Jinjer has got to be right up there when it comes to the busiest bands in all of hard music today. Just examining their 2019 schedule leads me to notice that they kicked things off with the Micro EP, toured Europe, launched their first headlining North American run this Fall and somehow still found studio time to assemble their fourth proper LP Macro (Napalm Records) just in time for another Euro trek. Don’t know how they do it, but nothing but respect for our Ukrainian friends even if our president is a vile pig monster who tried extorting you guys for political gain. Continue reading
In a new interview with Metal Sucks, bassist Ryan Martinie has revealed that he doubts the acrimony that led the split from Mudvayne will ever be healed and that the band may never return from hiatus. The crucial second wave Nu Metal band released their debut EP in 1997 but has not released new music since 2010’s self-titled album. “Man, there’s always talk [about us coming back],” he said. “Which is a good thing. I’m fortunate enough that the thing that we made together still garners some kind of interest from our fans and for those people who may have wanted to see us and never got to. There’s still kind of the, ‘Man, are they gonna do it?” Continue reading
I’m twelve years old and watching MTV at Jennifer Mones’ house. I’m trying my best attempt at humor and charm, but a boy can only do so much while sporting a bootleg Chicago Bulls jersey. I’m crushing hard on her and failing but at the eleventh hour, this fucking music starts blaring in the background. I turn around to notice some outfit called Limp Bizkit has a video playing for a track titled ‘Nookie.’ I haven’t heard anything this remotely heavy ever. Suddenly my raging hormones and Jennifer had taken a back seat to ‘Nookie’ and whatever else was to be found on this Significant Other (Interscope). Continue reading
Life sucks and then you die. Which totally blows, unless of course, you are living your best life and laughing at dumb stuff on the interwebs every day. We’re not sure what possessed someone to create a video of nothing but the bass-slap intro of Mudvayne’s Nu-Metal anthem ‘Dig” from their debut album LD50. This rules and we can’t stop laughing watching it, and the hilarious faces bassist Ryan Martinie makes. This kind of makes us wish Mudvayne would get back together soon too! How about you? Continue reading
Invidia (the brainchild of In This Moment’s Travis Johnson and former Skinlab guitarist Brian Jackson) aims to be the sonic version of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky, and makes no bones about it. The track ‘Step Up’ from their début As the Sun Sleeps (Steamhammer/Oblivion/SPV) spells this out quite literally, even lifting a line from the film that encompasses everything the band stands for: “It’s not about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Continue reading
Once again Hellyeah has proven why they are dubbed with the name “supergroup”. This all American heavy metal band consists of many of the biggest names of metal to date. Including vocalist Chad Gray of Mudvayne, former guitarist Tom Maxwell of Nothingface, bass player Kyle Sanders (Bloodsimple/Monstro), guitarist Christian Brady, and former Pantera drumming legend Vinnie Paul. Release their fifth album since their debut in 2007, entitled Unden!able (Eleven Seven Music).
This in your face power house of an album will get your body begging for the pit. From beginning to end the album shows the raw talent of the five member team. Fast paced riffs, wicked blastbeats, brutal break downs, and demonic vocals, this thirteen track album reminds us of what it means to be “Born and Breed a metalhead”.
The album opens up with ‘!’. This powerful intro begins raising the intensity inside your body until you are slapped in the face by track 2 ‘X’. This track is full of a strong lyrical rhythm accompanied with powerful double bass, strong break downs, and mind shredding riffs. Then it leads my personal favorite song on the album track 3 ‘Scratch a lie’. Chad Grey brings those blood chilling screeches, and fast paced lyrics that made him the monster he is today. This song will make you want start a mosh pit at your family reunion. The fourth track ‘Be Undin!able’ is what I like to call the anthem song. Most albums have them. It is the song where it seems to bring the crowd together, though heavy and still has the possibility to knock your teeth out, it’s a song with a positive message and encourages us to stand together as one.
Next song ‘Human’ was the first single off the album. This song gave you the sneak peek of this monstrous album. Though not as heavy as the rest, it still gives you the adrenaline pumping, head banging feeling the rest of the album gives you. The album slows down a bit with the next couple tracks. Though still pure metal, it is just not as in your face as the beginning half. ‘Leap of Faith’, ‘Blood Plague’, the Phil Collins cover of “I Don’t Care Anymore” and ‘Live or Die’ bring you back to the typical Hellyeah style, the heavy metal outlaw, showing a little bit of that southern side of metal. ‘I Don’t Care Any More’ features some leads courtesy of Vinnie Paul’s brother, Dimebag Darrell Abbott, making an appearance via tapes from beyond the grave.
Then there is the track ‘Love Falls’. A melodic ballad that pulls at the heart-strings. Chads’ lyrics transport you to a heartbreak we have all received before, showing his embarrassment and humanity. It’s a refreshing song in the midst of such chaos and brutality. Then the sirens fill your ears. A short intro ’10-34′ that leads into a riot, ‘STARTARIOT’. This song alone makes me want to bleed in a pit. The impact of the drums, the lyrics, guitar, amazing bass riffs, all of it. It’s the perfect storm for a circle pit. Lastly, ‘Grave’. The last song of the album. Just as strong and in your face but has a nice fade out giving you a sense of rejuvenation. Like you just won a war. All and all this album is strong, fast, brutal, and most importantly, HEAVY!
In closing. This album is a must have for any metal fan. It shows the roots and development of our beloved genre. Combining southern and heavy metal together into a sweet harmony of chaos. I recommend this album to anyone and it will be in my playlist for a while. Did they make a great album. I say Hellyeah.
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I’ll admit it. I’m one of those dudes who would like to have another Mudvayne album. I really would. I’d actually settle for a final tour just to get a proper sense of closure for that band. But I’ll just keep waiting.
In the meantime though, the artists formerly known as Mudvayne, particularly guitarist Greg Tribbett, have stayed busy in a variety of bands. Tribbett was doing time with vocalist Chad Gray in the musically inferior Vinnie Paul project Hellyeah until he walked in 2013. Wasting little time he recruited Mudvayne drummer Matt McDonough, Skrape singer Billy Keeton and bassist Perry Stern for a “progressive hard rock” act dubbed Audiotopsy. I’m not sure about the progressive tag, but the music on Natural Causes (Napalm) tends to fluctuate from alternative metal to post-grunge.
On paper the idea of Tribbett and McDonough working together again seems awesome, but the angular and off-kilter Mudvayne rhythms are nowhere to be found here. The closest we get to those days is on ‘Distorted’ and ‘Darken the Rainbow,’ but even then it’s more Lost and Found rather than L.D. 50. And that’s fine because this is a new band and they’re capable of producing their own interesting moments. The best bits on Natural Causes are the songs more in line with grunge (God, I hate that word) like ‘LYLAB’ and ‘The Calling.’ Then you have the strongest track ‘Swim’ which also happens to be the closest to mellow.
Natural Causes starts to show its cracks with songs like ‘Headshot’ and ‘Burn the Sky’ as they feel more like placeholders as opposed to fleshed out compositions. It could have been a noteworthy EP as opposed to a full length that’s been padded out with ideas that haven’t been fully realized. Do we really need interlude ‘H20’ smack in the middle of the album or the three-minute title track outro? Who does outros?
Maybe we can chalk it up to the short gestation period between band formation and album release. These are the growing pains that lead to musical polish. It’s fine, I can wait.