Review Summary: "Molotov Solution's debut is a good album, but...are they really serious?"
Generally, metal bands with political agendas make me weary. Perhaps I'm just looking in the wrong places or something, but they tend to be ridiculously exaggerated and over the top, or…well, awful. Case in point, Serj Tankian wonders why "Presidents don’t fight the wars
" and James Hetfield's shouts about how "Justice is lost / Justice is raped / Justice is gone / Pulling your strings
." That's not to say that I dislike these songs because of their lyrics (I rather enjoy both System of a Down and "B.Y.O.B.", actually), but they're kind of stupid, nonetheless. While Los Vegas' Molotov Solution tackles some political issues ranging from the evils of corporate America, to the climate crisis, to America's war on drugs – they aren't very subtle you see, they do so in a way that makes you wonder whether they're completely serious or not.
Molotov Solution's s/t debut is still a good album though. Though it's breakdown-laden death metal by numbers, the album uses its somewhat unoriginal sound to its advantage. Through blistering riffs, a variety of different vocal techniques ranging from harsh roars to guttural, Wormed-influenced gurgles, and a very impressive drum performance (which just might be the most technically sound part of the album), the band creates a violent soundscape which is both lively and entertaining all the same. It's from this structure that Molotov Solution
draws its greatest strength. None of the musicians are particularly flashy, but they each contribute superbly to the overall flow of the album, as it not only relies much more on groove and heaviness rather than melody, but also manages not to sound excessive and overdone.
After a two minute introduction, Molotov Solution
opens with "Corporatocracy". The band wastes no time getting the blood flowing, bursting out of the gates with a driving riff that hankers back to Element's 2007 effort, Aeons Past
. The song helps set the angry, vicious atmosphere the band stresses, as well as creating the template for their radical lyrics. While I'm sure the band is well read, lines like "Incremental erosion of sovereignty to ensure a smooth transition into totalitarian global governance
" ("Corporatocracy") and "Jail time for eco-crimes to a tax on the very air we breathe" ("An Even More Inconvenient Truth") make Molotov Solution seem like they're either shooting for shock value, or more paranoid than George Orwell. Then again, when we're all living in an Orwellian society (an idea also referenced by "Prison Planet") maybe I'll regret ignoring the band's warnings. Ah well.
"An Inconvenient Truth" and "End Game" follow in similar suit to "Corporatocracy", though the later is a more straightforward track that is a little easier to digest. More prominent breakdowns replace the sporadic brutality of the previous two tracks, but despite this (and the vocalist's awfully annoying croak-like technique) Molotov Solution manages to keep the album from straying off course. Occasionally, the band will incorporate soft breaks into songs such as "Prison Planet", "The Myth of Human Progress" and "Dark Alliance" (the later of which is the most melodic Molotov Solution
has to offer, featuring some Jester Race-isms), but these sections are extremely brief, and though they're nicely written, they serve little purpose to the album in the general scheme of things.
Even with their seemingly extreme lyricism, Molotov Solution's debut still makes for a worthy listen. The breakdowns may be a little off-putting for more traditional fans of metal (in which case, I direct you to "Dark Alliance"), but given the chance, they should impress. The thirty-seven-ish minute long Molotov Solution
won't be the flashiest or most elaborate of 2008's releases, but it excels at what it is: a great, if slightly unoriginal death metal album that is as entertaining is it is intense.