by sinnersparadice USER (14 Reviews)
January 26th, 2009 | 5 replies

Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

The Gravediggaz are commonly credited as "ushering in" horrorcore. Recordings by the Geto Boys and Ice-T are often credited as influencing the genre. And this group, the Flatlinerz, claims to be the first to use the term. In actuality, if you do a little more research, you will find that Kool Keith was actually the person who first coined the term. And when it comes down to it, all that really matters is who can put together the better album, and I'm sorry to say that the ball is in Keith and the Gravediggaz' park. Which is not to say that the Flatlinerz' U.S.A. ("Under Satan's Authority") is completely without merit -- to their credit, they actually do manage to be genuinely menacing. Moving beyond that, this album is not what I would call enjoyable music.

The Flatlinerz' sole release is somewhat engaging in spots - the occasional funk here and there, some genuinely spooky rhymes, etc. The problem is that most of the album tends to sound the same. As rappers, they are pretty distinctive, but there's not much else to them. The group, led by Russel Simmons' nephew, Redrum, has a wide variety of tricks up their sleeve, with vocal styles ranging from almost bark-like rapping to ghostly moans. But they don't have a whole lot to say. Whereas, Kool Keith is weird enough to keep things going at a steady pace, and the Gravediggaz mix different kinds of horror stories with a steady pace of drug-oriented dark humor, the Flatlinerz tend to sound the same throughout.

"Sonic Boom" is a definite highlight, with a nice, funky bassline and synths, and some truly oddball rhymes, and "Live Evil" is one of the better representatives of the rest of the album's sound.

I wouldn't necessarily call the album bad -- it's not particularly irritating or derivative, it just doesn't keep the listeners interested throughout. Their subject matter revolves around much around the same themes - serial killers, ghosts, zombies, the occasional marijuana reference ("Body n' a Blunt") and establishing themselves as a dangerous force in Brooklyn ("Not hardcore, but horrorcore"). If you like this kind of music, you will probably enjoy this, but it will only appeal to dedicated fans of horror music.

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user ratings (33)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
January 26th 2009


One could have extended this review. Heck, just highlighting some songs would have added an extra paragraph. With your second paragraph, you've got plenty of topic points which could be fleshed out with evidence (and your conclusion introduces new material). Nice writing job anyhow though.

February 9th 2009


Album Rating: 2.5

Okay. I added a couple of notes on the album's songs.

August 6th 2014


Album Rating: 2.5


November 1st 2014


this is interesting, its like a satanic tribe called quest

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February 2nd 2016


Album Rating: 2.0

"Satanic Verses" is pretty good.

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