HardReviews 2
by Martin Popoff

METHODS OF MAYHEM - A Public Disservice Announcement
(Roadrunner '10)

Wow, I'm actually really surprised how stomach-turning this is. I mean, you'd think all the trendy rap metal-ness of the first one would have been shed for, I dunno, a serious album reflective of the passage of time or something. Yet A Public Disservice Announcement is like a Paris Hilton pop album joked up with old Sugar Ray and Kid Rock beats, like eight years of metal evolution haven't happened. It's like a soundtrack tune for a reality show, plus one Disturbed song. Like I say, I'm really surprised, but I guess Tommy has become, through living that life, a mere Hollywood piece of product, a desk-jobbed mousepad-tapper to today's guitar-boosted radio pop confection - which seems really quite odd for a 48-year-old man from a dirty glam metal band. Then on top of this improbable selection of proposals - just to fill up your turmoil-embroiled mind, I suppose - is a flood of computer gizmo sounds trotted out, paraded sheepishly, one after each, a sort of history of every bad tip 'n' trick used year in then out since the invention of the internet.
Rating 0

KAMELOT - Poetry For The Poisoned
(Kamelot Media Group)

Thom Youngblood and his cross-sea compatriot Roy Khan have cooked up a nutty cathedral of sounds on this, their ninth record, that will have the Kamelot faithful scratching their heads but applauding the brave creativity as they work through the digestion of this record's density. I'm hearing Welcome To My Nightmare through Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Sonata Arctica to this highly thespian and classical classicist moat rocker, and then some LaBrie solo and as icing on the cake, industrial, electronic flourishes, a highly processed sound throughout, and jack-hammering power metal madness like heavy Nightwish. Youngblood has always pressed hard into accomplishment, and the end result is a record full up with sonic wonder, so thick with information that the band defies categorization, or at least sits well beyond prog and power into symphonic and soundtracky, but with a post-Crimson Glory futuristic sheen. Now, this sheen can become oppressive because it's obvious every trick of computer technology has been used to assemble the tracks, as well as the plush-perfect booklet. Still, the personalities of these proud players (new bassist) and famous guests (Jon Oliva, Gus G, Bjorn "Speed" Strid, Simone Simons) shine through, most prominently, Youngblood, who keeps piling on the frilly sleeves drama through relentless twists on Egypto/middle eastern/Turkish melodies applied various to vocals, keys, atmospheres, and the guitars of all textured stripes. All told, I'm feeling it's all a bit much, a bit too layered, sapping the humanity through a relentless flow of grand epicness. In other words, a bit over-the-top for these ears, but a monument to human striving all the same.
Rating 7.5

Hard Reviews Page 3