1 of 2 thought this review was well written
are commonly credited as "ushering in" horrorcore. Recordings by the Geto Boys
are often credited as influencing the genre. And this group, the Flatlinerz, claims to be the first to use the term. In actuality, if you do a little more research, you will find that Kool Keith
was actually the person who first coined the term. And when it comes down to it, all that really matters is who can put together the better album, and I'm sorry to say that the ball is in Keith and the Gravediggaz' park. Which is not to say that the Flatlinerz' U.S.A.
("Under Satan's Authority") is completely without merit -- to their credit, they actually do manage to be genuinely menacing. Moving beyond that, this album is not what I would call enjoyable music.
The Flatlinerz' sole release is somewhat engaging in spots - the occasional funk here and there, some genuinely spooky rhymes, etc. The problem is that most of the album tends to sound the same. As rappers, they are pretty distinctive, but there's not much else to them. The group, led by Russel Simmons' nephew, Redrum, has a wide variety of tricks up their sleeve, with vocal styles ranging from almost bark-like rapping to ghostly moans. But they don't have a whole lot to say. Whereas, Kool Keith is weird enough to keep things going at a steady pace, and the Gravediggaz mix different kinds of horror stories with a steady pace of drug-oriented dark humor, the Flatlinerz tend to sound the same throughout.
"Sonic Boom" is a definite highlight, with a nice, funky bassline and synths, and some truly oddball rhymes, and "Live Evil" is one of the better representatives of the rest of the album's sound.
I wouldn't necessarily call the album bad -- it's not particularly irritating or derivative, it just doesn't keep the listeners interested throughout. Their subject matter revolves around much around the same themes - serial killers, ghosts, zombies, the occasional marijuana reference ("Body n' a Blunt") and establishing themselves as a dangerous force in Brooklyn ("Not hardcore, but horror
core"). If you like this kind of music, you will probably enjoy this, but it will only appeal to dedicated fans of horror music.