Hard Reviews 4
by Martin Popoff

Cannibal Corpse - Bloodthirst
(Metal Blade)

Because death metal demands bands that operate at the top end of proficiency, you really can't say Cannibal Corpse are the best and brightest and bloodiest anymore. There are too many worthy of 8s and 9s, that this is merely another extremely well-done death-fest. Bringing in Colin Richardson to cook it up on the Texas-Mexico border has prompted some of the band to call the sound cleaner, others to call it dirtier, some calling it a return to an old sound, some calling it a progression. Whatever. Rock criticism within this genre is also a joke and Cannibal Corpse are the biggest exposer of the nonsense that goes on, many smart mouths calling these guys the kings, many calling them average, many more dishing out brutally low dismissives. It's almost like the music is beyond reproach by being beyond approach. In any event, what you'll find here is lots of speed, a sound I would characterize as warm but precise, driving fairly novel melodies with an almost Voivodian feel, falling out of rapid fire riffery that looks for new ways to split the atom. Fave: Blowtorch Slaughter which crams about a dozen ideas into a carnal cavalcade of blastbeat fury.
Rating 8

Warrant - Greatest & Latest
(Deadline)

Weird world, where a loss leader label (long story), formed by the goth hipsters at Cleopatra, would embrace hair metal and then dance an infinite jig around the issue, offering straight tribute albums, techno tribute albums, reissues and now bands re-recording their thin smash premises. Sounds OK I guess, Jani and Co. thickening and Whitesnaking their sound to match their new dope look. You can still filter the fact that this is empty party metal though, and the extra dance remixes (thank the moneygrubbers at Queen's label) are abhorent (although Cherry Pie was disco anyway), doing little to make this thing something you would slap to your arm like a nicotine patch. Oh yeah, third rehash album in three years.
Rating 5

A Tribute To Van Halen - Hot For Teacher
(Deadline)

Another twisted Deadline ploy, here's one from their Metal Vs. Electronica series (with at least the Gunners and Zeppelin getting the enraging carve), Hot For Teacher offering full-on techno versions of Halen's greatest blood-grain alcohollers. At least the label slaps on a famous second-string hair vocalist to each abortion, Dance The Night Away finding Kevin Dubrow creating the sound of one hand clapping, and the Bullet Boys' Marq Torien eking out a living (it's a struggle) on Feel Your Love Tonight. Lowest low: Gilby Clarke's Ice Cream Man, not sure what key that's supposed to be in, but I'm locked out of all caring. Bottom line: this is a shotgun marriage of two worlds who will never understand each other.
Rating 0