Sound — 9
This is John 5's third instrumental solo album and it's full of epic shredding, creepy samples, serial killers and guest appearances. It is also his longest album, with most of the songs passing the five minute mark. The album starts off with a violin bow playing what sounds like something out of an old horror movie. It quickly cuts into The Werewolf of Westeria (featuring Joe Satriani), which simply slices your face off, fries it and devours it in front of your lidless eyes (while The Satch watches). After some more heavy guitar riffs and speedy solos, you're hit with Bella Kiss, an easy-going country styled song, leading in to the next track, Black Widow of La Porte. This headbashing track features Jim Root of Slipknot, who does a nice job with adapting to John's riffs. There are two covers in this album; Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N' Roses and Young Thing by Chet Atkins. In the first, John sings Axl's lines with his guitar, with incredible accuracy. Dead Art in Plainfield is a song you'd listen to to feel like a badass. In this song, John emulates Tom Morello's signature on/off toggle switching solo, and pulls it off quite well. The Washing Away of Wrong features Eric Johnson. This is a weird appearance as the song is very heavy compared to Johnson's work. However, it's hard to notice this as the solo he plays fits in very well with the rest of the album.
Lyrics — 8
Instrumental record. The only lyrics you'll hear are from the samples embedded into the songs. This adds to the creepy environment of the album. One particular sample has been glorified in the Harold Rollings Hymn. This is a sample off a song which a serial killer named (obviously) Harold Rollings sang before he was hanged. Obviously, John has done some more reading on serial killers since his last record (almost all of the titles are references to serial killers).
Overall Impression — 9
The songs which impressed me the most are The Werewolf of Westeria, Dead Art in Plainfield and The Washing Away of Wrong. All of these tracks contained heavy riffs with intricate solos to compliment them, which is what I love about John 5's work. I love everything about this album. The only thing that annoys me is how little country/bluegrass songs there are. It seems as John 5 releases solo albums, there are less and less bluegrass songs. However, the influence is still found in his solos. With insane solos, roaring riffs, and guests like Piggy D., Joe Satriani, Matt Bissonette, Eric Johnson and Jim Root, this album delivers a kick to the balls you'd be happy to recieve. If it were stolen, I'd understand. Then I'd get another copy.