Savior Sorrow review by Mushroomhead

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  • Released: Sep 19, 2006
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (72 votes)
Mushroomhead: Savior Sorrow
4

Sound — 8
Mushroomhead, the band that has seen it's share of conflict with Slipknot for their similar set up and garb, is back with a new record, new singer, and unfortunately, not enough consistently creative ideas. The independently released Savior Sorrow has some musically innovative moments that feature inspired hooks and melodies, but for the most part the songwriting does not make as big of an impression as previous albums. While plenty of attention will probably be focused on the introduction of new vocalist Waylon (goes by one name only), it is the other vocalist, Jeffrey Nothing, who carries much of the record.

The band's last record VIII was one of their best, with the single Sun Doesn't Rise, a haunting track that featured several different musical components that fit together seamlessly. But with Savior Sorrow, Mushroomhead (vocalists Jeffrey Nothing and Waylon, guitarist Gravy, bassist Pig Benis, keyboardist Shmotz, drummer Skinny, and Stitch on sample/turntables) frequently goes astray from that promising sound by focusing on overly basic hooks that repeat themselves over and over again. While the down-tuned, up-tempo chords that begin in many songs offer a dark and somewhat powerful feeling, they also become trite when that's all you end up getting by the end of the song.

Despite the disappointing trend many of the songs take, Mushroomhead do offer some inventive aspects on Savior Sorrow. Damage Done starts off with some nice effects from a sample, the song then explodes suddenly into a wall of guitar distortion. But what truly makes the song stand out from the rest of the CD is when what sounds like a sitar makes an entrance out of nowhere. With the song being primarily guitar-driven, the sound of a South Asian instrument -- or perhaps just handy keyboard work from Shmotz -- adds a whole other level that listeners might not expect.

Probably the most under-utilized part of the band is vocalist Nothing. Every time Nothing sings, he adds a fascinating, powerful quality to Mushroomhead and at times comes extremely close to sounding like Alice In Chains' Layne Staley. The band probably would be better off featuring Nothing's vocals during the times when the monotonous guitar seems to overtake their songs -- there just needs to be some other aspect than one guitar line repeated over and over again to make songs like Tattoo salvageable. In that particular song Waylon is the featured vocalist, whose vocals sound a bit too much like the harsh, unrelenting rhythmic sounds that the rest of the instruments are making.

Lyrics — 9
Mushroomhead's Savior Sorrow concentrates on emotional, introspective themes, and the band is able to communicate their ideas effectively. While not all of the tracks stand out as being lyrically original, there are a few that deserve to be read a little closer.

The theme of mistrust pops up a few times on the CD, and the song Erase The Doubt uses some interesting imagery to convey the band's thoughts. Vocalist Nothing sings, Come down from your thrown; And tear off your wings; Do you still feel so above; After the arrows sting? While the whole song does not carry the metaphor through, the opening line is an intriguing way to get the song started.

There is an emotional honesty that is heard throughout the record that Mushroomhead fans will definitely appreciate. Considering that the band does have a harder-edged persona with all of the members wearing X-face masks, a song laying emotions on the line is refreshing. In Save Us, there seems to be a plea not only within himself, but to humanity in general, to make a positive change. Vocalist Nothing sings, And it's all I've ever wanted to believe; That peace could grow inside of you; inspire of me humanity; I hope you're out there somewhere. Musically, the composition fits the lyrics to a tee and eases back on the distortion to convey the heartfelt lyrics.

Overall Impression — 8
Mushroomhead has a lot of emotion behind their songs, and it's evident in both the distortion-heavy tracks as well as the stripped-down songs like Erase The Doubt. While the latest album is short on guitar hooks, vocalist Jeffrey Nothing and the lyrics really have the job of carrying the album. Unfortunately, too many times monotony takes over and the band forgets to add a little bit of variety into the mix. A few more riffs sprinkled throughout the album would have made a tremendous difference.

The band has proved themselves in the past of creating songs that are immediately memorable and musically strong. Savior Sorrow does tend to get stuck on one guitar line too much of the time, but with the added extras like keyboards and sampling, the band still is capable of bringing something new to the table. While the latest record is not exemplary of Mushroomhead's best, Jeffrey Nothing's vocal style should still be recognized as one of the most distinct in the rock world today.

95 comments sorted by best / new / date

    philman42487
    amazing album, nothing has one of the greatest and most unique voices in my opinion. and as for the whole slipknot thing... everyone just drop it mushroomhead is much better at writing and way more origonal (and don't bash me cause i also like slipknot, but that don't mean i can't recognize the obvious differences) mushroomhead kicks serious ****ing ass live so check em out!
    fade2black2004
    ^ actually if you listen to some of micks guitaring in his other works they are completly insnae better than most metal guitarist out there.
    pariah452
    You guys are all idiots. Mushroom head as far as guitar is quite horrible. Although i like some of there stuff. Slipknot DOES have better guitarists but again THEY ARE BOTH VERY VERY bad guitarists.
    xSacrilegex
    Anyone who think Msuhroomhead and Slipknot are similar are pretty slow witted. Mushroomhead's much different from almost anything. Check out the XX CD and you'll know from the amazing scream while a heavy chord rings out and keyboard goes. They're nothing alike.
    korn-nut
    actually... slipknot write a bunch of "hardcore" (SARASM, morons) jumbled notes... last time i checked, mushroomhead wrote MUSIC.
    deathbyawesome
    If you like slipknot, you should definatly check these guys out. their similar enough to havethe same sort of sound, but their different enough to,weel bedifferent than each other.
    chobbsy
    why does everyone slag off slipknot? personally i love them, and might check out htese guys too
    Your41Plague12
    agreed, bands like this really can't be compared, partially because they can be so bizarre. i love it.
    lambofgoddess
    Mushroomhead had 2 guitarists, and with only one, and also a new vocalist, it mush have been difficult to create something of the same standards previously achieved. Slipknot are musically and techinically better than mushroomhead, but The Mush do have great sounds and are of a completely different style to slipknot
    pariah452
    i agree with Cwolf i dont give a shit how long mushroom head claims they have been around. That dude in MH didnt have those dread locks until later on. Probably when he saw corey taylor with them.
    MusicianMan13
    Oh my Fuckin God....Mushroomhead and Slipknot are ****in totally different..and MH came out like five years before slipknot didnt they...nobody copied anybody...so what its ****in cool to be a mysterious band and wear masks...all you dumbasses sure arent saying shit about KISS....JMann rocked ass yes and we'll miss the old MH but i think waylon does one hell of a job on vocals....slipknot is not even in MH's genre so why compare them : Music is different, Vocalists are totally different...and they are from two totally different places...the only bad thing slipknot did was sell out to a major label...thats it...this new MH album is different yes but i say ****i it...rock on MH and keep doing whats made you guys so huge after all these years....LIVE LONG TO GODDAMN METAL..... P.S. MH and SK both ****in rock anyways...
    NOTxTHATxGUITAR
    Fuck the critiques. I've enver given a rats ass about them before and I still don't. SS means something to me and that's enough. It also happens to mean something to millions of others as well which outnumbers this "scums of the earth" by far.
    W.h.o.r.EGuitar
    Gravys good too...he doesn't plays as complex inthe band as he is capable of...I've seen him (live and on their dvd) shred and he is a decent shredder.
    I_Am_In_Flames
    Slipknot f-in owns Mushroomhead wtf is up with all these ppl saying Slipknot is random and that they suck they have one of the most talented vocalists and drummers in the whole damn genre lol & Mick Thomson is also a great guitar player ..im better though : P
    KTFM
    guys seriously slipknot & MH are completely different! sure they wear masks, but hey so did crimson glory before them, right? stop comparing them! JMANN was an essential part of the band and brought that something into the music. this album pissed me off, nothing like the old-school stuff i'd come to love. Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde, Dave Mustaine, John Petrucci, Dimebag... they're good guitarists yeah? go check 'em out. yeah chad gray's a good singer but nobody's gonna have a voice like his ok? anyway point is, Waylon sucks and JMANN kicks ass!
    Freakshow92890
    Mushroomhead has been my favorite band for about 5 years now so when I say this is the worst album that they've ever done you may want to listen; And don't misinterpret my words I am not sying that this is a bad album just that they were not as heavy as they usually are take Dream is Over from XIII listen to guitar in that and not only that but the lyrics are still "heart-felt". Also with the subtraction of J Mann and the horrid addition of Waylon, the bad has lost their heavier more 'evil' side to their music also with the loss of Bronson it is no wonder that they do not bring the perverbail 12 gauge to the table to blow us all away like they did in their previous albums.
    XAliendudeX
    lol just so my mistake its all cool slipknot and mushroomhead don't sound anything alike and they're both talented
    Cwolf
    personaly i think turn tables have no place in rock and mushroomhead ripped off slipknots image
    pariah452
    No fade2black2004 mick thompson is not that good. You either just started playing guitar. Or you dont practise lol. Because seriously the guy is not that great.
    roosterfx1
    I presonally think ss is a great album. Yes the guitar riffs are simple, but thats what i love about it. Mushroomhead dont rely on stupidly complex riffs or showcasing individual talents, instead all the musicians come together to create great songs and original sounds. They dont use solos because they simply would sound out of place. Waylon is a great vocalist (who was hand picked by Jmann by the way)and combined with Nothing create a good feel. Of and Pig benis is an excellent bass player. He doesnt get enough credit.
    SkinnyWhiteBoy
    Insane Esp wrote: Also for all you faggots that say their guitars suck, who has the record deal again?
    wow... retarded statement of the year (that's said millions of times a year by noobs, of course)...
    worldgoingdown
    check the disc releases shroom was a year before slipknot release a few home twon only CDs like super buick....
    7_seven_7
    Damage_Inc wrote: Fargalas Alot of musicians play their songs perfectly and they should cause they made the song/solo mick is nothing special and that solo in Pulse of the Maggots sucks Ass anyways.Listen to Pantera,Megadeth, or Black Label Society. Then we'll talk about good solos. Mushroomhead continue to kick ass!
    you know.. just cos a solo isn't fast doesn't mean its shit. i personally would rather listen to a melodic solo that sounds good rather than an insanely fast one that.. has no melody. like chris cheney the living end guitarist.. he's very talented.. he can't shred like dime or zakk wylde, but nonetheless his solo's hav taste and colour which i admire. also mick is ****ing (sic). 7 for life bitches.
    7_seven_7
    Fargalas wrote: For those of you who say that Slipknot has terrible guitarists, listen to them live. They don't miss anything. And listen to the solo from Pulse of the Maggots. It's atonal, you don't have to like the solo, but those of you who can actually play it perfectly as Thompson can and does, can say what you want. *waits a few minutes* How many of you can play that solo perfectly? That many? You're lying. Mick Thompson is a guitar teacher, I'm willing to bet he's a better player than a good portion of you. Not all, sure, but better than most of you.
    this guy is my hero. \m/
    7_seven_7
    pariah452 wrote: You guys are all idiots. Mushroom head as far as guitar is quite horrible. Although i like some of there stuff. Slipknot DOES have better guitarists but again THEY ARE BOTH VERY VERY bad guitarists.
    i disagree severely, if you think mick thompson is a shit guitarist, i'd like to see you play his shit. even some of their riffs are hard to play. they both hav a very good right hand, aswell as left. just fucKin appreciate it. don't knock them just cos you hate the band.
    haunted_soul
    you newbs... everyone wearing masks now days should ****in take em off and let the world see their ugly faces .. and besides .. they're all copying KISS \m/
    eyezclosed
    you know, maybe the bands didn't wanna shove solo's down your throat every song. Don't get me wrong, i love a dime or a zakk wylde solo every now and again, but there are only so many times i can hear a pinch in a song. The guitar styling fits the music and as long as they are pleased with what they produced thats all that really matters, cuz posting on a board isn't going to make them stop making the music they do.
    Damage_Inc
    Fargalas Alot of musicians play their songs perfectly and they should cause they made the song/solo mick is nothing special and that solo in Pulse of the Maggots sucks A ss anyways.Listen to Pantera,Megadeth, or Black Label Society. Then we'll talk about good solos. Mushroomhead continue to kick ass!
    rockybo
    If you don't have anything constructive to say, don't post. No one cares that you hate Slipknot or Mushroomhead, seriously. This CD's mediocre, and Mushroomhead's last album was X III not VIII.
    dyingbreed88
    Wow...this is an interesting discussion. First of, once again, slipknot and Mushroomhead are DIFFERENT. Stop comparing them as the same. Second, I am sorry but Mick is an amazing guitarist, not the best, but still amazing. You don't have to play the fastest to be the best, but their music is the kind that stays with you, that's what makes him a great guitarist.
    dark_bard
    hey when i started reading this i listened to a bit of mushroom head, and these posts are starting to bug me, so im gonna have to set things my way here for a second first off, for whoever said these guys are shitty guitarists, bothe slipknot and mushroomhead, umm, its kinda theyre style of music, its not like they play and screw up, its like they play, and hit everything perfectley. they just happen to write easy guitar parts, a few "Great" guitarists have written "shitty" guitar parts. and oh yea, just cuase its easy doesnt mean its bad. and one more thing, mick is an amazing guitarist. second, slipknot and mushroomhead sound completley different, so i dont see how you guys can bicker and argue about this. lets not argue about whos better, i like em both personally, you guys need to stop being dicks to each other
    pariah452
    I will give him credit though he doesnt use a ****ing 7 string like talent less mushroom head.
    JunkheadJunkie
    Well I loved all of Mushroomhead's previous stuff and I don't really care how they compare to Slipknot. XX was my favorite album, but VIII was still great. And I really have to agree that Jeffrey should bring his vocals a bit more. Dang Jeffrey, sing your heart out!!!
    thebigal
    Ahh, Slipkot is in a completely different league to mushroomhead. Mushroomhead are pretty good, But Slipknot are awesome.
    Element024
    Hey Insane Esp this album was independently released....They don't have a record deal
    Serfius
    Insane Esp wrote: Also for all you faggots that say their guitars suck, who has the record deal again?
    Who doesn't?
    Fargalas
    And as for atonal solos, everybody seems to like Kerry King, who does the exact same f-ing thing. Except that with Slayer, nobody notices because they're so "hard," bashing religion this way and that, even though Araya is a freakin' Catholic.
    Fargalas
    For those of you who say that Slipknot has terrible guitarists, listen to them live. They don't miss anything. And listen to the solo from Pulse of the Maggots. It's atonal, you don't have to like the solo, but those of you who can actually play it perfectly as Thompson can and does, can say what you want. *waits a few minutes* How many of you can play that solo perfectly? That many? You're lying. Mick Thompson is a guitar teacher, I'm willing to bet he's a better player than a good portion of you. Not all, sure, but better than most of you.
    Insane Esp
    personaly i think turn tables have no place in rock and mushroomhead ripped off slipknots image
    First off allu *****s, mushroomhead owns, second off their guitars arent that insane becaus of their style of music.Their guitars fit their style, so they bar seven strings u ****in beginnners. and anyways, Slipknot copied mushroomheads images.Mushroomhead had masks first u ****in *****.
    Hatred_Heart
    alien dude it looks like u failed english as well so just shut up...and some good songers are ville valo from HIM and chad gray from mudvayne
    wraithofsouls
    OK everyone who says those bands are alike, just stop there completely different, people who say that mick and jim suck stop cause micks a guitar teacher ffs, also have you heard jims solo in get inside tastefully done nothing over complicated but cool none the less. Mushroomhead do rule or at least did, this album i got and chucked after listening to it a few times, its got none of the elements of MH i loved before and IMO was a really poor effort,its to muchroomhead what chimairas self titled is to them.Hopefully they can do better wih there next one.
    pariah452
    Oh yea mushroom head really have talen man. So beastly with the Palm mute bar chord palm mutes.