Wednesday, July 3, 2002 @ 2:26 PM
Crucible, Halford’s follow-up to 2000’s Resurrection, maintains the strength and integrity that Rob Halford has always possessed. Crucible takes Resurrection up one notch to a deeper, darker, more mature level -- mystical grooves, crunching guitar riffs, and serious metal drum pounding.
The lyrics on this album are stellar -- oozing of sorrow, betrayal, demise… deeply haunting and thought-provoking. “One Will” is the anthemic tune on the album -- and is also the one that sticks in your head.
Some of the cooler tracks on this album are the heavier songs: “Crucible,” “Betrayal,” “Golgotha,” and “Weaving Sorrow.” “Hearts of Darkness” has a great melding of vocals. The guitar riffs just shred. “Heretic” is a nice little bone-cruncher.
Now, one thing I personally never say is, “Wow, what great drumming!” I just don’t notice that usually, save for Vinnie Paul’s wicked double-bass on any given Pantera album. But on Crucible, I actually found myself saying that. Bobby Jarzombek’s drums are unique and different on every song, and never overbearing.
The album slows down at the end, with “Trail of Tears” and the bonus tracks “She” and “Fugitive.” It’s amazing how such melodic and wistful songs can still stay so metal. “Crystal” is also mid-tempo, but still grinds with it’s creeping hooks.
Okay, “Handing Out Bullets” -- I can’t even listen to Rob’s violently shrieking vocals. Ugh! Way over the top with the ultra-sopranic screaming. It’s like he’s got a spiked vice-grip on his balls. It starts out tolerable, in traditional Halford style, and then I just have to hit ‘skip.’ Good God. Don’t get me wrong -- the song itself is pretty cool and very heavy. Pat Lachman goes off on the guitar with a wicked solo.
Overall, this is one kickass album. It’s very heavy, but tends to stay a bit mellow and melancholy. The production isn’t fantastic -- I listened to it on a few different CD players, and it sounded slightly flat. Nothing a few tweaks on the equalizer can’t fix. Nonetheless, if you liked Resurrection, this will not disappoint!
After thirty years in the business of metal, Rob “The Metal God” Halford knows what he’s doing.
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