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15 reviews/ratings
NOTHINGFACE - Skeletons Nu Metal | review permalink
40 BELOW SUMMER - Invitation to the Dance Nu Metal
40 BELOW SUMMER - Rain Nu Metal | review permalink
FLAW - Through the Eyes Nu Metal | review permalink
KORN - Life Is Peachy Nu Metal | review permalink
SLAVES ON DOPE - Metafour Nu Metal | review permalink
SKRAPE - New Killer America Nu Metal
MOTOGRATER - Motograter Nu Metal
40 BELOW SUMMER - The Last Dance Nu Metal
SLAVES ON DOPE - Inches From the Mainline Nu Metal | review permalink
40 BELOW SUMMER - The Mourning After Nu Metal | review permalink
40 BELOW SUMMER - Side Show Freaks Nu Metal | review permalink
SICK PUPPIES - Welcome to the Real World Nu Metal
SKRAPE - Up The Dose Nu Metal
LIFE OF AGONY - Broken Valley Alternative Metal | review permalink

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Nu Metal 14 3.57
2 Alternative Metal 1 2.00

Latest Albums Reviews

FLAW Through the Eyes

Album · 2001 · Nu Metal
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Along with 40 Below Summer's "Invitation to the Dance", I consider this to be the strongest debut release to come from the tail end of nu metal's mainstream popularity (late 2000-2001). I mean, you can't even argue that this has more heartfelt artistic integrity than the poppy label manufactured nu metal of bands like Adema and Linkin Park, who also came out around this time.

On the whole, there is obviously nothing innovative about the chunky riffs or good/bad cop vocal stylings of Chris Volz, but all these elements meld together very nicely on this album. The heavier songs such as "Reliance", "Amendment", "Payback" and "Scheme" are just pure aggression with intense screams and wall to wall badass riffs. The softer ballad type songs are a bit more of a mixed bag. When they do them right, they are great (eg "Inner Strength", which has an outstanding chorus), but some of these songs end up nearly resembling bad radio rock/post-grunge. The legendary David Bottrill probably helped steer those songs in more of a Tool direction rather than a radio rock direction though (I suspect this was also the case with the Bottrill-produced Mudvayne album "The End of All Things to Come"). Unfortunately, Flaw's next album was literally nothing but soft rock-ish radio ballads, which is not surprising at all considering thats where all the money was post 9/11.

Originally written for www.rateyourmusic.com

LIFE OF AGONY Broken Valley

Album · 2005 · Alternative Metal
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Easily the worst LOA album. In terms of lyricism, it has far more substance than the terrible post-grunge music that was rampant during 2005, but at times the vocals and instrumentation are clearly mimicking it. I can only assume this was due to the creative influence of their new record label Epic, aka the most mainstream, cookie-cutter record label in existence. The real disappointing aspect though is that nothing about this album is aggressive at all. The riffs and vocals are just too restrained for my liking. Most of the ballad type songs are pretty boring too, with maybe one or two exceptions.

Originally written for www.rateyourmusic.com

40 BELOW SUMMER Side Show Freaks

Album · 1999 · Nu Metal
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Right off the bat in 40 Below Summer's 1999 debut, it is clear the band are capable of producing some seriously infectious choruses. The opener "Suck It Up" is an excellent balance between the heaviest of nu metal (think Slipknot) and the hooks of early 90s alt-rock.

On the whole though, this album is somewhat different compared to later 40BS releases. There is a much more noticeable hip hop influence, not just in the vocals, but also in terms of instrumentation. Songs like "I'm So Ugly" and "Little Lover" appear to have some sort of G-funk sounding keyboard thing going on, which adds a layer of uniqueness to this as far as nu metal goes. My favorite song here overall is probably "Untied", a super emotional song which feels a little out of place amongst all the rap metal and proto(?) Slipknot stuff.

I would definitely recommended this to anyone with an interest in alternative metal and its subgenres, or just anyone who appreciates good, catchy melodies in metal.

Originally written for www.rateyourmusic.com

40 BELOW SUMMER The Mourning After

Album · 2003 · Nu Metal
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"Invitation to the Dance" had hints of Smashing Pumpkins-esque melodicism and balladry in songs like "Power Tool", "Jonesin" and "Falling Down", although for the most part the album mainly consisted of aggressive "jumpdafuckup" type songs. Here things are reversed, most of the songs are ballad-like in nature and there are only 2 or 3 songs which are 100% aggro nu metal. A few find a balance between the two directions, notably the wonderfully titled "Taxi Cab Confession". Overall, this album is really a product of its time. In 2003, nearly every major or semi major label nu metal band was being pressured by their record labels to make generic radio rock after the success of Incubus's "Make Yourself", Linkin Park's "Hybrid Theory" and Staind's "Break the Cycle", multi-platinum selling albums which all fused nu metal instrumentation and vocals with pop/post-grunge type song structures. Some examples of this phenomenon include Slaves on Dope ("Metafour"), Nothingface ("Skeletons"), Nonpoint ("Development"), Mudvayne ("The End of All Things to Come"), Korn ("Untouchables") and Limp Bizkit ("Results May Vary"). The only nu metal band that really bucked this trend were Deftones, who came out with a very heavy album in 2003 before going all artsy/hipster in the mid-2000s.

Originally written for www.rateyourmusic.com

SLAVES ON DOPE Inches From the Mainline

Album · 2000 · Nu Metal
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Slaves on Dope originally began as more of a grunge/hard alternative type band, but by the time they signed to Sharon Osbourne's semi-major label, they had decided to jump aboard the then-lucrative nu/alt metal bandwagon, which was at its absolute zenith during the year 2000. The grunge influence isn't completely gone on this album though, the vocalist Jason Rockman still has that deep, twangy style of singing people associate with the genre, but aside from that, this is totally nu metal. The riffs are sludgy, there are slight industrial/hip hop undertones and Rockman has a bipolar good cop/bad cop thing going on. In terms of instrumentation, this aligns closest to Korn, although, as alluded to earlier, the vocalist doesn't sound like Jon Davis or other typical nu metallers.

There are a few flashes of brilliance on the more melodic tracks (such as "No More Faith", "Fallout" and the title track), but the chuggier stuff like "Bitch Slap", "Thanks For Nothing" and "Stick It Up" just sort of blends together and is easily forgotten (yet I wouldn't those tracks terrible any means).

Originally written for www.rateyourmusic.com

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