PROBOT


"Probot" (Southern Lord)



Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Dave Grohl's long-in-the-works, will-we-ever-see-it metal CD has finally been unleashed and it's a surprisingly successful collection of great tunes, co-written by Grohl and his guest stars. 

An album like this demands to be discussed track by track so here goes:
1. "Centuries Of Sin" (with Cronos of Venom): Starts the CD off with a blast. A chugging wall of noise, buoyed by Cronos' scary monster vocals and a great chorus.

2. "Red War" (with Max Cavalera of Soulfly, Sepultura): One of the heaviest tunes on the disc, "Red War" doesn't have the speed of a Sepultura song but Max's over-the-top vocals give it real balls.

3. "Shake Your Blood" (with Lemmy of Motörhead): Motorhead fans will recognize the tempo and Lemmy's basswork here right away. Grohl obviously wrote the music to this song with the legendary band in mind and "Shake Your Blood" is a cruising little blues number.

4. "Access Babylon" (with Mike Dean of C.O.C.): Fuzzy guitars highlight this track, which features a speedier tempo than most of the songs on the CD.

5. "Silent Spring" (with Kurt Brecht of D.R.I.): Brecht's punk rock vocals don't quite mesh with this song's driving, heavy beat but the combination still works.

6. "Ice Cold Man" (with Lee Dorrian of Cathedral / Napalm Death): Sounding a bit like an old Black Sabbath song, "Ice Cold Man" is one of the slowest songs on the CD but has an eerie atmosphere and stoner rock throb that works well.

7. "The Emerald Law" (with Wino of  Place Of Skulls / The Obsessed): One of the few songs on the CD where the guitar truly stands out, "The Emerald Law" has a killer stoner fuzz sound and a rapid tempo. Wino's lead here is astonishing.

8. "Big Sky" (with Tom G. Warrior of Celtic Frost): Strangely sci-fi sounding song with a repetitious wall of guitar sound.

9. "Dictatorsaurus" (with Snake of Voďvod): This song could have come off of any 1980s-era Alice Cooper CD, with its simple songwriting and pop rock sound.

10. "My Tortured Soul" (with Eric Wagner of Trouble): With its heavy boogie riff, "My Tortured Soul" is another song in which the guitar goes to the forefront. This one sounds best turned up very, very loud. 

11. "Sweet Dreams" (with King Diamond of Mercyful Fate): King Diamond is not one of my favorite singers (although his new CD, "The Puppet Master," is pretty damn good) and he's hot and cold here. The song itself works well enough, but when Diamond rips into those high pitches squeals, it makes my skin crawl. Kim Thayil plays additional guitar here. 

There is supposedly a twelfth hidden track, but it doesn't appear on my CD. Let me know what you find on yours!

Sometimes, CDs like this one (with guest musicians appearing on every track) sound disjointed and unnatural. Such is not the case here -- each track is different enough to sound unique but still blends well with the other songs on the CD.  

Overall, there isn't a bad song to be found here. Considering the talent involved, that's not really surprising. Easily one of the best metal CDs so far this year.

For more information, check out http://www.probot.com


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 © 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 18 Dec 2016 12:46:21 -0500 .