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Mudvayne Mudvayne Album Review

21 January 2010 8 Comments

By: Censored

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mudvaynenewcdrevised

Once upon a time, when nu-metal still ruled the world, Mudvayne were on the cutting edge. With their experimental and unpredictable debut, L.D. 50, the Peoria, Illinois quartet turned the genre on its head with its unconventional song structures, iconic stage make-up and a perfect balance of aggression and melody. Over time, though, their quest to keep with the times meant the streamlining of their sound, as later releases such as Lost and Found saw the band ditching the image as well as a hefty chunk of inspiration. To put it bluntly, their sound has been watered down more and more with each release, and it seems all hope has been lost. That is, until now.

Mudvayne circa 2005

Mudvayne circa 2005

Believe it or not, Mudvayne’s self-titled fifth album is somewhat of a return to form. Coming hot off the heels of last year’s The New Game and recorded simultaneously, it’s a surprising shift from the somewhat predictable sound the band has been meddling with for the latter half of the decade. For the first time since the first album (and perhaps the second), it sounds like the band could care less about radio success, which is good, since the band currently have no plans to promote or push the album. The album is dark, heavy, experimental and uncompromising. In a nutshell, it’s what Mudvayne fans have long been screaming for.

Mudvayne's Chad Gray in Richmond, VA: March 2009

Mudvayne's Chad Gray in Richmond, VA: March 2009

Despite the tone of the album, the band can still churn out a catchy tune here and there, as evidenced by the first single, “Scream With Me” and the crushing “Beautiful and Strange,” which is perhaps the best example of the band’s old style seeping into the new. For the most part, though, the album tears through its eleven songs with massive riffing, chugging basslines and pummeling drums, finally settling down on the moody closing track, “Dead Inside,” which, in spite of its acoustic guitars does not resemble HELLYEAH (the supergroup featuring two-quarters of Mudvayne in its ranks) in the slightest.

2008: Mudvayne Rocks NYC at Irving Plaza

2008: Mudvayne Rocks NYC at Irving Plaza

It’s a shame, then, that the band has chosen not to push the album, as it is the best thing they’ve had to offer in years, and more than makes up for the mediocre The New Game. To many fans, this is the album that should have followed The End of All Things to Come and is the rare kind nowadays that gets better with each successive listen. If you have ever been a fan of Mudvayne and have lost faith in the band, prepare to be surprised and reeled back in. Hopefully the lack of activity for the band at the moment doesn’t spell trouble in the future, as more albums like this could definitely help their name rise to the cream of the crop once again.

hellyeah

hellyeah

For the record, though, the blacklight-activated album art was a terrible idea. I buy physical copies because I enjoy looking at the artwork, not blank liner notes. Using a blacklight to view the tracklisting or even the cover is a bit of a pain, even if a blacklight was included in the deluxe edition. Granted, it’s obviously a gimmick meant to curb pirating and encourage fans to make the purchase, but it’s not going to make that much of a difference in the end, and doesn’t enhance the overall enjoyment of the album in the slightest.

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8 Comments »

  • Loch Ness said:

    It’s the better of the 2 albums but the reviewer wrote this from too much of an emotional standpoint. They evolve on this disc and is just as good as LD50.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • godblessya said:

    if u gave up on mudvayne u need to listen to this

    way better than new game and wish theyd tour on this so we can hear the new shizzy

    best work in years

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Carla said:

    In that one picture he looks like the Papa Roach singer.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • 5150 said:

    Why is everything italicized on this thread?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Industrious One said:

    This album was a dissapointment. The new sound was no Mudvayne quality. If something’s not broken, don’t fix it.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Andrew said:

    @ Industrious One

    I have to disagree with you, my fried. In my opinion, this is the best they’ve done in a while.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Bushido said:

    I’m gonna buy this album based solely on this review.

    If it’s utter garbage, though… Heads will roll! =op

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Andrew said:

    @ Bushido

    I concur with our writer. As I said in the comment above yours, this is the best they’ve released in a while. I’m sure you’ll feel it’s money well spent.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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