"Laced" (Elektra; 1999)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Imagine the power of Rage Against The Machine, mixed with the precision of Helmet, and the passion of System Of A Down and you get Boston's Reveille (rhymes with heavily). While Reveille are not as good as the bands just mentioned, the band does manage to produce an original sound while borrowing from the previously mentioned artists. This rap-metal hybrid is more focused on rap than metal although the guitars play an instrumental role in keeping the songs heavy.

Most songs feature Head-like and Munky-ish screeches and guitar noises similar to Korn's debut disc. "The Phoenix," "Butterfly," and "Aftertaste" are prominent examples of Reveille's use of what I call "art" guitar to expand their arsenal of sound. The vocals actually add depth to the mix on tunes such as "Dark Horizons" and "Feel." "Dark Horizons" has a Henry Rollins-like cadence to the nearly spoken word parts while the sharp vocal delivery of "Feel" matches the intensity of the lyric "I want you to feel what I felt." 

Reveille may succeed on the strength of a bunch of hard hitting tunes like the catchy "Permanent (Take A Look Around)," the furious "Rise And Blind," and the undeniable and rollicking drums of "Judas."

A few tunes didn't catch my fancy: the guitars of "Untied" sound too much like Helmet, "Flesh And Blood" is lacking in emphasis, and "Splitt (Coming Out Swingin')" has too much rapping for my tastes.

The lyrics take on a hip-hop meter during the delivery yet lack the fluidity of hip-hop masters. Also, when the vocal intensity needs to be taken up a notch it is plainly audible that the vocals are cracking under the weight of necessary force.

All in all this is an enjoyable disc given the ever-expanding roster of rap-metal bands in the recorded music universe. Unless you are a devoted fan of the rap-metal style you may wish to explore other musical options.

"Laced" was produced by Steve Thompson (Guns 'N Roses, Tesla, Sammy Hagar, Sugartooth, Venom); Cliff Norrell engineered this disc. Both Thompson and Norrell mixed the songs. Thompson's long-time associate Michael Barbiero even makes a brief appearance lending his talents to "Splitt."

Reveille consists of Drew Simollardes on vocals, Greg Sullivan on guitars and backing vocals, Steve Miloszewski on guitars, Carl Randolph on bass, and J. Wilson on drums.

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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 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Jun 2024 13:03:50 -0400 .