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Released back in 2001 when Nu-Metal was still very much in vogue, Mushroomhead were suddenly and unexpectedly pushed to the fore, appearing at Ozzfest along the likes of American nu-metal peers American Headcharge. The band employ a decidedly bizzarre, gasmasks-and-boiler suits image almost entirely like that of slipknot, leading to various calls of 'copycat' ringing out at the time, but the band defended themselves by stating that they had been employing their image before slipknot had even formed (though in truth it was probably Mr Bungle that did it first in any case).
Mushroomhead have a distinct rap-metal ssound to their style, with two vocalists, one of whom offers up sporadic, guttoral rap vocals whilst the other croons in a style very much in debt to that of Faith No More (and Mr Bungle) singer Mike Patton. Indeed, the band merge their awkward rap/nu-metal stylings with a distinctly rocky, FNM style sound, complete with thick washes of synths, and whilst formuch of the time their output on 'XX' is wholly cringeworthy, the FNM worship does save the music to a limited extent, turning it into a somewhat misguided guilty pleasure as opposed to simply a pile of vacuous rap-metal garbage. The songs have a awkwwardly sporadic, even avant-garde quality to them, and whilst the result is not entirely successful the band should at leat be credited for having had the balls to attempt something a bit different. A deeply flawed musical experiment then, but one that is not totally without merit.
1. Before I Die
3. Solitaire Unraveling
4. These Filthy Hands
5. Never Let It Go
6. Xeroxed Listen
7. Wrist Listen
8. Chancre Sore
9. New Cult King
10. Born of Desire
13. Episode 29
Awesome album from start to finish! Two fantastic vocalists make Mushroomhead stand out above so many others!
Aggressive metal to the Max!
BEFORE I DIE - Fantastic, aggressive album opening.
BWOMP - Another aggressive track that will blow you away!
SOLITAIRE UNRAVELING - Starts a little slowly but builds into a fantastic track.
THESE FILTHY HANDS - Another great song...love it!
NEVER LET IT GO - Melodies and fast vocals combine to make for a very good track.
XEROXED - The first song on the album that I did not think was great.. although it is certainly worth a listen.
THE WRIST - One of the highlights on this great album... the piano makes it almost beautiful in it\'s own twisted way!
CHANCRE SORE - Good song.
THE NEW CULT KING - Great song.. vocally very strong although there is not a lot going on.
EMPTY SPACES - Unusual song.. more of a skit.
BORN OF DESIRE - Very Aggressive, very good song! Love it.
43 - Very strong musically and vocally, another highlight on the album.
FEAR HELD DEAR - Nice song.. a bit more chilled.
TOO MUCH NOTHING - Good Song, not as aggressive as some of the others before it.
EPISODE 29 - Good ending to the album features some strong playing but no real vocals to speak of.
The album also features a fantastic extended version of BWOMP as a bonus track. (Some versions of the album have slightly different track listings)
This album is one of a kind: Mushroomhead have a fantastic and very unique sound. Musically and vocally this is one of the best metal albums out there. I highly recommend that you add this to your collection!
Ohh.. and see them live if you get a chance... AWESOME!!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Before I Die
3 Solitaire Unraveling
4 These Filthy Hands
5 Never Let It Go
7 The Wrist
8 Chancre Sore
9 The New Cult King
10 Empty Spaces
11 Born Of Desire
13 Fear Held Dear
14 Too Much Nothing
15 Episode 29
16 Fear Held Dear
17 The Wrist