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 Countdown to Forever! Evolution(2014) review

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(hed) Souljah
(hed) Souljah

Posts : 122
Join date : 2008-12-16
Age : 27
Location : Virginia

PostSubject: Countdown to Forever! Evolution(2014) review   Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:10 am

(hed)p.e.-"Evolution"(2014) review

Following the release of "Truth Rising", while the album wasn't as successful as "New World Orphans" as it didn't have a brilliant marketing strategy this time, (hed) continued to make a name in the world of underground music starting with a tour supporting Suicidal Tendencies and continuing to headline tours with support from underground music while also continuing to play festivals with rock/metal acts. Throughout the next few years, the band would spend more time touring and taking a long break from recording, playing more underground and rock festivals while also co-headlining tours with bands such as Mushroomhead, American Head Charge, & SOiL. By 2012, Jared's past music career was revealed via YouTube showing him performing in purple spandex with a dance party band called "The Clue" which made fans like myself somewhat surprised and also found it funny, but (hed)'s underground fanbase began to constantly make fun of Jared which he did not take lightly. That same year, Jared also recorded some solo material which made available via the internet. So throughout 2013, Jared began collaborating with many underground artists while also continuing to tour with (hed). That same year, original member DJ Product left the band making (hed) a 4-piece band(to be honest, I felt it was pointless for Product to remain in the band anyway, seeing that he was excluded on all of (hed)'s indie albums), but the good thing is Jared seemed to be less out of control and maturing a little bit now that he had a son and also stopped with the political brainwashing. Also in 2013, (hed) parted ways with Suburban Noize Records finalizing the deal by releasing another "best of" CD after a feud between Subnoize co-founders Kevin Zinger and Brad X put the future of the label in limbo. At the beginning of 2014, it was announced that (hed) signed to independent label Pavement Entertainment, after which they co-headlined tours with label mates such as Smile Empty Soul & SOiL. So by July 2014, (hed)p.e. finally released their ninth studio album, "Evolution", which sees (hed) ditching the experimental/mish-mashy sound heard on the previous 3 albums to a more straightforward sound with more personal and less political lyrics and seeing that this was the longest gap between any (hed) album, the result is...quite refreshing honestly, and let's find out why as I review this album track-by-track.(*not including hidden or bonus tracks*)

1. No Turning Back
A fair way to start the album, a reggae influenced alternative metal track with decent lyrics and an okay chorus. Not a bad song, only problems with it is Jared's reggae influenced vocals may get annoying at times and the song also drags.
Rating: 3.5/5

2. Lost In Babylon
Here we go, a rap metal track with more personal lyrics about the struggles of addiction with a cool chorus, reminds me of the "Blackout" days. Despite some of the recycled lyrical content such as "we raise hell", "get you from behind", and "trying to fit in", it's still an awesome track.
Rating: 4.5/5

3. Jump The Fence
An alternative metal track with political influenced lyrics that sounds very classic metal influenced, sort of reminds me of Black Sabbath. You can definitely hear that sort of influence in Jared's vocals even if his singing can be a little bit better at times and it has a cool punk influenced chorus. Great song.
Rating: 4/5

4. 2 Many Games
Another alternative metal song that sounds very classic rock influenced as heard in Jaxon's guitar playing throughout the song, a nicely played melodica is also thrown into the music as well. Jared's vocals also have a very Led Zeppelin feel to them as well. Again, more personal lyrics that are actually very well written and another song that reminds me of the "Blackout" days. Awesome song.
Rating: 4.5/5

5. No Tomorrow
The song kicks off with some nice heavy guitar playing from Jaxon that reminds you of the good old days of alternative metal. A more political song with well written lyrics that Jared sings well along with the well done chorus. Awesome track and (hed) needs more songs like this.
Rating: 4.5/5

6. Let It Rain
One of the less interesting tracks on the album. The verses along with Jared's lyrical delivery just have that generic hard rock feel to them, but at least it has a catchy chorus. Decent track overall.
Rating: 3/5

7. One More Body
The first single from the album and a great one to, a nice punk influenced alternative metal track with more politically influenced lyrics that should remind people of the Subnoize days, plus a chorus that is fun to sing along to.
Rating: 4/5

8. Never Alone
My favorite track on the album, a speedy alternative metal track with well sung lyrics in the verses about the things we would do for a special someone in our lives which builds up into a well done chorus. I especially love Jared's singing in the bridge of the song. Awesome track.
Rating: 4.5/5

9. The Higher Crown
Just a trippy intro track that I guess is supposed to get us in the mood for the next 3 tracks on the album. Nothing very interesting really.
Rating: 2.5/5

10. Nowhere 2 Go
A break from the heavy edge of the album as this is a straight-up reggae track. An awesome track with great lyrics and a nicely played melodica throughout plus Jared's well done reggae influenced vocals, and a chorus that is both fun and memorable.
Rating: 4.5/5

11. Let It Burn
Another straight-up reggae track, but this one isn't very interesting. It's not bad, it's actually somewhat enjoyable, but Jared's fake Jamaican accent just gets on my nerves sometimes, even if the chorus is actually decent, but the ending feels like a totally different song and feels really out of place.
Rating: 3.5/5

12. Hold On
Well, here is another straight-up reggae track and it's actually a good way to close the album. The music is very chill and sounds more focused than the previous reggae track, and with that being said, the chorus is actually really good and fun to sing along to. Great song.
Rating: 4/5

Overall, this album was well worth the wait even if I expected more given the 4-year gap. It may take time to get into mainly because the album feels more generic and straightforward & less experimental than their previous indie albums. But I feel like it's a step in the right direction especially because of the more personal lyrical content as I was growing tired of the political rants heard on the previous indie albums, and while those albums felt disjointed and mish-mashy, this album just sounds more focused and the lyric writing sounds more(but not entirely) mature with less sexual lyrics, which I thought was very refreshing. While I do like this album a lot, it does have its flaws, which are that it still lacks the unique sound that made me fall in love with this band and how the last few tracks are straight-up reggae, while the tracks were well done, they just sort of kill the heavy vibe heard on the first 8 tracks of the album, and given the 4-year gap, it probably would've been better to release a double-album like the first disc being more metal/rock/hip-hop and the second disc being straight forward reggae. But like I said, I really enjoyed this album and in my opinion, their most focused record since "Back 2 Base X" and their best album since "Blackout."

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