They have an incredible name and a hilarious line-up that includes members of indie-proggers the Mars Volta, metal mains Mastodon, math deathcrushers Dillinger Escape Plan and... the singer from Alice in Chains. There you have it, music has become fan fiction. Their new record, Broken Lines, should be something of a heavy rawk smorgasbord.
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Just look at that lineup. I mean, this supergroup is so super that they’re barely even a group anymore. A real hard rock unit, this lot. Brent Hinds, Ben Weinman, Thomas Pridgen, all great musicians, pushing the boundaries of rock & metal in their respective bands at various points.
Then there’s the bassist from comedy metal band Dethklok, and, wait a minute, is that the replacement singer from Alice In Chains?!?? Little did they all know that the comedic element in fact comes from the latter, Mr. DuVall single-handedly catapulting this band into realms of hilarity that Dethklok creator Brendon Small only dreams of. And that’s saying a lot cuz I actually really enjoy Metalocalypse. But the metalocalypse is here, and this band is it.
So instrumentally you’ve got the 3 boundary-pushers I mentioned in the first paragraph playing extremely safe and mundane heavy rawk riffs and drum lines. There are half-arsed ‘prog’ elements thrown in as fluff; spontaneous, nonsensical key changes abound here, and pointless irregular time signatures fly out of nowhere to piss you off. But ultimately, it’s DuVall that kills it dead, soaring his cheap Axl Rose whine all over dreadful choruses and singing the word ‘diiieeieeeeeee’ with extra grit and gratuitous length. Am I old?
I’m disappointed. I had just started to rekindle my love for some landmark metal releases of my youth like Leviathan and Ghost Reveries, then along comes a bunch of spiders to remind me why metal can be such a bad genre. With the name of this band, the cover, and most of the members, I thought it had potential to be one of the best stoner metal releases of the year, but actually we’re At-least..In..Pains..?? 4/10 doesn’t even inspire good puns.
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