John 5
God Told Me To


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
May 8th, 2012 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: John 5's most accessible and interesting work.

God Told Me To is a departure from the usual John 5 albums, bringing a much needed change to his solo career. This time he traded all the bluegrass with lovely acoustic numbers, thus marking John's not only one of his most interesting albums, but also one of his most accessible work, if not the most. 5 always spiced his frenetic shredding numbers with different bluesy, bluegrass tracks, however, after five albums everything got a bit stale. So, here he approached his work from different angles while still delivering some of his finest shredding in a while.

The manic and brutal "Welcome To Violence" starts the album in style with John channeling and outdoing at the same time, Ministry's circa 2006's Rio Grande Blood type of trashy metal. Boasting some of his most frantic riffing and shredding in a while interspersed with short sampled lines, "Welcome To Violence" feels fun and refreshing. The next song, a cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It", is a definite win, John following thesong's structure giving it at the same time more power and groove while discretely inserting some of his musical prowess without turning this song into another virtuoso show off.

From here on, God Told Me To goes to extremes, intertwining acoustic numbers with heavy rockers, each having a sound of its own. "Ashland Bump", for example, is a cool, dry country blues number feeling like a smooth ride through the desert, while "Killafornia" sounds as if it was taken out of a Rob Zombie album, having a heavy industrial feel with John keeping his signature shredding. However, the rockers are often gifted with short, soft melodic interludes showcasing more welcomed changes in sound. While his other albums were exhausting at one point and mostly biased, on God Told Me To, John 5 manages to combine his rich musical background to a more effective and concise result, keeping the songs under a five minute span.

After a heavier first half, the latter one tends to mellow towards the end. "Noche Acosador" is one of the album's finest moments and a highlight in John's career. Reportedly studying flamenco artists and techniques, he managed to create an authentic flamenco number with everything in it from the genre's signature tapping to lovely leads. While it may not yet be in the same league with the best flamenco guitar players, it is an amazing start and addition to 5's ever expanding palette. The song is then followed by "The Lust Killer", which is the best example of the two combining sides present on this album. Starting again with a stomping rhythm and lots of shredding, the song grows to a melodic mid-part being slowly stripped to a short, mournful interlude, only to restart to a hard hitting finale. Of course, this is not the first time John 5 alternates styles, but here he does it with more cohesion, portraying his evolution as a guitar player. Also, last song "Creepy Crawler" is the ballad Marilyn Manson never had. The track is a sparse, melancholic number that takes its beauty from building an atmosphere around itself with faint echoed and reverbed guitar layers. It is one of most beautiful songs in John 5's solo discography.

Overall, fans accustomed to John 5's antiques will be pleased with the heavier side God Told Me To offers, while the acoustic side will represent a much needed change even for them, since all his previous albums were going in the same direction. It's great how these songs end up being the best thing this album has to offer. This album is a must for any fans and newcomers alike, but also one of the most interesting and enjoyable albums of 2012 yet. Also, the CD comes with a cool DVD containing live footage and a day in John 5's life on tour with Rob Zombie. Grab it.

Highlights - "Welcome To Violence", "Noche Acosador", "Creepy Crawler", "Beat It", "Ashland Bump"



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user ratings (32)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
May 8th 2012


9543 Comments


Cool sounding stuff, album cover doesn't look that special sadly.

Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012


3441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album cover was apparently done by Rob Zombie and yeah it's nothing special. Still, the album makes up for it. Thanks for the pos!

Also, I hope Jom can take care of those two lines in the second and forth paragraphs.

Digging: Mark Lanegan - Phantom Radio

Acanthus
May 8th 2012


9543 Comments


Yeah I saw those but hey, nothing you can do about it atm anyways.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012


4442 Comments


Well-written review. Have a POS, insomniac.
I may check this out, I've heard of him before and I know he's worked with Manson but I never really listened to his music.

Tyrael
May 8th 2012


20893 Comments


^ Paperback, be sure to check out Songs For Sanity, that's his best work imo (except for this one cause I haven't heard it yet)

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012


3441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^ Thanks Paperback! He's really cool as a musician and as a person. His solo career showcases his true skills. In Rob Zombie and Manson's bands he kept it simple, but here he goes mental on some albums. Songs For Sanity is his best IMO too, but The Devil Knows My Name has some of his most expansive works. However, right now for me God Told Me To is tied with Songs For Sanity.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012


3441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a lot mods!

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012


7417 Comments


I've never been a huge John 5 fan other than his contribution to Marilyn Manson, but this sounds interesting. Solid review too. Have a pos.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

bloc
May 8th 2012


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Looking forward to checking this out, this man is one of my favourite players.

And yeah that art is definitely something creepy.

troyofyort
May 8th 2012


6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Noche Acosador is amazing!

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012


3441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys!Greg, this album is worth checking out, especially the acoustic numbers, mainly Noche Acosador and Creepy Crawler. Still, it's a great record overall.

BassDemon333
May 8th 2012


3399 Comments


Love John 5, hes criminally underrated. Great review.

Digging: Slipknot - .5: The Gray Chapter

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2012


50502 Comments


This guy is like gay Buckethead

bloc
May 8th 2012


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

How can you get gayer than Buckethead

BassDemon333
May 8th 2012


3399 Comments


John 5 > Buckethead

EvilCookieStudios
May 8th 2012


9 Comments


One of my friends keeps raving about this guy. I guess I'll check him out, the comparisons to Buckethead have sold me, I guess. And just looking at his Wikipedia page, yeah, I can see it.

ZippaThaRippa
May 9th 2012


2434 Comments


This really isn't bad.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2012


3441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's great.

TheSpirit
May 9th 2012


17927 Comments


Buckethead is so much better than John 5 wtf

Digging: Wreodan Heahl - Laecig

YouGotLucky
May 9th 2012


946 Comments


theyre both boring brah



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