Review Summary: Industrial music has had a good year, and The Shizit just made it even better
2009 has been a great year for industrial metal in general, maybe not by the amount of records, but by the sheer quality of them. So it's quite a surprise that this late in the year, there are still unexpected, and major surprises coming along. The Shizit's self titled album is exactly that. A two man band that had been officially broken up since 2003 was reanimated by one of them - J.P. Anderson - in the spring of this year, after the Precursor tour, where Anderson was supporting Cyanotic (another new-wave industrial band you, the reader, should look into right away). Soon after, Anderson got to work and since October 15, everyone can now taste the fruits of his travail.
The Shizit's self titled comeback album contains 11 songs of pure, pissed, heavily hardcore influenced industrial songs with elements from the metal scene. If one feels the need to categorize, then the exact definition would be "digital hardcore". The overall sound has enough of a guitar punch and industrial elements for me to call it just industrial metal though, and that's exactly what I shall do.
Straight from the kickoff the listener knows he is in for a wild ride. "Wake the *** up!"
. That's how this album gets going - Anderson screaming his lungs out, backed up by distorted guitars and mad break-beats. The tempo is relentless, the tension could be cut with a knife and if you turn the volume up (which you should) it's quite possible your subwoofer will even blow your own ass a few meters back. Ok so the last part may have been a slight exaggeration, but it is true that the power this album holds is enormous. I have used the word pair "relentless energy" before in my reviews too (for Crossbreed and DevilDriver to name a few), but comparing those other records to this - there is no match. One thing is to be overly energetic with your performance, but injecting the listener with such amounts of adrenaline you get from this album, is a whole other affair.
Musically The Shizit
is rather simply constructed. Everything that goes on during this record, and on it, circles around Anderson's vocals and the verses following one- another. It's not exactly what you'd call unexpected, but the way the tension is kept up during the entire runtime is admirable. The song listing on this album has also been very well done. Junctures and song transitions are well put together and every step is logically thought out Every new song that follows its predecessor seems exactly in place. The only interlude, titled "Levels", is a perfect example of this. It seamlessly carries forward where the song before it (“Seeing is destroying”) left off, and ends bluntly, but yet so fittingly for the next song ("Bloodlust Blues") to start from a fresh page. Whether the intentions be for creating an array of songs that flow into one-another, or separating and bringing forth the true standouts, Anderson succeeds with both versions.
The instrumental part of this album is very well-executed, chiefly clasping the listener with unity. The guitars would suck without the industrial elements, which on its own would suck without the break beats, which on their turn would suck without the hardcore influence. The Shizit's music truly is tightly connected and polished into a cohesive industrial unit that will tear the roof off of your building. On another note, in itself, there is nothing polished here. The guitars are raw, the break beats are loud and overly noisy, the industrial sounds/keyboard lines/turntable effects on their own would need work, but mixed together, it just works. The fact that the instrumental parts cut apart would probably suck is completely irrelevant because as a whole, The Shizit
is just a crazy mess of guitars, break beats, and industrial, that functions on every single level.
is another gem in the dark for 2009. While the band is relatively unknown (except for the underground where The Shizit has a decent following), then maybe the fact this album is for free can lure music lovers and curious people into downloading this (The free, legal link is at the end of the review if you managed to miss it). Whatever the cause might be, one thing is for sure - The Shizit
is another fine industrial metal record to come out this year. In all honesty, there are no setbacks, no weak spots, no flaws whatsoever with this albums. Is it the best industrial metal record to come out this year? I can't say, but is it a contender for it? You can be damn sure it is.
The digital download link (free and legal): www.glitchmode.com/the-shizit