The Heavy Metal Review

Review Roundup: Rob Zombie, Ghost B.C. and Killswitch Engage

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The Heavy Metal Review has been slacking lately in the review department, so here is my attempt to play catch-up and analyze the biggest metal releases of the past month or two in a Review Roundup.

rob-zombie-venomous-rat-regeneration-vendorAlbum: Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor
Artist: Rob Zombie

Quick Review: Rob Zombie seems to be another one of everybody’s favorite musicians to hate on recently, despite constantly putting on an energetic live show and basically being the closest thing we have to this generation’s Alice Cooper.

Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is a mouthful of a name, but the album itself is a concise 38:50 in length, and combines some of the industrial sounds back from the original Hellbilly Deluxe and The Sinister Urge with the more straightforward style found on Educated Horses and Hellbilly Deluxe 2.

With songs like the hard rockin’ “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy” and  the industrial tinged “Rock n Roll (In a Black Hole),” you can kind of guess what to expect here, however, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With VRRV, Rob Zombie releases one of his more consistent solo albums since The Sinister Urge.

Final Verdict: 8.5 out of 10

ghost-infestissumamAlbum: Infestissumam
Artist: Ghost B.C. (or just Ghost)

Quick Review: The hype around Sweden’s Ghost B.C. has risen to ridiculous levels and word has spread that Loma Vista Recordings/Universal Music Group – who reportedly gave the band a $750,000 recording advance – is disappointed in record sales for the follow-up to Opus Eponymous. I’m not sure if the last part is 100% true, but we’re here to talk about the quality of Infestissumam itself anyways.

The sequel to Ghost’s debut album is a good one, though not what some fans may have been expecting. Rather than going heavier, the band actually dials things back, emphasizing the Blue Oyster Cult-loving sound the group likes so much (with added prog elements).

Full-on metal this is not, but it is an original, catchy blend of melodicism that makes you want to buy a vinyl copy and break this out on the record player. Personal favorites include “Secular Haze,” “Jigolo Har Megido,” and “Year Zero” for instant likeability, but the rest of Infestissumam is just as good once it gets its grip into you.

Final Verdict: 9.0 out of 10

Killswitch-Engage-Disarm-the-DescentAlbum: Disarm the Descent
Artist: Killswitch Engage

Quick Review: Disarm the Descent marks the return of original vocalist Jesse Leach to the Massachusetts metalcore pioneers in Killswitch Engage, so there are a lot of fans who spent their teenage years listening to Alive or Just Breathing, with high expectations in 2013.

Just like a now-working adult looking back at their high school/college years with fonder memories than what was actually experienced, Killswitch Engage fails to meet the ridiculously high standards – and  youthful energy/crunchy guitar tone – found on the band’s major label debut effort.

That’s not to say Disarm the Descent is a bad album – there are plenty of moments not seen since the group’s origins, or at least The End of Heartache. “The Hell in Me,” is a great way to kick things off and “The New Awakening/In Due Time” pack a heavy back-to-back punch. Killswitch Engage creates its best record in years, but us old school fans are all grown-up now, so maybe it’s time the group matures and shows some expansion in its sound too. We aren’t getting any younger, that’s for sure!

Final Verdict: 7.5 out of 10

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