masterpiece. And while it seems stereotypical to say this, especially on this website, this is nu-metal's defining album.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
joshuatree
Emeritus
September 15th 2007



3743 Comments


wow... this is shorter than what i thought it would be. be nice please: i worked pretty hard on this. oh yeah, i know we already have too many reviews for this, but this is wat i've been listening to obsessively lately, and i wanted my opinion to be heard.This Message Edited On 09.15.07

Neoteric
September 15th 2007



3243 Comments


It's a good length, people need to stop worrying about the length of their reviews.

cometuesday
September 15th 2007



959 Comments


The Doors?

I haven't heard this but I'm not very interested in Mudvayne. Also what bands are you referring to when you spoke briefly about the interludes?

joshuatree
Emeritus
September 15th 2007



3743 Comments


i was just naming random bands that had a great debut when i mentioned the doors.

joshuatree
Emeritus
September 15th 2007



3743 Comments


and i meant like tool about the interludes.

cometuesday
September 15th 2007



959 Comments


Ahhhh. I gotcha.

Brain Dead
September 15th 2007



1150 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

and while they won't blow you away with their pure black heaviness, like Mikael Åkerfeldt may,

I actually find Akerfeldt's harsh vocals to be pretty chilled, even almost soothing. I think you give the vocalist a little bit too much credit as a whole, he really isn't what makes this album. The guitarist is also better (or at least more interesting) than you give him credit for.

Willie
Moderator
September 15th 2007



15900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Although I would like the to be the last to admit it, if it wasn't for nu-metal, I wouldn't like the more extreme music that I love today.
That is why you'll almost never hear me talking shit about these bands and their mainstream exposure, because it's the best way to slowly introduce someone to the heavier stuff.

Good review... and I love this album too... and their other two as well.

Thor
September 15th 2007



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yes, it is that good.

No, it is better.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2007



2658 Comments


I think I'm the only person who likes the ambient transition tracks... yeah, listening to them separately is stupid, but they segue into each track really well.
"Death Blooms" is absolutely killer. I love everything about that track, from the harmonics in the intro riff to Ryan's fretwork on bass to Matt's drumming to the soaring vocals. It's just a really, really, really amazing track.
And good review.

Thor
September 15th 2007



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ryan's and Chad's best moments are in "Severed" I think.

muchtallerthanu
September 15th 2007



648 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Although I would like the to be the last to admit it, if it wasn't for nu-metal, I wouldn't like the more extreme music that I love today.
Weird...

I'm the same.

jason_f90
September 16th 2007



203 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah great review for an awesome album.

Sure their newer albums aren't as heavy and raw as L.D. 50 but I think they're equally as good.

SylentEcho
September 16th 2007



1570 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

other Nu Metal albums are better, the only good song n here is "Dig"

I heard this album back in 2002, I still dont like this album.

XSebbyMcMuffinX
September 16th 2007



339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, "Dig" and "Under My Skin" are pretty much the only through-and-through Nu-Metal songs on here, so that's understandable. They're also the only songs that keep me from rating this a 5.

Thor
September 16th 2007



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yeah man that makes you like wayyyyy cooler than everyone else.

joshuatree
Emeritus
September 16th 2007



3743 Comments


thor, your avatar makes my day.

thesystemisdown
September 16th 2007



412 Comments


System of a Down is definitely not nu-metal. I guess 'Sugar' might have been kinda close but that would be like saying that Tool is nu-metal cause of Undertow. It's not true and even if it was, it's in the past (although you sort of rectified that when talking about their dress sense).

joshuatree
Emeritus
September 17th 2007



3743 Comments


System of a Down is definitely not nu-metal. I guess 'Sugar' might have been kinda close but that would be like saying that Tool is nu-metal cause of Undertow. It's not true and even if it was, it's in the past (although you sort of rectified that when talking about their dress sense).


yeah, i meant about the early days. i guess i didnt clarify that enough.




EnshuldigunG
April 22nd 2008



9 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Severed has got to be one of my favorite songs of all time...the lyrics are just insanity



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