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 Countdown to Forever! Blackout(2003) review

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Chizase2012
(hed) Souljah
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PostSubject: Countdown to Forever! Blackout(2003) review   Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:49 pm

(hed)p.e.-"Blackout"(2003) review

Following the release of the second album, "Broke", things seemed to be looking up for (hed)p.e. starting with playing on the 2000 Tattoo The Earth Tour with bands such as Slipknot & Slayer, then touring in support of bands such as P.O.D., Papa Roach, & Linkin Park, also sharing stages with bands like Metallica, Tool, & Stone Temple Pilots, and also playing European Festivals most notably Rock AM Ring in Germany. They also headlined tours with bands such as Cold, Spineshank, Nonpoint, & Systematic as supporting acts. But even with this awesome touring schedule, (hed)p.e. just didn't seem to be getting the same amount of recognition as Rap Metal bands like Limp Bizkit & Linkin Park(which is disappointing because I personally thought (hed) was better than both of them). "Broke" would go on to sell 450,000 copies worldwide making it their most successful album, but that's still not a lot. The record sales were below their record label, Jive's expectations. So with that being said, (hed) was pressured by Jive to make a more commercial sounding album and after the album was recorded, original guitarist Chad Benekos left the band in 2002 and he was soon replaced by ex-Snot & Amen guitarist Sonny Mayo. So in March 2003, (hed)p.e. released their third album "Blackout" which saw them going in a more radio friendly Alternative Metal direction with more melodic singing. Some fans hated this album for being more radio friendly than their previous efforts while some thought that it was still a great album. I am one of those fans who, despite the more commercial direction of the album, still thought it was a great album and let's find out why as I review it track-by-track(*not including hidden or bonus tracks*)

1. Suck It Up
The album kicks off with a catchy alternative metal track with some lyrics that will get stuck in your head. Even though the lyrical delivery from Jared in the verses sounds simple, it works well with the cool music that builds up into a sweet chorus. Jared's vocals from singing to death growls make this song enjoyable and something is also very noticeable, there is NO swearing, which shows that Jared doesn't need to swear to make a great song. Great opener.
Rating: 4/5

2. Bury Me
One of the album's weaker tracks in my opinion, an alternative metal track that just sounds simply written both musically and lyrically, but at least it has a cool heavy chorus where Jared delivers some sweet death growls. An enjoyable song, just sounds very generic.
Rating: 3.5/5

3. Dangerous
One of my favorite tracks on the album, an awesome hip-hop influenced alternative metal track. Standout members are Wes & Chad who deliver awesome guitar playing that flows well with Jared's catchy lyrics, Jared also has some nice singing in the verses that builds up into a cool screaming chorus, there is also a cool scratching bridge from DJ Product. Like I said, awesome track.
Rating: 4.5/5

4. Blackout
Here it is, the first single from the album and also the very first song I heard from (hed) p.e. Despite the more radio friendly tone compared to the their previous singles, it's still an awesome song and a great choice for a first single. A radio-friendly alternative metal track where every member stands out with a very fun and memorable chorus that will get stuck in your head.
Rating: 4.5/5

5. Get Away
Another standout track on the album, while the song may be depressing lyrically, it is very uniquely structured as the verses are reggae influenced and sort of remind me of Sublime that leads into a well sung heavy chorus, plus Jared also lets out some nice death growls at times(STAY THE F**K AWAY FROM ME!). Awesome track.
Rating: 4.5/5

6. Crazy Life
This song sees (hed) returning to their signature rap metal sound showing their fans that they have not completely drifted away from the sound they are known for. The song is good musically, but I find the track to be weaker than their other rap metal tracks mainly because the lyrical content feels really cheesy. An enjoyable track and the only one with a lot of swearing, but I feel it's one of the weaker tracks on the album.
Rating: 3.5/5

7. Half The Man
Another great radio friendly alternative metal track that shows that this band is capable of anything. The song sounds very classic rock influenced as heard in Wes & Chad's guitar playing, Jared's vocals and lyrics are also very good, especially in the well done chorus. Like I said, radio friendly but still a great song.
Rating: 4/5

8. The Only One
An alternative metal song with great lyrics that are very relatable to the feeling of being alone and feeling like you are not accepted with a cool catchy chorus, there is also a nice little guitar outro to close the song. While radio friendly, it's still a great song.
Rating: 4/5

9. Other Side
The second and final single from the album and also one of the best songs on the album. This is my all time favorite slow song by (hed). Jared's well written lyrics are sung very well backed by a nice hip-hop beat and great acoustic guitar playing with a memorable chorus that will get stuck in your head, plus a nice electric guitar solo in the bridge. A superb slow song that is perfectly structured.
Rating: 5/5

10. Flesh And Bone
One of the filler tracks on the album. Not saying it's a bad song, it's somewhat enjoyable and has a cool chorus but it just sounds like the song "Blackout" just with heavier basslines and kinda feels out of the place on the album.
Rating: 3.5/5

11. Octopussy
Not much to say here, just a 44 second instrumental track that will probably have you headbanging. Decent track, but again, filler.
Rating: 3/5

12. Carnivale
One of the album's standout tracks. An awesome track with great lyrics who delivers some strange vocals in the verses backed by some circus style music with good drumming from BC and a nicely played melodica which leads into a well done heavy chorus which is fun to sing along to. One of the songs I think should have been released as a single.
Rating: 4.5/5

13. Fallen
My personal favorite track on the album. A rap metal track where (hed) shows why they truly are one of the best bands of the rap metal genre, Jared's vocal range in the song is awesome and the song also contains some of the DJ Product's finest work as a Turntablist, it sucks that he was excluded on the later albums.
Rating: 5/5

14. Revelations
Another filler track, again not bad, just a weak album closer. Not a fan of the Nine Inch Nails style industrial verses that lead into a chanting pre-chorus. Plus, Jared sounds like he tries way too hard to imitate Trent Reznor in the verses, but the saving grace of this song is the heavy chorus which Jared sings very well. Somewhat enjoyable, but not the best way to end this album.
Rating: 3.5/5

Overall, even if this album was just (hed)'s attempt to go more mainstream due to label pressure, they showed that they could still make a great album, as a lot of bands who make this sort of attempt often make disappointing albums, but (hed) still had a unique sound that made them sound more diverse than any other mainstream rock act that was around during this time period. It's not as awesome as their previous two albums, but still great and it really showed that (hed) could be more than just a "rap metal" band and in my opinion, this was (hed)p.e.'s last unique/impressive album, it was also the last album with the original line-up which I think says a lot.

OVERALL RATING: 8/10
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PostSubject: Re: Countdown to Forever! Blackout(2003) review   Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:02 am

Yeah, Fallen is a damn solid track and one you don't hear enough props for. Love Blackout. Only 3.5 for Crazy Life? Dayum. That track is killer. One of my favourites on the album. Thanks man.
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PostSubject: Re: Countdown to Forever! Blackout(2003) review   Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:18 am

"Shalala – here it comes again!"
I had to spin this right now:), thanks for review!
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