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First word about SpineShank - they are NOT your typical band. Yes indeed they play music. But in my mind they play the music of the gods - a kind of full on hardcore rock that's very loud (most of the time) with no quiet sequences. But then again, when you're on a train and you put your CD player on to shut off other people talking, why would you want quiet music. SpineShank delivers by pumping your ear-holes with a full on blast that imitates the vigour of Slipknot or Stone Sour but without the obscenities. SO instead of your parents complaining about the rude words, they'll complain about the loud music. This album retails at various music stores at various prices: Virgin £16.99 My local good music shop: £9.99 Amazon £11.99 + P&P (1st Class delivery) HMV £16.99 CD-WOW £11.99 (Free P&P) (Delivery in UK 5-7 days after dispatch) So where you buy it from is entirely up to you. On the music side of things, this album delivers a vast number of good tracks: New Disease Asthmatic Detached The Height Of Callousness (incidentally the name if the album) Which all offer a hard-core full-on music and entertainment experience! All the drums and the guitars mix in such a way that lifts me into a place higher than ecstasy, if you know what I mean. I came across SpineShank after watching the video for New Disease on MTV. The video seemed weird, yet it was the music that I liked (BTW I didn't have Kerrang at the time) so I went onto the Internet to hear some snippets and then bought the album at my local good music shop. So how does SpineShank compare with other music groups? Well while this maybe SpineShanks second album (The first one was Strictly Diesel, the newest one is Self Destructive Pattern, released July 14th 2003), I'd buy this over Coldplay, Blur, David Gray, The Darkness and Radiohead. Yes that's right, Coldplay's Record breaking albu
m A Rush of Blood To The Head doesn't even come close to SpineShank - the newest band in my charts. So take the hint - like Good Charlotte, Slipknot, SUm41, Blink182, Stone Sour or Linkin Park? Then go for SPINESHANK - THE HEIGHT OF CALLOUSNESS Advantages: Cheap The middle Album of the three Unlimiting enjoyment Relatively Unknown band, therefore not liable to huge amounts of piracy Disadvantages: You haven't got it!!! qrf1
Lets start off by saying I love Spineshank. I've only liked them since I saw the video of 'Synthetic' on MTV2 but from that day I've loved Spineshank. The Height of Callousness is pure geneous. From the pure anger of 'Height of Callousness' the song on the album to the........well pure anger of every other song on the album. It is nothinng but NU-metal all the way through and this is one of the bands which give NU-Metal its good name. Spineshank have surely out done themselves this time and it is going to be hard to top it. This is one of my favourite albums of all time and why not! it is great. Some people do not like this album because they say it is a lot of the same songs but the only thing that is the same really is the style of the music. You can tell by this album that the members of Spineshank enjoy to shout and swear on the odd few occassions but that doesn't matter. With songs released from this album like 'Synthetic' and 'New Desease' I'm suprised that everyone hasn't bought this yet. I have not been a fan of Spineshank for that long but I know what I like and I know I like this. People are going to say to you that they are rubbish because they are not that well known as bands like Korn or Limp Bizkit but don't let that put you off. When you go into a music shop with this album on your mind get it because you will regret it if you don't. Also don't be put off NU-Metal because of Bands like Linkin Park or Papa Roach you have to explore the NU-Metal genre to like it.
The follow up to SpineShank's under-rated 1998 debut 'Strictly Diesel' instantly hits you with brutality as soon as the first track 'Asthmatic' begins blasting out from your stereo. It sets the fast-paced, heavy atmosphere which is present throughout the album, grabbing you and forcing you to take in the screaming vocals and punishing riffs which make this such a joy to listen to. 'The Height Of Callousness' was one of the heaviest albums of 2000, however it does include a couple of slightly more melodic tracks, while not letting up on the brutality, they allow some beautiful tunes to shine though - these have received heavy airplay on television music stations such as Kerrang TV, proving that SpineShank are a force to be reckoned with. Anyone into metal should enjoy, if not worship this release - and with their upcoming September tour of the UK you would be doing yourself a favour to find out about the band now, as they are a superb live package, as well as being excellent on CD. Highly recommended.
Wow! Is this the same Spineshank that released Strictly Diesal back in '98? They have certainly come on leaps and bounds since their messed up drug days, going from a second rate metal act to top quality stuff. With 11 songs, it is perhaps ever so slightly short, but the amazing riffs and pounding tracks certainly make up for it. Any album producing 4 not only brilliant tracks, but anthems in their own right has got to worth a closer look. As soon as the opening riff of Asthmatic rips into your ears you know you're onto something good. But perhaps it's a one off? Luckily not! There isn't a single track I would consider 2nd rate on the entire album. If you're just getting into the metal scene, or looking to expand your existing collection I strongly recommend Spineshank. This really is a quality recording.
I first heard Spineshank wehn the video for "Synthetic" (the first release from this album, The Height of Callousness) appeared on the MTV2 Metal Hammer Riot, and I loved the song. However, once their next single, "New Disease" (which I also think is really cool), came out it was obvious that the formerly underground Spineshank had fallen into the metal popularity craze that was started with Limp Bizkit over the 2000/2001 border, and has no sign of ending any time soon. Personally, I got into metal at about the same time as this, but was introduced to punk (the Offspring to start with) by my friend who'd liked that music for years. It was only when Rollin' came out that I realised the metal world was fast becoming popular among some people who didn't even appreciate it fully. However, although Spineshank have obviously changed their style from their first album (the unfortunately poor "Diesel Power"), the songs are still pretty cool. _____________________________________________ The album begins with the loud, fast beat of album opener "Asthmatic." Without giving us a chance to breathe or any form of intro we are thrust right into the heavy instrumentals, and a scream soon informs us that vocalist Johnny Santos is also present. The song is good, and an excellent choice as album opener. It seems to sum up all of Spineshank's music, with Santos' screaming vocals aided by more melodic singing by himself. The back up vocals of the bass player are also present, as they are in all the other songs. The song is of average length, and is good to listen to- possibly one of the album's highlights. _____________________________________________ Possibly my favourite track on the album soon begins on track two, with the album's title track "The Height of Callousness." With fantastic use of varying volumes and amazing instrument-playing, this song is p
robably the band at their finest. However, it's not the most radio-friendly song on the album, and not the kind to play to your mother if she's the kind of person who'd be offended easily by a word beginning with "f" that seems quite present in the track. Great song. _____________________________________________ Track three is the song most people have heard, the pretty cool "Synthetic." Compared to the rest of the album I don't think this song sounds as good without a video, and is the kind that would be picked as a single due to its slight change in style. (I wouldn't say it's sellout, but it's definitely more accessible). However, the screaming vocals are ever-present, as are very cool back-up shouts by the bassist that do make the song sound a lot better. For anyone unsure of whether they've seen the video, it features the band in a metallic laboratoty of some kind, where a woman is programming some form of android that Johnny Santos teaches to scream (!). It's a good song though, with an intriguing background tune that definitely adds to the atmosphere. It's ended with back up vocals stating "I have become synthetic!" before the next song appears. _____________________________________________ "New Disease", in my opinion, is about the same as "Synthetic", but I like some bits better (although I think some parts are poorer). The video is obviously of a higher budget than the "Synthetic" shoot (as the band have obviously become somewhat more popular), and features strangely-floating people being grounded by a "new disease" in the form of a passing storm cloud. Santos' voice sounds very different here, as he is experimenting with different syles, and it's closer to a singing voice than his usual screams. I think this voice sounds better, and should be used more to act as contrast to the screams. Not a bad song though- pret
ty cool, with prominent vocals. _____________________________________________ Heading into the unknown territory, "(Can't Be) Fixed" begins with a build-up to Santos' slow, distressed voice. Overall, the song is more sombre and slow than others, but is still heavy and loud (or it wouldn't be Spineshank). The riff sounds cool, but I'm not too keen on the peculiar sampling in the background. A good song though, which is usually overlooked. Santos' voice is once again different from the norm, and there are portions of backing "ahh"s, similar to those done by Head (in KoRn), however these are not immediately apparent. The song teeters off to death at the end, which sounds quite good. _____________________________________________ Probably my worst track on the album, the peculiarly-titled "Cyanide 2600" begins with a sampling beat that just sounds dodgy in this type of song. (A lot of metal sampling I like- but this is just too poor for me). The tune sticks with the rest of the song, as do other, even dodgier, techno sounds, and the instruments and vocals are nothing very original. _____________________________________________ Track seven, "Play God", begins with loud drumming that leads into what is virtually a vocal solo (with some fantastic use of backing vocals). One of my favourites off the album, the song is obviously about playing God, and the song has cool instrumentals. I love the chorus especially, which is sung greatly and sounds amazing, and very different. I'm not sure if this is my favourite song over "The Heigh of Callousness", but they're both really cool. _____________________________________________ To me, the start of "Malnutrition" sounds like a rip-off of Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People." The song is cool though, and is possibly the album's heaviest offering. The only dodgy part is a weir
d electronic sound that begins about half way through, but the Beautiful People-esque riff is definitely the song's high point. There also seems to be an equal balance between regular and backing vocals, which is a bit of welcome variation. _____________________________________________ Track nine, "Seamless", is lead into by "Malnutrition". It's got great talky-shouty vocals accompanied by a relatively quiet guitar riff. The chorus is once again amazing, and the song is overall a very good offering, and definitely worth listening to. I wouldn't say it's my favourite track though, but it certainly comes close. _____________________________________________ "Negative Space" is a big instrument-fest with loud drums, bass and guitar at the start, and there's more sampling (but this time it's standable. Still not amazing though). The riff sounds really good as well, and silence is used effectively- I just don't like the idea of it. The song is slow, on parr with "(Can't Be) Fixed", but isn't memorable. I think it's good though, and it's good that it was included on the album. _____________________________________________ The final track on the album is "Transparent", and the vocals sound even more relentless here, with Santos really going overboard on angry shouting. The chorus is melodic again, and overall the track makes a good end to the album. It's pretty average speed, and an average song, although I do like the riff, and the drums sound quite good (if simplistic). Nothing fantastic though. _____________________________________________ Overall, the album does come in at a little short (eleven tracks and thirty-seven minutes), but features some great songs. There's not a huge variety available here, but there's definitely some apparent. Spineshank do seem to be a pretty run of the mill band to me though, even tho
ugh I do respect and recognise their individuality and flair, but with movie soundtracks about to be under their belts, it seems they're simply trying to get popular, rather than produce an album that will stand out among others. I got this album in a sale, and think I was put off buying it full price by its similarity and short length. However, worth listening to if you're into metal. It's not as mainstream as the band would like, but is quite easy to find in record shops. Simply stay away from the first album.
'The Height Of Calousness' was the first reward that I claimed from "i-points.co.uk". It arrived after five days, so that's a well done to "101cd.com". When I first listened to it I wasn't that impressed, I had heard 'Synthetic' and 'New Disease' on the TV and I liked them, but it wasn't as good as I had been expecting. However, when I got home from school, I listened to it again, it seemed to be better (or maybe I was just listening more carefully as I had previously played it at 7:00am, far too early to be awake let alone listening to music). I listened to it again, and again, and again, in-fact it was all I listened to for the entire evening, and by the next morning, I had thrown away (almost) all doubts, this is a great album by a great band. <01>Asthmatic-"I have become one with your lies" <02>The Height Of Callousness-"Drown the truth out until it all makes sense again" <03>Synthetic-"I have become synthetic" <04>New Disease-"Denial is all that's left now" <05>(Can't be) Fixed-"I can't be fixed" <06>Cyanide 2600-"Turn it on when it fits your needs" <07>Play God-"You're only dangerous to what is weak" <08>Malnutrition-"The contradictions you live have cancelled out the truth" <09>Seamless-"Everything inside me's dead" <10>Negative Space-"Sobering days, I'm dying now" <11>Transparent-"What i thought was right became my insecurity" Although, I do like this album alot, there are a couple of downsides. The main problem that I have with it is that there are a lot of electronic drum loops used, and I don’t like these at all (is this just me?). The second point is that although there i
s a general feel of agression in the music, it dosen’t really sound as if Jonny Santos really means it (the fact that a large proportion of the lyrics are actualy written by drummer, Tommy Decker might have something to do with this). But these minor niggles aside, this album has for now, earned the position at the top of my CD rack (A great honour, previously graced by such bands as Led Zeppelin, Korn, The Deftones, and The Sex Pistols). And after all, it was free so I’ve got nothing to complain about.
I have to confess I had never heard of SpineShank before I bought this Album, but now I can say I am a fan of them. SpineShank are like a cross between Linkin Park & Slipknot. So if you are fan of either of those two bands you will surely like SpineShank. The album itself is quite short it only has 11 Tracks, and an overall length of about 38mins. But this does not take any quality away from the album, the songs are great. I particularly recommend Synthetic, New Disease and Transparent. All of the tracks are great, but those are the three that I listen to the most. I would recommend this album to any fan of Linkin Park, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach etc. The songs are great, the only down point about the album is the short length of it!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Height Of Callousness
4 New Disease
5 Can't Be Fixed
6 Cyanide 2600
7 Play God
10 Negative Space
12 Perfect Ending
13 Full Circle
14 Height Of Callousness