Review Summary: Catchy and heavy, this is. Certainly worth checking out, this is.
In one of my earlier reviews I wrote in the Comments section: “I don't see who would take nu-metal seriously. I mean... come on. Nu-metal?” Yes, nu-metal. Throughout my musical journey I have found melodies enjoyable, and nu-metal rarely provides me with said melodies. Unless of course you count the awful mainstream stuff with laughable angst, horrid guitar skills, mindless lyrics, and so on. Although often quite melodic, mainstream nu-metal can be quite drab. How ironic then that I enjoy Element Eighty’s only major label album, which follows the exact same pattern of awfulness. I suppose this is due to the fact that it was the first nu-metal album I ever listened to in full, and the first nu-metal album I ever enjoyed.
This is a seriously fun album because of the guitars. Not only are they fiendishly spanking (I mean that they’re diabolically heavy), but they also cleanly sparkle, like a beautifully washed wine glass. In the history of my ear life, my ears have never beheld such gorgeous guitar sounds; they have clearly been blessed by the metaphorical guitar gods. This is possibly due to the shockingly immaculate production qualities of the album - it is very fortunate that the only major label album in this band’s minuscule discography has such clarity, for it keeps them relevant. Honestly, if the instruments were recorded poorly, I would have probably ignored this release. Word of caution: do not look up these songs on Youtube, the sound quality is atrocious.
Also shocking is that the lead vocalist is actually talented, which is shocking because nu-metal vocalists are often quite horrible. Dave Galloway is his name, and singing/screaming is his game. His screams are suitably intense, and his clean vocals actually sound nice. One could compare his vocal style to Drowning Pool’s original vocalist, Dave Williams, who sang well despite having to constantly test his vocal chords when he growled. In an album that is this crammed with simplicity in instrumentation, having a decent singer is key.
Overall, this is more or less your typical nu-metal album. There is nothing particularly special about it, except that it is done well, sung well, and recorded well – alright, maybe it’s special after all. There’s even a few unique qualities such as random guitar solos which may very occasionally pop up. This is simply one of the best nu-metal albums I’ve heard, and that definitely means something since I generally despise nu-metal. The lyrics may be abysmal, but they only add to the fun. I leave you with the lyrics to the song ‘Bloodshot’:
Don't you fuck with me
Don't you fuck with her
Don't you fuck with me
Bloodshot Bloodshot (x2)