Wrap your ears around this.
I listen to an obscene amount of 2000s nu-metal. This is in large part because my fella tends to do the driving when we go out, ergo it’s his choice what we listen to, and his choice is to throw it back to three-quarter-length camo pants, wallet chains and trucker caps.
The kind of nu-metal he always falls back on is often rife with screeching vocals, laced with rap, thunderous rhythms and a grinding aggression that’s largely unrivalled. Needless to say, I’m pretty familiar with the more traditional stylings of the genre laid down by the likes of Nonpoint, Drowning Pool, American Head Charge. Saliva, and very early Disturbed and System Of A Down.
So, when I told my loving but ever-doubtful mister that California nu-metal heavyweights Hollywood Undead would soon be releasing their sixth studio album, New Empire, Vol. 1, that I’d heard it and was totally in love with the heavier metal they’d adopted and the uncompromising fury they execute in the social commentary of their lyrics, he wasn’t stirred. In fact, in his ever-pessimistic and machismo way, he simply said, “They’re mum rock”. Ahem. What? My argument to the contrary fell on deaf ears.
Then he actually heard it.
Success! After a few spins of breakdown-laced tracks like ‘Already Dead’, fuzz-infused bangers like ‘Empire’, and the ferocious passion in lead single ‘Time Bomb’, I got an, “It’s alright” – the highest of compliments from the most masculine of men.
I might’ve sounded like a broken record, harping on about the changes the metal scene has and will put forth this year, and that’s still happening. Only this release is a throwback, and yet it’s not – what Hollywood Undead’s new album has taught me is that there’s something beautiful to be found in manipulating the old with the nu.
Though Hollywood Undead retain that classic balance of rap and melodic singing we’ve seen in their past releases, they’ve not shied away from really ramping up tones at the more voluptuous end of the heavy metal spectrum, nor have they gotten stingy in the marriage of dub step nuances with popping R&B rhythms and rap.
Who cares, I’ve said it, it’s out there, and so soon will be this crazy cool offering from Hollywood Undead. It’s an album that’s going to appeal to even the most dedicated of manly nu-metal fans while supporting the predictions of a change in the metal winds from one not-mum-rock-listening music writer.
Hollywood Undead’s new album New Empire, Vol. 1 is out on Friday February 14 via Dove & Grenade Media/BMG.
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