|Review: Probot - Probot|
Label: Southern Lord
Year released: 2004
Review online: March 5, 2004
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Every once in a while, when the forces of nature will it to be, a highly anticipated album is released that is so monumental, so grand, so powerful and down right made of metal, that Satan himself bows down in front of the makers and takes head-banging lessons for it. But this is not such an album; I just really wanted it to be. In fact, the Probot project is about as far away as possible from that mythical, legendary album that I just mentioned.
Now it is really not a problem for me that Dave Grohl (drummer for Nirvana, lead for Foo Fighters) is the man behind this project. If anything, I was happy to find out that he actually has a passion for metal. The line-up he chose….well, it is more than impressive, to say the least. But despite all the great names, in the end, all I can say is that 2004 is off to a terrible start if it is going to consist of releases like this. There is absolutely nothing to like in almost all these songs. Take the worst possible parts of heavy metal and 90's thrash, play them using an incompetent musician who has not yet mastered the intensity of metal, has no idea how to write metal riffs, and add a stellar line-up of acclaimed vocalists and make them sing your crap….and you have got Dave Grohl's boyhood dream come true – His favourite vocalists singing the garbage that he wants them to!
I would do a track by track humiliation of this project but that would be giving it more time than it deserves. Just some highlights…..Cronos from Venom starts off the disc with a not-too-bad performance, but still one that leaves you saying 'ok….it's gonna get better'! Max Cavalera attempts at getting the wheels in motion next but fails quite miserably. I'm not sure if Soulfly meets new Sepultura, coupled with Grohl's style of muzzled guitar work is something one would look forward to. But even then, it is still bearable. Not really a pleaser, but bearable. Then Lemmy from Motorhead takes the spotlight and gives us about half of the good parts on the entire CD. "Shake Your Blood" has Motorhead written all over it and is nasty, groovy and bad ass…something Motorhead do very well, only this time, Lemmy managed to pull it off without his band. Although I always liked Motorhead, I have new found respect for Lemmy Kilmister because of this performance, because clearly, Grohl should NOT be playing any instruments for a "metal" album, let alone take on all of them.
After this song, the only way I can describe the rest is like this…..You know when you are having a bad dream where you just want to wake up and get the hell out of there but can't seem to do so because something holds you down? Well I had to bear the rest of the songs on this CD in a similar fashion where I want to smash the stereo (or at least switch it off ;) but something said to me "No!...something this horrid and painful deserves to be blazed in public and cannot go unpunished…The world must know." I had to pull myself together to finish this garbage in order to review it. This is my revenge for all that torture! But in the end, there is somewhat of a mixed blessing….which really wasn't a surprise because most people anticipating this disc did it for King Diamond's appearance on it anyway. On the last track, "Sweet Dreams", the King kicks in and takes the rest of the boys to school and shows 'em how it is done. Bad song writing? No problem! Bad musician? No problem! The King is unstoppable and fails to disappoint. "Sweet Dreams" does not sound like a Mercyful Fate or his own song, but there are his trademark elements in it, such as his evil laugh, his shrieks and his charismatic vocal energy. The song surprisingly has a Megadeth styled groove to it (even the solo and the guitar leads in the background in the end are reminding of Megadeth).
This is just a bad, bad, bad album. And I don't mean bad in a 'cool' sense. This is just pathetic and the fact that this actually passes as 'metal' is even sadder because clearly, it is not nu-metal or hardcore or any of the other genres. It is just very poor quality metal with absolutely no intensity whatsoever in the music. I can now only pray that Dave Grohl has completed his experiment and never haunts us again with something of his own in metal. At least here we had the big vocalists who sort of made it listenable but what happens if they are not there next time? The music is very poor…especially the drumming, which makes you forget what the sound of a banging, thundering drum is….if you enjoy the possible sound of little fairies dancing on a drum set…then this is the greatest album for you because that is all that the drumming delivers here. Piss poor, low intensity drumming accompanied by un-catchy, simple and aimless guitar work.
Oh and there is also a hidden track. Don't worry about it though; you are better off not discovering it. At least he was smart enough to hide it.
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