Review Summary: Can Geezer leave his comfort zone and impress us with a more industrial direction?
I friggin' LOVE Geezer Butler
He's undoubtedly my favorite bass player, and when I heard that he had a band of his own, I quickly went to check it out. Ol' Geezer had to find a way to keep himself occupied since he left Sabbath, but was this really how he spent it? After listening through this, I was left a bit disappointed.
"Black Science" opens very promising. "Man in a Suitcase" is really heavy and has a somewhat memorable riff and some pretty catchy riffs. Former vocalist for the band, Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, was sadly omitted from this, but his replacement Clark Brown is certainly good. I enjoyed the sound of his voice throughout this. It's really without trying to hard and going overboard.
"Box of Six" is kinda on the same level as the previous song. It's good, it's heavy, it's catchy, and it kinda feels like the same song but with different lyrics and beat. Despite this, it's still one of the better songs on the LP.
"Mysterons" is slower and shows off a more industrial side to this band with electronic keyboard and other atmopsheric sounds. The vocals of the verses are kinda generic and I feel like I've heard it a million times before in 80's rock and pop. Problem: this song is from the late 90's. The bridge and the chorus are extremely catchy on the other hand and stayed in my head for a while after listening to this. Too bad that doesn't come in until more than halfway through the song.
At this point, I started to notice how repetitive these songs are getting. They repeat the same lyrics and riffs over and over again as if the songs are just made up of two chorus put into one song. This problem doesn't really go away for the rest of the album.
"Justified" and "Department S" are extremely industrial; I kinda like the style. I think it fits Geezer well. If not bluesy heavy metal, then I can see him doing industrial. I just really wish it was implemented better. These songs sound like half way decent Korn songs, which isn't really a compliment.
"Area Code 51" is just a cool song. It's really heavy, and Clark puts a lot of effort into sounding a bit more brutal. It sounds a bit awkward, but still pretty good.. As you could guess from the title, this song is about aliens, and that's why it's such a cool song. You don't see many songs about topics such as this in metal, and this isn't the last time you'll see that theme in this album.
I am fully convinced that "Has to Be" and "No. 5" are rejected Korn songs. The former has unnecessarily deep riffs along with a stupid high pitched solo and terrible, whiny, emo lyrics and vocals. This song really is bad, and one of the worst on the album. The latter is just boring. No diversity or effort was put forth by any member of the band for this song, and it just drags on for five minutes.
This is getting a bit personal, but "Among the Cybermen" had a special place in my heart before I even heard it. The song is about a recurring villain in the long running British sci-fi series, "Doctor Who" of which I am a fan of. It's about the death of the Doctor by the hands of the Cybermen and-- I'm gonna stop before I ramble on anymore. Overall, the song is pretty good! Catchy chorus and pretty heavy too. Pretty much, if you're a fan of "Doctor Who" and metal, you're probably gonna enjoy this song.
"Unspeakable Elvis" has got to be one of the dumbest songs I've ever heard. The song is probably about how people thought Elvis Presley was evil back in the 50's, but it sounds like it's about someone being possessed by the spirit of Elvis or something. They try to make the lyric "Oh Elvis do you love me? Oh evil Elvis Presley" sound cool by having Clark yell it angrily, but I just can't stop laughing whenever the chorus comes on. This is probably one of the very worst song on the LP, but at least it's so bad that it's absolutely hysterical, so it's still worth a listen.
"Xodiak" is half and half. It's got a funky electronic beat to it and almost fun lyrics, but it's still nothing memorable.
The real nail in the coffin for this album is "Northern Wisdom." The album decides to go into an 80's pop rock direction for some reason and it's absolute garbage. No redeeming qualities to it and just feels like it shouldn't be anywhere close to this album. It really catches you off guard and it sounds more like it belongs on a Cutting Crew album.
"Trinity Road" picks it back up again, thank goodness, but it's still as bland Korny as the latter half of this album has been. Nothing memorable, still boring, but hey. It's not pop rock! You gotta give it that.
This album is a disappointment. From the repetitive songs to the Korn-esque sound, to the random 80's radio rock, this is just not really worth your time except for the first few songs, "Area Code 51" and, if you're a Whovian, "Among the Cybermen." Geezer, just stick with Sabbath.