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 Countdown to Forever! self-titled(1997) review

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Chizase2012
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PostSubject: Countdown to Forever! self-titled(1997) review   Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:32 am

(hed)p.e.-"(hed)pe"(1997) Review

These days, the whole Rap Metal genre can be pretty cheesy, but in the 90s, it seemed pretty promising as bands such as Rage Against The Machine, Korn, Limp Bizkit, & P.O.D. did a fine job of blending these two genres of music together. (hed)p.e. was also one of those bands. (hed)p.e. was co-founded in 1994 by frontman Jared "MCUD" Gomes and lead guitarist Wes "Wesstyle" Geer, the band also consisted of Chad "Chizad" Benekos on rhythm guitar, Mark "Mawk" Young on bass, Ben "B.C." Vaught on drums, & DJ Product on turntables. (hed) had a unique sound that blended Punk Rock, Hip-Hop, & Metal together, a sound that the band dubbed as "G-Punk." By 1996, they caught the attention of Jive Records, who would then sign them and by August 1997, they released their self-titled debut album which featured re-recorded versions of songs from their 1995 self-released EP "Church Of Realities." In my opinion, this is one of the best debut albums to come out when the Rap Metal genre was at the height of its popularity and let's find out why as I review it track-by-track(*not including hidden or bonus tracks*).

1. P.O.S.
A decent opener, a punk track that features good vocals from Jared and some nice samples and scratching from DJ Product. Not one of my favorites on the album, as its really nothing special and the album just gets better after this.
Rating: 3/5

2. Ground
The first single from the album and a damn good one to. This song really defines their "G-Punk" sound as it is a punk song with hip-hop influence, plus Jared's rapping really fits the song well, he also screams and has some reggae influence in his vocals showing off his incredible range as a vocalist. From this song, you are immediately hooked.
Rating: 4.5/5

3. Serpent Boy
The second and final single from the album, and it's...another awesome song! A great rap metal song with great guitar playing from both Wes & Chad, and Jared again shows his incredible range as a vocalist which goes from rapping to death growls, plus a really catchy and memorable chorus. One of the album's standout tracks, even though I'll admit that it does drag a bit.
Rating: 4.5/5

4. Firsty
Originally titled "1st Song" on "Church of Realities." A straight-up punk song with a nice scratching bridge from DJ Product. For me though, this is one of the album's weaker tracks, not saying that it's bad, it's actually somewhat enjoyable, it just feels simply written and I don't find myself listening to it over and over again.
Rating: 3.5/5

5. Tired Of Sleep(T. O. S.)
My personal favorite song on the album, it's one of those songs that just sends you on an emotional rollercoaster, as the verses feature simple but cool basslines from Mawk and great rapping from Jared and the music just has a chill jazzy feeling to it, that is until it's awesome metal driven chorus that features some nice screaming vocals from Jahred. B.C.'s trip-hop influenced drumming in the verses also make this song awesome.
Rating: 5/5

6. Darky
One of the best (hed)p.e. songs ever written. The verses have some nice trippy guitar riffs from Wes & Chad that really work well with Jahred's awesome fast rapping. Jared's lyrics will also keep your interest as he talks about an issue with racism he dealt with and you can really feel the anger in his voice in the bridge. The punk influenced guitar riff in the chorus will also get stuck in your head. A song that truly defines their "G-Punk" sound.
Rating: 5/5

7. Schpamb
Originally titled "Spam" on Church Of Realities. Probably my least favorite track on the album, a speedy punk track with some cool vocals from Jared. But the song isn't very interesting. A decent track, but I find myself skipping it.
Rating: 3/5

8. Ken 2012
A song that follows the "Darky" formula, trippy guitar riffs from Wes & Chad with some cool rapping from Jared that leads into a very punk or metal influenced chorus that is really catchy. Jared shows off his incredible range from rapping to reggae influenced vocals to singing to even death growls. One of the album's standout tracks, even if some of the lyrics don't seem to flow well, it's still an awesome song.
Rating: 4.5/5

9. Circus
Another great song. A speedy rap metal song with a fun chorus and some cool vocals from Jared. Too bad it's so short, but still a great song.
Rating: 4/5

10. 33
I sometimes wonder, was this song named after Jared's age at the time? Anyway, a more hip-hop song with some nice guitar tapping from Wes and some trip-hop like drumming from B.C. making the song have a really chill fill. An enjoyable track, but one of the least interesting ones.
Rating: 3.5/5

11. Hill
Here we go, a break from the hip-hop edge of the album and a more straight-up alternative metal track where Jared shows he has a singing voice which leads into a yelled chorus. The lyrics are interesting if not great. A song that shows that this band is capable of anything. Awesome song.
Rating: 4.5/5

12. I. F. O.
One of my favorite tracks on the album. Trippy verses and great rapping from Jared who is able to keep your attention with his well-written conspiracy theory lyrics about how the government is watching us which leads into a heavy chorus shouted by Sen Dog from Cypress Hill that will get stuck in your head("You can't put a cover on the sky"). Plus, Jared's incredible range makes this a superb rap metal track.
Rating: 5/5

13. Bitches
WOW! A very chill slow song with Brazilian influence(bongo drums, etc.) and very incredible vocal work from Jared that goes very nicely with the great lyrics. You wouldn't think this was going to be a slow song judging by the song title. Awesome album closer.
Rating: 4.5/5

Overall, this is a very impressive debut album that shows why (hed)p.e. truly was one of the best bands of the Rap Metal genre. Even though it has some flaws, the band just had a unique and original way of blending the styles hip-hop and rock together with creative music and a very talented and overlooked vocalist that made them sound different than most of the bands that were listed in the Rap Metal genre at the time. A truly awesome debut album.

OVERALL RATING: 8.5/10
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hed_2012
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PostSubject: Re: Countdown to Forever! self-titled(1997) review   Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:36 am

Great work!

Love I.F.O.!!! Under recognised! Had no idea that was Sen Dog singing "You can't put a cover on the sky!"
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PostSubject: Re: Countdown to Forever! self-titled(1997) review   Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:04 am

Great review, they surely put some high standards (8.5/10) with this one.
We'll see which album (if anyone) could beat this rating...
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PostSubject: Re: Countdown to Forever! self-titled(1997) review   Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:07 am

Thanks for the review! Too bad for hidden tracks.

Don't really understand why P.O.S./Schpamb were noted like that.
P.O.S. is a big punch in the face as the intro and Schpamb features the fastest performance of Jahred.
Also, Schpamb was on the early promo discs or singles (don't remember exactly).

For me, Hill is the only skippable track, this one is too much weird haha.

Also I don't know when it was released to public but Chaos In Clear Detail cassette has a 1995/1997(?) demo mix of P.O.S. on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Countdown to Forever! self-titled(1997) review   Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:25 pm

Thanks guys! and @ hed_2012, I remember Wes Geer saying in an interview that it was Sen Dog singing the chorus to I.F.O.
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PostSubject: Re: Countdown to Forever! self-titled(1997) review   Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:10 am

Love it.
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