Review Summary: The reuse of riffs throughout the album is kind of annoying, but if you can look past that, this is a pretty enjoyable album.John 5
is best known as the ex-Marilyn Manson guitar player, or as "that creepy guy with all the makeup". Despite his rather bizarre image though, is a great guitar player who is not only a great guitar player but a great musician as well. His experimental tendencies are welcome on this album, as it is good to hear something new now and then. However, the experimentation is less prevalent this time around. Most of the songs on this album are pretty straightforward. It should also be noted that besides the occasional use of voice samples, this album is entirely instrumental (but what else would you expect from a John 5 album?)
The songs on this album can pretty much be divided into two categories: rock/metal shred-fests and bluegrass/country interludes. Yes, that’s right. Bluegrass. You gotta problem with that? John 5 has a lot of different sounds on this album, but for some reason it just seem as fulfilling (for lack of a better word) as other material by him. Maybe it's the fact that Heretic's Fork and Noisemaker's File (which are right after one another) are basically the exact same song, featuring shredding over the same riffs. If he was trying to go for a two-part epic I could understand that, but these songs are virtually identical, besides the acoustic intro to Noisemaker's File. Or that other songs on the album borrow riffs from other songs, like the example above. It might also be the fact that the bluegrass/country interludes are just that- interludes. There are two of them on the album and neither breaks the 1:40 mark. They are nice distractions, but full-fledged songs would have been nice. It might also be the aforementioned lack of experimentation.
Unlike his previous album, 'The Devil Knows My Name
', there are no guest stars this time around. This is all John. Opener 'Sounds Of Impalement
' sets the mood with its high-pitched riff, which is quickly followed by some great shredding in the traditional John 5 style- its hard to describe, you really just have to hear it and describe it for yourself. 'Sounds Of Impalement
' is a fun song, to be sure, but all it really feels like is a bunch of shredding with riffs in between, which is one of the main criticisms from guitar virtuoso-style music haters. Granted, there are some great riffs in this song, but they are mostly quick and repeated and n between all the shredding that is going on. Although I've already talked about the next two tracks: 'Heretic's Fork
' and 'Noisemaker's File
', I'll describe them again briefly: they are both very similar- and, save for the acoustic intro at the beginning of 'Noisemaker's File
', they sound almost exactly the same. More should have done to distinguish these two tracks, or they should have just been combined; because as it is, you end up feeling kind of ripped off as though he marketed one track as two.
' is the first of the two bluegrass/country interludes, and features a fast drumbeat over an interesting riff which I believe
is chicken picked by John 5. It has an old-radio style recording too it. This is a big change of pace to the last three songs. It also leads directly into the next track, 'Cleansing The Soul
', which is another shreddy track. It features a collection of interesting drum fills. The shredding on this song is awesome and this song is one of the high points of the album. The only problem with this song is that it almost seems to go on for too long- this isn't a huge problem though. 'The Judas Cradle
' starts off and ends off slow. This is one of the few songs that John 5 seems to not have gone completely crazy on. This song is more subdued than the last track, but shredding fans need not worry- it has lots of great face-melting instances, and in fact one of my favourite solos on the album (2:24-3:50). This track feels almost Buckethead
'Pear Of Anguish
' features a voice sample at the beginning and is also the shortest song on the album at 1:01. It is another country interlude that breaks up the flow of the record nicely. The only problem is that it is almost too short- it comes and goes without leaving much of an impression, but as I said, it [i]does/[i] break up the flow of the record nicely. The next track ‘The Lead Sprinkler
’ is one of my favourites from the album. The riffs in this song are just great, as are the solos. This is a great song that I highly recommend to anyone. ‘Scavenger’s Daughter
’ starts off slowly but eerily, due to a haunting noise in the background that makes it seem demented. There is then a buildup that I think could have been done more effectively- some great double bass pedaling over a riff. This is a good song but seems kind of long and blends in with the rest of the album besides the intro and a couple of other unique moments. Oh yeah, and it uses one of the riffs from ‘The Lead Sprinkler
’ stop re-using riffs John 5, it’s pretty annoying! The outro is basically a redeux of the intro.
’ ends off the album and wouldn’t sound out of place on the Resident Evil soundtrack. It takes about a minute to buildup. And guess what? It re-uses a riff from The Judas Cradle
’! Nonetheless, ‘Requiem
’ is a good song, although it features basically no shredding whatsoever. It also ends on a slow acoustic riff that sounds very Hallowe'en-ish.
And that’s ‘Requiem
’. I dunno if John 5 was trying to do an epic or one long song or something, but the reuse of riffs throughout is just pretty annoying and makes you feel ripped off. There are great moments throughout the album, but they are pretty equal with the moments that feel similar to other songs from the album. I actually had to check once to see if it was the same song I was listening too before or another one. Overall, ‘Requiem
’ is a fairly good album, but I would recommend one of John 5’s other albums over this one, although if you are a John 5 fan you will almost definitely enjoy this.