Mudvayne L.D.50
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Mudvayne has an ugly stigma they need to overcome. They've already been labeled as a mixture between Slipknot and Tool by most listeners, and I find this branding to be as equally true as it is unfair. While touting the honest brutality inherent in bands like Slipknot, SoulFly and Machine Head, they also manage a firm clarity and quality of sound that's refreshing.

At the moment in which you find yourself figuring out Mudvayne's pattern and style, they shift gears. At times, they can be melodic and calm, only to instantly become enraged and violent. While there are some immediately catchy tracks, like Dig and Internal Primates Forever, the real gems of this album are the ones you wait out, like -1, Death Blooms, and Severed, which grow better the longer you listen to them.

The best part of this album really is the variety of sounds present. In between sonic vignettes, like Monolith and Recombinant Resurgence, actual songs parade bass sounds that are distorted one second and clean and crisp the next. There are actual moments where it seems the band has access to more than two strings and the drums don't seem to going at 100bmp. Vocally, Mudvayne's lead singer, Kud, is reminiscent of Fear Factory's Burton Bell, shifting from trained harmony to raspy rage.

Mudvayne's L.D. 50 is an excellent album, especially for the metal genre. If you go into this album expecting it to sound just like every other aggro band, you'll come out pleasantly surprised. Scratch the surface of this album and you might just get something worth owning.

- - Vane

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