Review Summary: The name I never thought I'd hear again comes back with one of the year's best.
Back in my High School days (about 10 years ago now) I was spending most of my time on a computer. To fill my spare time between Quake and pr0n, I would always be looking for music in the deepest, darkest corners of the web. One of my favorite sites was MP3.com, which back in the late 90's was MySpace or Last.fm before those sites existed. I dug through almost every profile of every artist and that site and ended up with one of my favorite bands ever.... The Shizit.
The mix of hard, dancey electronics with super aggressive metal was what my life was missing. I followed their every move from Evil Inside until Soundtrack for the Revolution and once they disbanded I was pretty disappointed. The group was only around for 3 or 4 years, had released some of best music I had heard and had already called it quits. I never expected to hear another release under the Shizit's name. I guess I should expect the unexpected.
Floored as I was that not only had the Shizit released a new album, it was free on top of that. As soon as the download finished I started from track one and didn't stop until the album finished. The Shizit are back and sounding better than ever. The "group" was resurrected by JP Anderson who had been keeping digital metal alive with his other group, Rabbit Junk. Original guitarist Brian Shrader did not re-join so this is more or less a solo release with a little help from Cyanotic's Sean Payne.
The album kicks off with Civilization Extermination which brings the Shizit back to life in a big way. The track is more or less what people who know the Shizit would expect. Super aggressive guitars and vocals, a hard Gabber beat in the background and JP's politically motivated lyrics. While that description may make it seem like the Shizit haven't changed since 2001, that's not really the case. With their previous work the Shizit split time between the electronics and metal almost on a 50/50 basis. With this release the electronics have been toned down a bit and I would say that split closer 70/30 in favor of the guitar. That's not disappointing, if anything it gives the electronics that are used more of an impact. The last thing to note is that the drums are all synthetic. While that may sound like a downer to some, JP programs them better than just about anyone else on the planet, so they work really well.
The album continues with song after song of pissed off music that is about as aggressive as anything I have heard in ages. Bloodlust Blues takes a break from politics and lyrically comes across as something straight out of the mind of a serial killer. The track starts off very aggressive, as many Shizit tracks do, but then it slows down during the verses which are spoken like a semi distorted rant. The track is one of the slower tracks you will hear from the Shizit but the play between loud and quiet works perfectly and makes from one of the better Shizit tracks ever.
The album finishies with Fat Slave which is the best track the Shizit have ever laid onto a hard drive. It starts off with a synth line that might have been programmed by Dracula himself before kicking into the aforementioned aggressive metal. The verses are screamed and the chorus is sung. One thing that is apparent on this release is the growth of JP as a vocalist and lyricist. The sung chorus sounds awesome and lyrically it's the most introspective thing I have heard come out of JP's mouth. He questions whether or not his time is worth it. Is it worth worrying about politics? Am I a hero to anyone else? The chorus speaks to something we have all felt.
For prior releases I do like using the term Digital Hardcore to describe the Shizit. This release falls into more of an industrial metal feel than previous work due to the decrease of dancey electronics. I'll repeat that this isn't a negative, it's just the slight change that has taken place with the Shizit since we last heard from them in 2001. Now that we have the genre out-of-the-way I can safely say this is the best industrial metal album I have heard in a long, long time. The tracks are all aggressive. Most of them do not go over 4 minutes. It's just an in your face, pissed off record. So many bands try to be aggressive but they end up feeling like a group of people who are trying to fit into a scene. The Shizit come across like a brick to the head. This is not bull***, this is pure aggression. And did I mention it was free?