John 5
Songs For Sanity



by Siberian Khatru USER (3 Reviews)
June 4th, 2006 | 20 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

A good few people know of John 5. He made himself a decent name for his work with Marilyn Manson. After he split with them he basically disappeared off the radar. As I remember it was not so long ago on a boring Saturday afternoon that I found myself at John 5ís website. There was a little box up top that said PLAY so I clicked on it. The following was some of the most amazing music Iíve heard in a while. The entire song was completely instrumental and fully capable of standing on itís own. I havenít heard too much instrumental music, but I know this is some of the best. Anyhow, on to the review.

Damaged is the first track off Songs For Sanity and the song I heard on his website. It starts out with heavy power-chords and an absurdly fast lead line. It flows nicely into the verse, which sports a top-notch guitar solo instead of vocals. The chorus is a simple riff played repeatedly over a stellar rhythm line. Itís surprisingly catchy. Damaged gives an excellent first impression. Right of the bat you can tell this guy has some serious skill. 4.5/5

Next up is Soul of a Robot. The guitar intro is again a super heavy metal riff that builds into an equally heavy verse with another ridiculously fast lead line that he taps on the fret board. This song is more driven by the rhythm guitar and has more change ups. After a couple of repetitions of the verse all the instruments drop out and then explode into a vicious guitar solo. There are also some nice effects going out, but this song can get a touch dull without vocals. 4/5

After Soul of a Robot died down I was expecting another heavy metal song. I nearly had a massive coronary failure when I heard a banjo and an acoustic guitar start doing two diddely solos. Gein with Envy is only just two minutes long and doesnít amount to very much; that said, itís a refreshing break from the rest of the album. 3/5

Sin takes the album down a darker path. It stars off with an ominous guitar line and an evil throbbing bass track. It then explodes into a fast-paced frenzy of palm-muted power chords. The lead guitar continues to amaze with its rapidly shredded riffs and mighty solos. After a while the song slows down and reverts to the intro for another yet guitar solo. Sin finally closes with a neat outro, but I find that without a definitive solo or chorus it lacks enough structure to be much good. 3.5/5

Behind Nut Love is an odd song. It lasts only one and a half minutes. Itís an interesting acoustic slide song, but like Gein with Envy, it doesnít amount to more then a relaxing break. 2.5/5

Blues Balls is a stellar song and easily makes up for the three mediocre performances before it. Its verse is a heavy blues influenced riff backed by some nice piano. It follows the same structure as Damaged with guitar solos for verses and a catchy riff for a chorus. The soloing on this track is amazing. John alternates between wiffling up and down the scale and emphasizing individual notes. 4.5/5

Fiddlerís shows more of Johnís bluegrass influences, but this time it fits in better and has more substance. The guitar is heavier and more distorted then in Gein with Envy or Behind Nut Love and the song as a whole is longer and more capable of being taken on itís own. 3.5/5

Next up is Johnís nod towards his work with Marilyn Manson. Gods and Monsters has an industrial electric drum beat and some heavy guitar work. After the verse the song explodes into a viciously fast riff followed by a chorus of voices shouting ďHEY!Ē Itís sort of like Antichrist Superstar. The guitar solo is also mighty and makes this one of the better songs of the album. 4/5

2 Die 4 is a sad acoustic ballad style song. The acoustic guitar is very beautiful and is backed up by quiet gunfire in the background. A while in through the bass kicks in and the keyboards come in with some eerie effects. Itís a beautifully sad track. 4/5

Death Valley is a really bizarre song. The intro makes little to no sense and the guitar baffles me. Iím not going into detail on this one. I just skip it. 2/5

Perineum, despite its title, is by far the best song on the album. The verse is heavy and fast paced with some of the best lead guitar work on the album. This track reeks of heavy metal, and the chorus is a magnificent riff. Oh, and just in case anyone thought this guy isnít for real, Steve Vai does a guest appearance for two guitar solos. Thatís right, Steve Vai does a guest appearance. I told you he had skills. This song alone is worth the whole fifteen-dollar cost. 5/5

The album closes with another excellent track. Denouement starts off with an eerie intro thatís very similar to that of Sin. The verse is all right, but the chorus is what makes this song. Itís riff is very grand and epic. Itís a very good note to end the album on. 4/5

Personally I would recommend this album to anyone who likes metal or rock, but thatí s just me. I implore you all not to judge John 5 by his work with Marilyn Manson. In his entire career with Manson he only used a tiny fraction of his talent. This is a great instrumental album and itís highly underrated. A worthy buy indeed.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
June 4th 2006


John 5 has proved to be a kick @$$ guitairst since he left Manson's band. His new
band, Loser, is pretty good too from what I've heard.

Good review.This Message Edited On 06.04.06

June 4th 2006


I felt Manson held him back a lot. I'm glad he went for his own thing

June 4th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I should check this out. Very nice review.

June 4th 2006


I really, really need to listen to this.

June 4th 2006


by the way, that isn't a slide on behind the nut love. He does all the bends behind the nut, as is implied by the song. This means that every single note he plays is an open string on the guitar, and he bends it by pulling the string behind the nut. Rather remarkable if you ask me.

Siberian Khatru
June 4th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Dang, you caught me improvising. I didn't have a clue what he was doing. It sure does sound cool though. Thanks all for the feedback.

June 5th 2006


His first solo album was good, but his tone gets on my nerves a bit.
Still, top stuff.

June 5th 2006


I've always like John 5, but that "2 Die 4" song annoys me, mainly for the title. I'll probably check out the rest of this album soon.

June 5th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

One of my favourite albums in my collection =)

And I though Vertigo was good... This one is so much better!

June 5th 2006


John 5 is an awesome guitarist. Totally crazy style of guitar playing and incredibly varied.

Digging: Barrows - Imprecari Island

June 5th 2006


You've convinced me of checking this man's material.

Good review, but you could've detailed more on what exactly bugged you or whatever, but it's good nonetheless.

June 5th 2006


I was really suprised at what this guy could do...instead of just Drop D powerchords, he can actually play some damn awesome lead lines as well.

June 5th 2006


John 5 sounds interesting hopefully i can find it somewhere definantly want to check it out! oh and good review

June 5th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

This is probably the best instrumental album ive heard, Id take this over Petruccis Suspended Animation anyday. But I don't know, there seem to be elements missing here and there.

Digging: Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow

June 5th 2006


This guy pwns. Nuff said.

July 24th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

A great diverse instrumental album. Everything from metal to his backround in country/bluegrass. This man can play any style.

August 25th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

he is a great guitarist, my favorite on here is "Gods and Monsters"

November 12th 2006


i really wana hear his stuff!

February 22nd 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Good review - I mostly agree with you. I'm so happy I'm not the only one confused about Death Valley, haha. But this is mostly

really good music. I remember first hearing this two years ago and it being some of the most incredible stuff I had heard at that

point. The diversity of this album really opened me up and got me to listen to new kinds of music.This Message Edited On 02.22.09

Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Great album. It has to be pretty special musically to hold its ground without vocals and this does it just fine.

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