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Probot: Probot

Dave Grohl has more than lived up to the pressure of being the beat behind the voice of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. In fact, you could argue that he's surpassed it. After Cobain's death in 1994, Grohl ditched the drums, grabbed his guitar and a microphone, and formed the Foo Fighters. This band didn't want to be revolutionary; they simply wanted to rock loud and make funny videos. Mission accomplished.

Now Grohl has gone and done something else he's wanted to do for a long time: make a heavy metal album. For his self-titled Probot project, Grohl wrote and recorded a slew of violent instrumental tracks and then sent them to "vokillists" (as the press materials for Probot accurately read) who had an influence on his musically formative years — guys like Lemmy from Motörhead, Corrosion of Conformity's Mike Dean, Tom G. Warrior from Celtic Frost and Voivod's Snake. Grohl claims he had no idea what lyrics the singers would write and how they would perform the songs, adding that every time he heard the new vocal additions was "like Christmas morning over and over again." All told, Probot belches out 11 original tracks that portray some singers in a new light. "Centuries of Sin," for example, is an old-school thrash tune that features Cronos of the seminal black-metal band Venom. Other songs ("Shake Your Blood" with Lemmy and "Red War" with ex-Sepultura throat Max Cavalera) sound amazingly similar to the singers' musical roots.

The best track here depends on listeners' individual tastes, but I'm staking my claim on "My Tortured Soul," which features Trouble singer Eric Wagner. It's a heavy yet ultra-melodic song that sticks with you long after the dirge-like vocals of Cathedral's Lee Dorrian ("Ice Cold Man") or the shrieks of King Diamond ("Sweet Dreams") stop ringing in your ears.

Like most of Grohl's post-Nirvana work, you're not sure how serious to take the man and his music, because you're not sure how seriously he's taking himself. But like most of the Foo Fighters' material, the songs on Probot are a hell of a lot more fun than anything Nirvana ever laid down.

Track Listing
1) Centuries of Sin w/Cronos (4:09)
2) Red War w/ Max Cavalera (3:30)
3) Shake Your Blood w/Lemmy (2:59)
4) Access Babylon w/Mike Dean (1:24)
5) Silent Spring w/Kurt Brecht (3:27)
6) Ice Cold Man w/Lee Dorrian (5:53)
7) The Emerald Law w/Wino (5:33)
8) Big Sky w/Tom G. Warrior (4:51)
9) Dictatosaurus w/Snake (3:52)
10) My Tortured Soul w/Eric Wagner (5:00)
11) Sweet Dreams w/King Diamond (5:23)
Running Time (46:05)

Added: January 30th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Southern Lord Recordings
Hits: 3409
Language: english

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