"Evolver: Chapter One" (Self-produced)

Reviewed by Jason Savage

Mega Volt Minority, or MVM, feature band members who each have a decade of band experience. A quick check of their birth dates indicates that they were all between the ages of 9 and 14 when they started! 

Formed in Bergen County, NJ in April 2001 by the former lead vocalist of N17, Kraig Marshall, MVM have shared the stage with national acts like the Misfits, Type O Negative, Mindless Self Indulgence, Danzig, Kittie, Skinlab, S.O.D., Cradle of Filth, Earth Crisis and several others. Now for what we're all here to find out: What do they sound like?

"Evolver" has twelve tracks that combine several elements including punk, industrial, rap, metal, pop and hardcore. Out of the gate, "What Did We Do" pummels you with industrial-tinged rage. Musically, it reminds me of Ministry except for the well-placed xylophone chiming that gives it that marching-band-at-the-big-game feel with lots of loud guitars mixed amid the machine sounds. It's a great blend of Ministry, Fear Factory and Rammstein.

Vocally, there is quite a variety going on simultaneously and it comes across very busy sounding. I'm not sure if this is just Kraig doing several overdubs or all of them sounding off in unison. There is lower harmonizing that reminds me of Flaw meets Depeche Mode mixed in with hardcore growls and another higher voice. The rap elements aren't too overbearing and sound more like Machine Head. "Turning Gray" and "Last Days" are two of their pop-soaked tracks and they manage to do their best Scottish accent, reminding me of Big Country or the Proclaimers. The last few songs are slower and melodic. "Find My Way" is full of memorable sing-along vocal hooks while "Lonely Road" is sure to get the lighters flaming.

Overall, I really liked MVM. They managed to inter-mingle several genres that are definitely strange bed fellows but have pulled it off beautifully. There are enough heavy tunes to please most metalheads and industrial fans alike with a hint of new wave for fans that lived through the Decade of Decadence! Bring on the record labels!

Mega Volt Minority: Kraig Marshall - Lead vocals/programming; Steven Bishop - Bass/vocals; Ted Delgreco - Guitar/vocals; Chad Anthony - Drums/vocals.

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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 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:46 -0400.