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Album Review

Mudvayne, 'Mudvayne'

December 21, 2009

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Mudvayne’s new self-titled album is steeped in anger. In this case, anger, like Rage Against the Machine told us, is a gift. The music’s surly angst provides some cohesion to an effort that mines many sources. As with its previous release, Mudvayne uses some less abrasive hard-rock elements to leaven the caustic sound it arrived with nine years ago. Yet this is also an album reaching out to all those fans of Pantera, Korn, and Marilyn Manson wondering where the ’90s went. Bringing mellower, more melodic counterpoints to a core of nu-metal bombast makes Mudvayne’s fifth studio album at times sound clumsy. But “Mudvayne’’ has its allure - guitarist Greg Tribbett shows greater sonic reach and singer Chad Gray stretches his voice to fit more sizes and shapes of aggression. Now the band just needs to better blend the expanded variety of sounds it is hearing in its collective head. Song content, though, is where Mudvayne has stayed unrelenting, packing these 11 tunes with thoughts that run from the grim to the suicidal. But the band’s willingness to experiment with its sound and vision (remember the makeup days?) has allowed it to sell the apocalypse many times over. (Out today)

SCOTT McLENNAN

Metal
Mudvayne Mudvayne
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