Survival Of The Sickest Review

artist: Saliva date: 01/13/2005 category: compact discs
Saliva: Survival Of The Sickest
Released: Aug 17, 2004
Genre: Rock
Styles: Hard Rock, Post-Grunge
Number Of Tracks: 14
"Survival Of The Sickest" is a big step forward for Saliva. The band refuse rap-metal of their previous records for the sake of angry hard-rock.
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 8.7
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overall: 7.3
Survival Of The Sickest Reviewed by: UG Team, on september 03, 2004
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Sound: "Survival Of The Sickest" is the fourth major release of the Memphis band Saliva. In contrast to their previous albums, on "Survival" Saliva decided to refuse their usual rap-metal sounding and try something new. The band grew in terms of the sound quality -- this record got more professional sound which, besides, hasn't lost its own appeal. The actual style of this new record can be described as angry hard-rock with a thin coating of alternative metal. The endeavour to master new grounds is rather a good attempt, however they should be afraid to spill over into a slightly commercialized music. On "Survival" Saliva is moving far away from their own well-trodden rap-metal road and jumping between several music styles. Thus, there are no absolutely identical tracks to concider the album monotonous. The opening tune "Rock & Roll Revolution" is the bridge between their early and current sounding where you can find Josey Scott (vocal) rapping and screaming together with low tuned agressive guitars. Very impressive start for the album. Second track "Bait & Switch" is hard-rock tribute to the classics of Guns N' Roses with a really nice vocals. It's necessary to note a perfect work of guitarists Chris D'Abaldo and Wayne Swinny in "One Night Only". "Survival Of The Sickest" -- the both lead-off single and the title track -- is a very amusing and catchy track with a good work of the whole band. The following "No Regrets Vol. 2" and 7th "Open Eyes" are the only slow tracks on "Survival" -- a 'pause' between the rest of "Survival"'s heavy and speed tracks. [Ok, ok... "Razor's Age" isn't a speedy metal too, but it's a different story.] "Two Steps Back" is one of that outstanding tracks with catchy melody and a patriotic lyrics. "Fuck All Y'all" is a headbanging track from start to finish -- with Scott's Hetfield-like [of Metallica] vocals its sound absorbed the best traditions of metal. The only good thing on "I Want You" is the impressive job of bassist Dave Novotny and drummer Paul Crosby. "Razor's Edge" features 3 Doors Down singer Brad Arnold. In my humble opinion, this is the best track of "Survaival". That song has a future with no doubt -- it has that impressive alternation of slow and soft verses with hard and grinding choruses. I will leave "No Hard" for the fans and move straight to the hidden track. There is a short 5-sec gap on the CD before "Sex, Drugs & Rock N Roll" knocks you back in your seat. This song, with expressive vocals and smooth guitar solo, is a perfect ending for the album. // 8

Lyrics: In regards to the lyrics, Scott hasn't improved his songwriting skills. Overall lyrics aren't great except for some eminent patterns. As against to Scott's bandmates -- which have learned a couple new licks and scales since their previous album -- Scott uses the same old whiny opus about difficulties of rockstar's life. It's evident that lyrics aren't a strong side of Saliva, but just an addition to the music. As to the Scott's vocal skills -- he is a talented singer. He hasn't his own whatever manner of execution and it's always interesting to look forward to what surprise has he prepared for this time. Unlike earlier albums of Saliva, Scott's voice became more melodic, emotional and... argh... whiny. // 6

Overall Impression: "Survival Of The Sickest" is just a big step forward for the band. It shows that the band (minus frontman) improved significantly -- barring some of the tracks, it's a perfectly composed and produced record of talanted musicians. It worth getting some of the previous Saliva's records to compare how the band rose from the customary astringent alternative/rap-metal sound to their own style. There are still a few things that could use some improvement though -- tendency to over-rely on power chords and aforementioned weak lyrics. // 8

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overall: 8.7
Survival Of The Sickest Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 06, 2004
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Sound: This is most definitely Saliva's best cd to date. I really enjoyed the sound, because this cd has more of what I really like about the band; they still use really great guitar solos, when most hard rock bands nowadays rely on the powerchords with a variation here and there. The drumming was very good, the guitar was fun and hard, and the bass was good too, so I'd give it a 5. // 10

Lyrics: All right, let's admit it, Josey Scott isn't the best songwriter out there, but his excellent voice more then makes up for that in my opinion. It's awesome to hear a real good, tough rock voice screaming and yelling with the heavy-duty rock guitar behind it, especially among bands like the pussy Story of the Year and Linkin Park's whiney, nerdy voice behind it. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, this cd is a must for any Saliva fan, or any really hard-rock fan out there, and I would definitely recommend it. My favorite songs would have to be Rock and Roll Revolution (hardcore testament to the lasting power of rock), Bait and Switch (tribute kinda thing, Josey Scott is a good singer), and Survival of the Sickest (Just a hard-rock, headbangin song with great guitar). Although the two softer songs got old to me, I really enjoyed the cd overall, so I'd give it a four, because its better then alot of the crap out there. // 8

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overall: 10
Survival Of The Sickest Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 13, 2005
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Sound: With this album, Saliva brings a new kind of music and this is the best way to show that they are very versatile guys! They changed from rap-metal to heavy rock/rock n roll and the result is awesome! The guitar riffs are melodic and every song has a good solo. Even knowing that Saliva is one of the most underrated bands in the american music market, I'd like to say that they are much better than some mainstream bands like Linkin Park or Velvet Revolver. // 10

Lyrics: Josey Scott is a "lost prophet" because he's a genium and there are not many guys who understand that he's a pure poet. His voice will stay in your head for a long time if you hear this album because he can scream, as well as sing powerful ballads like "Open Eyes." In this album, the lyrics are more agressive (specially if you get the non-clear version). There is only one track that I don't like that much: "Two Steps Back." I think that to enjoy the album, you need to listen to "Survival Of The Sickest," "Open Eyes," "No Hard Feelings," "Razor's Edge" (my favourite) and "Carry On." Just give it a try! // 10

Overall Impression: In conclusion, this is a must-have for any Saliva fan and for everyone who loves real rock stuff. This is the way they should have always been because they really know how to rock! In comparison with "Back Into Your System" and "Every Six Second," this album is the best! Josey's voice is better than ever, the guitar riffs are more melodic and fast and the solos are also much better. If you see this album, don't hesitate to buy it because if you don't, you'll miss a masterpiece! // 10

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