Mushroomhead is a rather popular eight piece Industrial/ Nu-Metal band from Cleveland, Ohio. They originally formed in 1993, and were considerably probably the first band to actually wear masks during onstage performances (though Slipknot brought the idea into the open years later, before Mushroomhead made it big). Before the release of their album XX
and before the band signed to Universal Records, Mushroomhead were considerable a very popular local band in their state of Ohio, releasing 5 albums self-produced before being recognized by Universal. On this album, XIII
, their sophomore release on a major label, the band continue to expand their sound, mixing styles of thrash metal, nu-metal, alternative rock, doom metal, industrial rock, progressive rock, and hip-hop influences into one behemoth of an album.
The album begins with the heavy riffage of Kill Tomorrow
. The song goes into a heavy thrash number after about a minute of back and forth riffs, fueled with blast beats, only to go into a strong chorus number and back into heavy drum rolls and thrash guitars. The track does not fail to keep coming and never rest, and has some great keyboard atmospheres mixed in with the doom-esque riffs. The vocals are typical Mushroomhead, with one vocalist (known as Jeffery Nothing) singing in a very unique, nasal voice and the other vocalist (known as J Mann) delivering scathing rap growls and psychotic roars. Sun Doesnít Rise
follows shortly after the mayhem of the previous track ends with Jeffery Nothingís singing in his normal style and a drum roll in the back ground. J Mann comes in with his rap growls and a few quick slashes at the guitar. The song then goes into somewhat of a sing along chorus only to return to a mix up of steady riffs and growls mixed with nasal singing. Keyboard back drop also dominates this tracks atmosphere, which later comes to be the album's main source of unique, druggy atmosphere.
Mother Machine Gun
is another heavy track, but it begins with a soft drum line and melodic keyboard riffs, only to lead into some heavy chugging riffs and scathing roars from J Mann. The song then goes into itís chorus, which has lighter guitars and strong keyboard backdrop. Not one of the more catchier songs on the album, but a good, strong track overall. Nowhere To Go
is one of my favorite tracks on the album, with atmospheric riffs starting off immediately after the last tracks ends. The keyboards really stand out on this track, and J Mann does a good job on the vocals with the song (has anyone else noticed that Jeffery Nothing pronounces Ďechoesí horribly wrong on this song"). There is also a lot of good ambient breakdowns between sweeping riffs and apocalyptic keyboard atmospheres. The song is very catchy and is one of the stand out tracks on the album.
Becoming Cold (216)
is one of the heavier songs on the album. The track begins with some heavy, thrashy riffs and vocal duets between Jeffery Nothing and J Mann. The song has some good chorus melody with Jeffery Nothing, and J Mann gives a good performance with the thrashy riffs. Again, not a major standout track, but a good solid track overall. The next song, One More Day
, is the ballad song on the album. Jeffery Nothing dominates the track on vocals along with guest female vocalist Devon Gorman. The song is basically an industrial piano ballad, containing only some doom inspired riffs that come in throughout, which help build the druggy atmosphere of the song. This song is another one of the best songs on the album, and is by far the best song in vocal performances.
The tables turn dramatically with the next song, The Dream Is Over
, which is all focused on J Mann and guest vocalist Jens Kidman (of Meshuggah). Being a very heavy, thrashy, Meshuggah inspired song, mostly scathing guitar riffs and chugging riffs dominate the track. The song is a lot more straight foreword then the last track with Jeffery Nothing, and gets rather boring near the end. The War Inside
returns the album flow back to Jeffery Nothing and J Mann switching out on vocal duties, fast guitar riffs with atmospheric keyboard backdrop, and noticeable choruses that canít help but be rather catchy. Almost Gone
begins with what sounds like a motor cycle being geared up before an aura of upbeat riffs take over. Considerably the most Ďnu-metalí song on the album. The track has a bigger focus on Jeffery Nothing and his singing along with the grooving riffs and keyboard backdrop. The track isnít much compared to some of the other tracks on the album.
is another short, thrashy song, with even occasional blast beats put in the song. Mostly dominated by J Mann and his rap growls, Jeffery Nothing makes some dynamic appearances with lighter guitar and keyboards only to fade out back into more thrashy riffs and heavy bass lines. Our Own Way
redeems a lot of the previous tracks immediately with itís melodic guitar and key board intro, only to burst into a doomy riff with atmospheric keyboard backdrop. The chorus to the song is very catchy throughout, and is musically one of the best songs on the album. J Mann, however, feels a little out of place on the song, even with the chugging riffs due to his sharp screaming.
Mushroomhead start to show their more progressive side with the epic track Destroy The World Around Me
. The track begins with light keyboard riffs and melodies before going into a powerful guitar riff fueled with a strong keyboard chorus. The song then goes into focus on J Mann and some repetitive industrial noises. Guitars return in a chugging riffage and then it repeats itís focus on J Mann. The atmospheric riffs return along with Jeffery Nothing in a powerful chorus performance. The song for the most part keeps itís powerful riffage throughout. Nearing the end the song even contains somewhat of a guitar solo before abruptly ending and fading out into ambiance. Thirteen
is for the most part a beautiful, atmospheric, ambient track, which great keyboard backdrop and static elements and synths. The song keeps this flow until around 5 minutes and 23 seconds into the 9 and a half minute epic. The song then bursts into guitar riffs and reveals itself to be Mushroomheadís cover song of Sealís hit song Crazy
. The song is a great cover and is a very catchy song overall, and yet still manages to keep itís normal Mushroomhead traits, including heavy riffs and keyboard back drops. Overall, XIII
is a great, almost epical album by this extremely unique band.
-- Amazing atmospheres and musical dominance.
-- Some very catchy songs that will probably get stuck in the listeners head for awhile.
-- Very original and productive.
-- Great album production.
-- Some of the vocals get annoying.
-- A lot of the lyrics are rather redundant.
1. Kill Tomorrow (4.5/5)
2. Sun Doesnít Rise (4.5/5)
3. Mother Machine Gun (4/5)
4. Nowhere To Go (5/5)
5. Becoming Cold (216) (3.5/5)
6. One More Day (5/5)
7. The Dream Is Over (3.5/5)
8. The War Inside (4/5)
9. Almost Gone (3.5/5)
10. Eternal (3.5/5)
11. Our Own Way (5/5)
12. Destroy The World Around Me (5/5)
13. Thirteen (4.5/5)