Review Summary: A cover band of Helmet’s greatest hits with a drunken Tom Araya impersonator on vocals.
Entombed is well known for being a very versatile metal act, often changing their sound between every few album releases, whether it be the brutal death metal style found in Left Hand Path and Clandestine, the death ‘n’ role that can be heard on Wolverine Blues, or the groovy thrash metal on their DCLXVI album. No matter what they’ve done, their albums have been successes. There is no success on Same Difference.
Whether Entombed was aiming to “get down wit da kewl katz” by going mainstream or not, the sharp decline in metal and incline in hard rock based music is more than obvious. The abandonment of deep, growly vocals in favor for Slayer-esque, almost punk rooted lyrics, combined with the lightly distorted guitars with stock riffs and tunings that range from C major to standard E create a seemingly effortless and useless album that offers no value to death metal fans or the hard rock mainstream crowd that it may have been aiming towards.
As I said in the summary, the vocals sound like an awful Tom Araya impersonator that was found outside a pub, half drunk and with urine stains on his pants. LG Petrov will go down as one of metal’s finest vocalists, but its likely he will be keeping this one off of his resume. He just belts out the lyrics, occasionally changing pitch but often just keeping the same monotonous dull shouts that reminds me of my father getting on to me after a bad math test grade or something.
As for the songs, none of them are noteworthy. Simply listening to the title track, which is the best track here, will let you in on what is wrong with the entire album. The main riff for “Clauses” sounds like the moan of a cow in labor being translated into guitar, and it loops for what seems like forever. “The Supreme Good” has a few clean guitar moments, and it actually sounds good, but Petrov still finds a way to ruin it by shouting “COMPLEX SIMPLICITY!” over the clean parts, and the two totally contrast to create an awful sound. “What You Need” is probably the fastest and darkest track on the album, yet it still is about on the same heaviness level of a Tool song. “Wolf Tickets” sounds like a stolen Soundgarden song, and its also one of the lamest outro tracks I’ve ever heard. The longest song is 4:15 with the shortest being 2:49, so just about every song is about 3:30 in length, which is bad because that can often mean useless filler, but it can also be a good thing when the songs are bad and you just want them to end already.
If Entombed were a more famous act, I have no doubt that Same Difference would be hand-in-hand with St Anger and Forbidden as one of the worst metal albums ever, but there isn’t a mouth-foaming legion army of a fanbase at Entombed’s doorstep like there is for Metallica or Black Sabbath.. Change can be good: I don’t think anyone had a problem when Death changed to a new progressive and technical style of death metal in 90’s, Ulver has done a full transition from black metal to techno and people still love them, hell, Entombed has changed their sound with every album and done an excellent job each time. However, Same Difference is just a boring, effortless waste of 43 minutes that’s only worth owning if you want the full Entombed discography collection.