"Vol. Aleph" (The Brain Factory; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Have you ever wondered what your favorite Jewish folk songs would sound like if they were played by a heavy metal band?

Yeah, neither have I. But here come The Makkabees, with "Vol. Aleph," nine classic tunes that those of the Jewish faith know and love ... but have never heard like this.

On "Vol. Aleph," The Makkabees have turned these traditional tunes into thundering (and sometimes just plain grating) punk metal that will put a sly smile on your face and have you tapping your toe, if not banging your head. Most of the nine tracks here are heavy duty rockers that thunder along mercilessly in the style of bands like Mudvayne, while track #6, "Shma'" sounds vaguely like John Denver singing in Hebrew.

An interesting novelty and a well-executed concept, "Vol. Aleph" reminds me of Gary Hoey's "Ho Ho Hoey" Christmas CDs. It may not be something you play throughout the year, but there are times when nothing else will do.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.