The cover art was done by one Todd McFarlane, so it might remind you a bit of Korn's Follow the Leader at first glance. You know, I know he was trying to include all ethnicities and so forth on the cover, but I have never once met, seen, or even heard of a black girl that listens to metal. Black guys, yes. White girls, yes. Not important. I also bought Danzig's Circle of Snakes yesterday, and I noticed that both bands are represented by the same law firm, although I can't remember what the name of that firm is.
Once the disk is in the player, the band never fails to impress. Apparently Draiman has learned to use his post-operative vocal chords. It opens with the title track, which is good but nothing to crap your pants about. Soon comes the first single, "Guarded," which is definitely worthy. After that comes "Deify," which is my personal favorite on the album. The chorus is probably the most beautiful thing David Draiman has ever done. After "Deify" is the current single, "Stricken," which is also worthy. One thing I noticed is that on "Stricken" and "Deify," Draiman comes dangerously close to vocal showboating, without ever going over that edge. He should be careful, because that's one of the things that ruined Staind. The rest of the album is solid, with mostly high points, but the most impressive thing is their cover of Phil Collins's "Land of Confusion." It seems the former Genesis frontman is getting his props from the metal community in recent years (Nonpoint covered "In the Air Tonight"). This cover starts with a better song by a better band than their first cover (sorry Tears for Fears, but they took "suck" and made it into "good" before, and now they took "good" and made it into "holy $#!?!).
In sum, definitely worth the money.
In other news, System of a Down has just announced the release day for the second part of their promised two-disc set. Here's the official announcement:
Six months after System of a Down's Mezmerize debuted at number one on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart, the uncompromising and outspoken quartet returns with Hypnotize, part two of a promised two-album set. American Recordings/Columbia will release two versions of Hypnotize, the band's fifth studio album, on November 22.
Both the CD and DualDisc versions feature 12 new songs as well as artwork by Vartan Malakian, father of SOAD's guitarist/singer Daron. The packaging for Hypnotize is specially designed to physically join Mezmerize and Hypnotize together, forming one unified product with continuous artwork. Additionally, the DualDisc edition will contain exclusive behind-the-scenes footage showing the making of both records.
More importantly, the albums interlock musically. The final track on Hypnotize, "Soldier Side" completes "Soldier Side Intro," which appears as the opening track on Mezmerize.
HYPNOTIZE Track Listing
3. "Kill Rock 'n Roll"
5. "Stealing Society"
8. "Holy Mountains"
9. "Vicinity of Obscenity"
10. "She's Like Heroin"
11. "Lonely Day"
12. "Soldier Side"