Mushroomhead
XIII


3.5
great

Review

by Mookid USER (29 Reviews)
February 1st, 2013 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Although the vocalist may not be the best screamer ever, and the musicianship can be rather artless at times, this is a riff-packed, fun, speaker-wrecking album.

Hailing from Ohio, Mushroomhead is an alternative metal/industrial metal band which originated in the early to mid-90’s, with their self-titled debut Mushroomhead. Since then, their sound and lyrical output have improved dramatically, with the exception of a few unwise decisions and rough mistakes made by the group. Given their credibility over the years, they’ve spawned numerous hit-singles that have remained glued into place for the bands (such as ones like ‘Crazy’, ‘Sun Doesn’t Rise’ and arguably their best song, ‘Solitaire Unraveling’). Even though this album isn’t a huge departure from the rest of their albums, it’s a nice addition from the band; instrumentally and lyrically substantial, if you will. Besides some minor flaws, this is a constantly re-listenable and diverse album.

The musicality is something very delightful here, with a wide spreadsheet of different tempos, and a sleek combination of both aggressiveness and mellowness. . Essential features with this album are the pianos, which are scooted in many songs to give it emotion and a haunting center. The most prominent song I can think of that implements the most culminating use of the piano is ‘One More Day’, a softer, more somber tune from the masked men that tells the tale of regret and longing, mostly with lyrics such as “You take me higher…..to the lowest place yet………..One more day to regret.” This shows the band can tell wonderful stories into songs and are not afraid to express themselves. As a sprinkled touch, a female-vocalist pops into play on the chorus, giving it more symbolism and emotional anguish that altogether creates a bittersweet feeling.

Looking back at the rest of their discography, and even their latest abomination called Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children, the lyrical delivery was pretty bland, uninspired, and just feeble-minded. But this time, though, the lyrics have improved and they are more proficient and intelligent. With this could come a more positive listening experience which I’m sure will be a great charm to most people. They have brilliant storytelling with this album, instead of just pointless rambling and angst as seen from their other installations. I’m not going to lie to you though, there are definitely angst-ridden and temper-swirling songs here, but they are more energetic and not so uninteresting. Lyrically, the vocalist has more of a darker-tinged side with this record, serving as a more shadowy album with a more heavvier edge

The vocalist, on the other hand, merits the biggest disappointment with the album. While his clean styled vocals are surprisingly harmonized well, his screamed vocals are nauseously bad and quite redundant. There’s little variation with them and after a while they start to sound horrid and monotone. ‘The Dream is Over’ relates to this negative connotation as the vocalist constantly uses his painfully rough voice on this track, and without any real use of clean vocals to balance it out, you get a jobless effort. However on tracks such as ‘Kill Tomorrow’ and the hit single ‘Sun Doesn’t Rise’, his skillful fresh voice begins to really show in detail, and this arrangement unquestionably marks an optimistic view for the songs. Both songs have that chunky, loud riff that is a major standout for Mushroomhead and this album in general. Fortunately though, his bleakish voice isn’t located through a lot of this album, and eventually diminishes through the latter half, making it relatively insignificant and nothing terribly unappealing.

This album is essential for the outlook of Mushroomhead, and is a great portrait to add to your collection. Even though the vocalist has monotone-tendencies with rotten screams and yells, the musicianship and their instrumental proficiencies make up for the lousy spots. While the album itself might be at times simple rather than technical, XIII is an entertaining album set for any metalhead or any general person.

Song recs:

Kill Tomorrow
Sun Doesn’t Rise
One More Day
Our Own Way
Crazy



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mookid
February 1st 2013


1485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sun Doesn't Rise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM5MyceGWbk
Kill Tomorrow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9SE5XlgfmQ
One More Day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYD-gSFnOuI
Crazy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6hcWddatQM
Our Own Way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S3_6_YKSJM

KjSwantko
February 1st 2013


9446 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album rocks for just working out and such.

Mookid
February 1st 2013


1485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like it. Always listened to this album when I was a bit younger

KjSwantko
February 1st 2013


9446 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Exactly; if I heard now for the first time I'd prob laugh, but the nostalgia factor from my youth makes me enjoy hear it every once in a while.

Mookid
February 1st 2013


1485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. I still love listening to this album, though. It's just so damn catchy

MO
February 1st 2013


18995 Comments


i haven't listened to this in ages, album is dec

Relinquished
February 1st 2013


25522 Comments


yeah same, The Dream is Over with Jens Kidman was one of my workout jams

KjSwantko
February 1st 2013


9446 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've always been perplexed with this band's contacts. Jens on this album, and I remember Gene Hoglan played drums in Jmann's side project Pitch Black Forecast.

Mookid
February 1st 2013


1485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know any band members sadly. Their masks are pretty cool though

BassDemon333
February 1st 2013


3414 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This will always be their best

MMX
February 1st 2013


4838 Comments


I used to love these guys when I was younger

Digging: Rancid - ...And Out Come the Wolves

Mookid
February 1st 2013


1485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Same

linchpin313
February 1st 2013


813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty much peaked on this one.

DeadToPain
February 1st 2013


694 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

They do have crazy contacts. I believe Meshugga's "I" orginally was issued by J-Mann's label too. I'm pretty sure he's bartending at Peabody's these days.

KjSwantko
February 2nd 2013


9446 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I'm pretty sure he's bartending at Peabody's these days."

Who, Jmann? Yeah I believe it. I know he still unites with Mushroomhead occassionally for shows; most specifically the Halloween show every year at the Agora, and the "Old School" shows they do every once in a while elsewhere in Cleveland.

DeadToPain
February 2nd 2013


694 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah, J-Mann. My buddy got 10,000 Cadillacs to perform their first show ever a couple years back, and I talked to him then. Said he was "Laying low". I went to go see Glassjaw at Peabody's after that, and lo and behold, there he was behind the bar. He does still do a song with them every now and again, I think he just got sick of the whole thing.

KjSwantko
February 2nd 2013


9446 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mushroomhead went down hill really quick when Jmann left. Personally I always thought he was the heart and soul of this band. For as bad as some of the music this band has come out with, Jmann has some remarkably powerful harsh vox.

BaseballJames
February 2nd 2013


376 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Still one of my favorite albums of all time. I'm digging J Mann's work with Pitch Black Forecast, though.



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