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Rhyme: The Seed and the Sewage

Here's a solid new release that lots of people are sure to enjoy. The band describes themselves as a mixture of Nineties Metal, Hard Rock, and Southern Rock which is exactly what they are. To my hearing, the Nineties Metal influence is the strongest, particularly in the sound of the guitars and the slightly-too- emotive vocal style. The songwriting is generally good, but it returns to the vibe of the 90s a little too often; people who prefer traditional metal (Judas Priest or Iron Maiden) or more extreme metal (Death, for example) will find little to appreciate here. The band also suggests that their lyrics are a bit more intelligent than most other bands. I didn't really think so. It's true that the lyrics engage specific political and social issues--the deadly price of beauty, the shallow nature of most parties, the nature and purpose of war, and others--but I don't know that having strong opinions necessarily makes lyrics any smarter than those of other bands that do the same thing. Compared to empty-headed party anthems, sure, this stuff is highly intelligent, but I still wouldn't base my own thinking on it.

I really enjoyed the song "Nevermore" not only because uses a word made famous by none other than Edgar Allan Poe, it also uses it to think about problems with demonizing the enemy during times of war, a topic that fascinates me. Why do we have to make enemies into the worst people ever to walk the earth? The lyrics for this song include some fascinating and provocative comments by Jimmy Carter, Henry Ford, and the Roman poet Horace on the nature and purpose of war that play, in a far too muted way, in the background near the end of the song. It was interesting, but too hard to understand without the lyrics. I really hated the way that Horace was cited as saying "It is sweet and fittin' to die for one's country." I don't consider myself terribly pedantic, but Horace's Latin should not be translated as "fittin.'" Just sayin.'

"Wrong," the Depeche Mode song these guys cover is probably the best song on the album. To me, it sounded far better than the original by capturing the angst, the heart-felt anxiety, of the lyrics in a more compelling way. Some readers may doubt my claim; after all, I write reviews of heavy metal albums and performances regularly, how could I give Depeche Mode a fair remark? All I can say is that I know Depeche Mode's music pretty well. I had a friend who convinced me they were good back in the mid 80s and I've followed them, more or less, since then. To be fair, I can't stand recent work by Depeche Mode, despite their Grammy nomination and their continued general success; to me, they sound tired, almost out of place. Returning to Rhyme's cover, I'd have to say that the hard rock vibe they bring gives the song a new twist, one that I found compelling and fascinating. This is a solid new release, but I confess that I wanted more of the songs to be as strong as the DM cover.

Track Listing:
1. Manimal
2. The Hangman
3. Blind Dog
4. Slayer to the System
5. Fairytopia
6. Party Right
7. Brand New Jesus
8. World Underground
9. Nevermore
10. Victim of Downturn
11. Wrong (Depeche Mode Cover)

Added: November 23rd 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1607
Language: english

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