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Released: July 13, 2009
Genre: Rock 'n' Roll, Post-Hardcore, Stoner Metal
Label: Tragic Hero, Lab Records
Number Of Tracks: 12
Its dark as the second CD and loud as the first CD. Like their other CDs this album is fantastic.
It Hates You
IfDaysEnd, on august 06, 2009 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: First of all, I will focus entirely on the band's current sound as well as the sound of the instruments on this CD; opinions and other things will be at the bottom of the review.
For starters, the southern aspects of He is Legend are all gone in every single song. Now we hear a groove-driven HiL that tries(and sometimes succeeds)to mix in every song a touch of hard rock, catchy choruses and a great guitar distortion (which in my opinion is what makes this CD sound heavy in the first place).
The guitarist, Adam Tanbouz, succeeds to deliver riffs that are filled with emotion. Sometimes you will headbang, sometimes you will play the one instrument which we are all good for: the air guitar, and sometimes you will just sit confused wondering "What the---Why did he change that riff?, It was heavy as a french toast!" Also a wide range of guitar effects are used throughout the album, which helps add that special flavor to the songs.
The bass stands on it's own in this album, and Matt Williams does a great job playing it. Some bass lines are as groovy as Earthworm Jim, and never is the bass clouded by the guitar.
Steve Bache maintains the tempo of the songs, which is the same as Suck Out the Poison, no more fast songs like I Am Hollywood or 91025. The only bad aspect is that the snare drum and toms sound a lot more than the cymbals. But overall, the drummer accomplishes it's role. No complex drumming is heard in the album. // 8
Lyrics: Schuylar Croom's singing style has changed a lot since their EP 91025. His tone is similar to Suck Out the Poison, only that the raspy vocals are gone and so are the growls and screams (I may add that I DO HATE the fact that growls and screams are totally gone). Nonetheless, a great vocalist and a great voice. The vocal tones in the songs are varied and in some songs we hear "sing/scream" vocals (Note that it's not just a regular scream, but also singed. To be more precise, the ending of the song "Decisions, Decisions, Decisions"). Schuylar delivers a great performance, as usual.
The singer Bibis Ellison adds the female vocals in some songs, and while she has a different style, she also delivers well in the songs she participates.
The lyrics. Well, in comparison with earlier work of the band, the lyrics are less deep and are easier to interpret. Personal conflicts, random/abstract situations and reactions are some of the themes that are delivered through the music. Also, China White is transformed in a trilogy of songs in this album, the third part being the most calm and laid back of the three. // 8
Overall Impression: To be honest, I expected a little more from a band that has a great talent and has delivered a great deal of material throughout their existence. BUT, I'm not totally disappointed, the band indeed showed progression from their past album to this one, and it seems that they're still trying to find their sound, which by the looks of it they are showing a great improvement.
The first half of the album is really good. Dicephalous, Party Time!, Everyone I Know Has Fangs, The Primarily Blues, Decisions X 3 and China White III are in my opinion the standout tracks in the album (opinions by everyone may be varied, so stay calm). The 3 masterpieces for me are The Primarily Blues, Decisions x 3 and China White III.
I do recommend that you give this album an opportunity, being a fan or not of the band. Although they are still finding their own sound, they show a promising future unlike most bands out there, which makes them a unique act in our times. // 7
It Hates You
NeonBlueAlex, on october 12, 2009 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: After reading a few of the other reviews so far I felt compelled to write this, my first ever review on this site.
The sound is different. This is a fundamental and undeniable truth. If you've listened to I Am Hollywood or Suck Out the Poison and literally said, "This is the best album mere human beings can produce, there is no way anyone can top this in any shape or form" then you're going to be disappointed. If you're not one of those people, and maybe when you were listening to the aforementioned albums you thought 'Hey, Schuylar's got a real sick hook here.' or 'Shit, that riff just riffed my face off.' then you will not be.
3 years on since there last major release, and the band has 'matured' as some people would say. There is significantly less screaming than their previous efforts, but I would not say that that particular detracts from the album. There is certainly a slight drift towards rock (and hell, even some progressive elements in songs such as 'Stranger Danger') rather than the metal emphasis in Suck out the Poison. But it's still He Is Legend, you can hear it in the crushing riffs, in the gripping melodies, the swelling build-ups and the violent and frankly orgasmic climaxes that make up this album.
The bass certainly stands out in this album, more so perhaps in previous releases, but I don't find myself wanting to scream 'Shut the f*ck up' at the Hi-Fi, so I guess, for me, it must be fairly tasteful.
I read in one review that there was 'No complex drumming in the album'. That's a filthy disgusting lie. I am officially outraged. Unless Danny Carey wrote that review, then they have absolutely no business making a statement like that. Sure, alot of the drumming isn't super technical, but there were a couple of moments in the album where my jaw did drop for a few seconds.
I don't want to sound too like I'm brown-nosing too much. There is the occasional melody where I think, "Eh.. He could do better." or whatever, but really, the album mostly retains some of the top aspects of He Is Legend's sound, without it feeling like I've just bought the same album all over again. *coughkillswitchengagecough* // 9
Lyrics: Croom is one of those singers who could be singing about strawberry jam and still make it sound soulful. I'm pleased to say that most of the lyrics are a match for his vocal abilities. Whether it's crooning softly, or his gruff, yet melodic, yells it seems that Schuylar can pull off even the occasional less-than-impressive or down-right hilarious lyric that you might find on the album.
An example of some of the darker and moodier lyrics would be:
You know it's very hard for me,
To look in the mirror,
When there's no reflection of my face.
You're breathing life into brown paper bags
You set one down, so I took a drag
I can feel you in my lungsWhich contradicts the, in my opinion more humourous:
But you were standing in the kitchen
And you were covered in cherry pie.
I've been dreaming of sailing away
I'll build a boat out of paper-mache
But instead of finding these irritating, due to Croom's heartfelt and sincere vocals I find them bizarely poignant. I guess that's a weird testimony to his ability as a vocalist. // 7
Overall Impression: As I've already said, this album has strong flavours of He is Legend, but is obviously quite different from their previous releases. I'm in the position where I understand why people might be disappointed, but I find it difficult to see how they can't like it. I genuinely think it's a well-crafted album; it has moments of darkness and discord and it equally has its moments of melody and subtlety.
All the tracks for me are pretty damn good. I'd say my two favourites [by slim margins, mind you] are 'China White III' (Yes, that's right, the third part, although much subdued in comparison to it's predecessors) and 'Stranger Danger' which I think is an absolute blinder for show-casing all the aspects that I love about He Is Legend; it shows Croom's diversity of vocal tone, with an unbelievably powerful performance towards the end, it has the slow, crushing build-ups, chunky breakdown riffing and bass, delicate clean guitar sections, phat percussion work, all blended together for that creamy He Is Legend taste. And it's a well constructed song.
I actually originally got into He Is Legend because of Croom's screaming ability. That was what initially caught my attention and got me involved, and so obviously I was miffed that they've seriously cut down on that aspect... But... I'm not sure that that's compromised their sound. To me, I can still hear that HIL in there.
So for all you who have read this, and especially the I am Hollywood fanboys ;) : I hope you can enjoy this CD as much as I am, and give the band a bit of slack for trying out new styles and sounds. // 8
It Hates You
unregistered, on july 30, 2009 1 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: Best f--king thing ever. Done. Read on if you actually care.
Its dark as the second CD and loud as the first CD. Like their other CDs this album is fantastic. Only about 57 minutes but no filler and no "I'm skipping this... " songs. The guitar takes many interesting new directions, and the drums and bass seem to have more presence in the album. Each instrument has an amazing character to it. The record again produces the very not so typical sound that legend has developed with there previous albums. // 10
Lyrics: Yea, so its heavy and it has plenty of textures. Their first CD had a similar quantity of layers and sounds. The whole CD seems to flow together very well. Again the lyrics are odd, but still clever and brilliant. Schuylar has notably deepened the tone and the gruffness in his voice but the sound is still incredible. As always things are balanced and this cd is mixed with the same edge that I Am Hollywood has: All the parts are prominent and audible but nobody steals the show. // 10
Overall Impression: Well I originally intended for this review to stop at my second sentence but since the lid's off this particular can of worms I'll compare it to the other two. Personally I never choose which of their first two releases I preferred, but this CD holds it own with the best tracks from either. A friend and I discussed how we hoped the demo tracks released last year would become the final versions on the album, basically because we felt that there wasn't any room for improvement. That being said the variations between the demos and the final cut is either negligible or satisfactory. It just goes to show that this CD has had ample time to ripen and the copies in stores truly capture Legend's creativity refined to an amazing level.
Well that's about it its pretty incredible. This band is truly more than anything mainstream. If you're one of those people that is gonna onna say my review is crap save your breathe. I don't give a f--k. // 10