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Mudvayne
Mudvayne
Mudvayne
Genres: Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

This new self titled album is Mudvayne?s 5th studio album and is the heaviest record since their sophomore release. The new album features an innovative package which was dreamed up by lead signer, Chad. The entire albu...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Mudvayne
Title: Mudvayne
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Epic
Original Release Date: 12/21/2009
Release Date: 12/21/2009
Album Type: Limited Edition
Genres: Pop, Rock
Style:
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 886973026526

Synopsis

Album Description
This new self titled album is Mudvayne?s 5th studio album and is the heaviest record since their sophomore release. The new album features an innovative package which was dreamed up by lead signer, Chad. The entire album is printed in blacklight reactive ink, which means without a blacklight, the cover, booklet and CD images will appear to be absent. When placed under a blacklight it will reveal art custom created by world renowned artist Paul Booth. The Deluxe version includes a LED blacklight and the album in a custom box. The band has sold over 3 Million albums in the US. (Blacklight cover is available for a limited time only) Trouble with your Black Light? Unscrew the body to remove the black plastic safety disc and reassemble to use.

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CD Reviews

The Return of the Vayne: An In Depth Perspective
C. M. Gillum | Michigan | 12/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Since the release of their now classic 2000 release and major album debut L.D. 50, Mudvayne has long been one of the few bands willing to experiment even though they share stages and chart placements with mainstream acts. Whether it be the radical outfits/makeup/costumes the band adorns on stage or the chaotic and often fairly technical music, Mudvayne strives to stand alone. This has made them a band we can count on to release quality material while keeping it interesting and giving the fans something new with each release.

As a long time fan I can't say the band has had a bad release to date but I was a bit worried of the groups direction after 2008's The New Game. A good album, but I was worried the band was attempting to steer away from their heavier edge most noticeably heard on their earlier releases. This release however blew me back as we hear some of the ban's heaviest moments ever while still keeping the catchiness of later releases.

Right off the get go we get a lengthy 58 second intro and then Mudvayne unleashes their pent up aggression over the last few albums with some chaotic double bass work. the following track '1000 Mile Journey' continues the heaviness with a catchier chorus, flawlessly capturing both sides of the bands style. The short 'Scream With Me' brings down the tempo to slow things down a moment and Chad belts out a contagious chorus that will keep you singing along for days.

But just when you think the album might be slowing down we get 'Closer', easily one of my favorite tracks on the album. Not as heavy as the two opening tracks but speeds things up and we get to hear some excellent lead's from Greg as well as a SOLO... You heard that right, Mudvayne now does Solo's. The following track 'Heard It All Before' opens with more of those gnarly leads by Greg and then the song erupts into a violent romp of technical bass work and chugging guitar riffs that strongly reminded me of the style on The End of All Things to Come and later in the song we get an even more impressive solo.

'I Can't Wait' starts out with Chad belting out a long scream and kicks up the pace with more gritty riffage and some of Ryan's trademark technical B-Lines but its later on in the song that will blow you away, the most aggressive moment of the album thus far hits at about 2:00, simply crushing. As to contrast the previous intensity 'Beyond The Pale' starts off with some mellow Bass work backed by some quality leads and leads into a mid paced romp with yet again more of that catchier side but the later half of the song picks up the pace again with some mosh worthy riffing and double bass work.

As we near the end of the album I have to admit this is the most I have enjoyed a Mudvayne album the first listen through since L.D. 50. I didn't realize how much I missed the sheer aggression of Mudvayne's earlier releases and now that it has returned I only hope the band further pushes that aspect of their music on the next release. 'All Talk' is also fairly heavy and short but falls into the more catchiness and spotlight's on Chad's superb vocals. Again we get the track opening with melodic strings on 'Out To Pasture', which is one of the album's "slow song's" and focus' like the previous track on the vocals, very eerie at points.

'Burn The Bridge' is an extremely catchy but fast paced track with some of the best rhythm guitars on the album. Mudvayne closes the album with the completely acoustic 'Dead Inside', a slow and hauntingly end to yet another chapter of the band that is Mudvayne, some very meaningful lyrics are sung here. Eleven tracks, a wide aray of tempo's and some of the hardest tracks the band has performed in years.. An instant classic as far as I am concerned and though late still one of the best releases of 2009. I highly recommend this to ALL Mudvayne fans, even those of you whom may have turned your backs on them after L.D. 50. My love of this group and their music has been rekindled and I hope that yours can to. Thanks for reading, please support a supporter of Heavy Metal and click 'Yes' below.
"
An improvement, but don't bet the farm
Shadowrun | Nowhere | 12/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, I would have given this album 3.5 stars if a half star was an option, but it is not worth 4 so I rounded down.

Overall, this is a vast improvement over "A New Game". I don't think anybody would contest that. And it's on par with "Lost and Found". I read somewhere that Chad indicated that this is their best album since "The End of All Things To Come". Inherently, that statement is a problem in and of itself. The band admitted before the album was even released that "LD" and "The End" were stronger efforts. So why not return to the studio and keep working until you feel confident that THIS is your best release? Dave Fortman. That's why. He's Fortman'd it up again.

Before you think I'm all about dogging this album, I do want to give credit where it's due. This is by far their heaviest album since 2002, and some of the chords are quite complex and interesting in nature. "1000 Mile Journey" and "Out to Pasture" are stand out tracks. "Heard it all Before" and "Beyond the Pale" sound like extended Hellyeah tracks, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. And let's be honest, the worst Mudvayne is still better than the best of the slushpile playing on the airwaves today. I've always enjoyed their sound, and while I'm disappointed that the old days are gone, the new music is still good enough to devote my time and attention to.

Now for the bad. While some of the chords are interesting and unique, some are predictable and somewhat blase'. We're still lacking tracks that really get me excited like the first time on a new roller-coaster. I still prefer "Happy?", "Choices", "Pulling that String" and even "IMN" from the underrated "Lost and Found" over any of the tracks on this new "white" album. I prefer pretty much everything from "LD" and "The End" to anything released on the new album. I think the overall quality is above average, and the effort is admirable. It's a solid listen, and somewhat restores my faith in the VaYnE, but I would be hard-pressed to say this is a 5-star release. I wouldn't ward you off from hearing it, and I honestly feel you'll enjoy it, but be wary.

Incidentally, I do like the odd motorized, mechanical sounds that were sprinkled throughout giving it a unique "LD" sound. You can tell they tried really hard here, and I will commend their effort. Just don't expect this to be your favorite Mudvayne album."
Not perfect, but an improvement
Mislav Forrester | Pennsylvania, USA | 12/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I think I should preface this review with a little background about myself: While it feels as if I've liked Mudvayne for a long time, I only discovered them after listening to Hellyeah's debut album (released in 2007), and I was impressed enough by the singing that I figured Mudvayne would be worth a try. The first album I bought was The End of All Things To Come, and I was surprised to find that I actually liked it a lot. At that point, I had been exposed to very little heavy metal. The bottom line is that I've been listening to Mudvayne for less than three years, own all of their studio albums, and I'd like to think I now have a fairly expansive appreciation for heavy music.

I also want to just put it out there that I'm not going to waste too much time comparing this album to L.D. 50. I'm not trying to start an argument here, but I think it's inappropriate for people to continually compare every single release by an artist to their debut; I'm fine with people saying it's their favorite (I also like it), but PLEASE, consider that the band members have moved on as people and musicians, that they want to do more than that.

That said, I think this album is some of Mudvayne's finest work. I tried to see the best qualities in the 2008 release The New Game, but I can't pretend it wasn't disappointing in some respects. Sure, the addition of a couple guitar solos added to the sonic palette the group had going, but it seemed too comfortable, too mainstream and radio-centered to really shine musically. Mudvayne have a fantastic rhythm section, and the more mainstream they attempt to turn, the less interesting their greatest strength becomes. I'm not trying to put down Greg Tribbett, but honestly, who listens to Mudvayne specifically for guitar solos? Greg is a great fit for the band he's in - he doesn't try to show off, and his carefully controlled and unorthodox staccato playing has always been central to Mudvayne's sound.

The album starts with a quiet intro, reminiscent of L.D. 50's opening, something that they haven't done since. It's an unusual thing to hear in today's single-obsessed, short-attention span musical environment, but it's simply the first hint that this album was meant to be a great album, not simply a radio-friendly album. After a few listens to Mudvayne, I think it makes a great complement to The New Game. The New Game was the most accessible Mudvayne have ever been, including an older song "Dull Boy" (which I always thought was pretty lame since it sounds way too much like "IMN" from Lost And Found) and a deluxe edition that had almost nothing except demos and live tracks... clearly it was not tailored for the hardcore fan, but it was an attempt to attract more listeners, and I think the success of "Do What You Do" may attest to its success. Back to the topic at hand, I believe Mudvayne is just the opposite. Having proven that they can be pretty radio-friendly, Mudvayne spent the rest of the recording sessions (Mudvayne and The New Game were supposedly recorded at the same time) making another album of the most musically diverse, exploratory material they've done in a long time.

Greg Tribbett's guitar work has become progressively more... progressive with each successive album, and this has culminated with a whole new variety of sounds on this album. Here he plays more heavily, with a more rounded metal approach (for example, notice the opening/interlude of "Beyond the Pale," where the atmosphere is comparable to other contemporary extreme metal bands). Opener "Beautiful and Strange" immediately sets the tone of the album, bringing the heaviest song Mudvayne have created in a long time. It doesn't hit as hard as Lost and Found's Determined, but it's faster and more technical. This song blows "Fish Out of Water" out of the water, if you will excuse my awful wordplay. The vibes of the band itself are basically the same as they were on The New Game, but the band sounds much more serious, focused, and interested in making complex and heavy music. The twists are turns are comparable to the shifts found in L. D. 50; the biggest difference is Greg Tribbett's much-improved guitar playing.

Some people may dislike Hellyeah for its different directions than Mudvayne, but I personally found it tolerable (and obviously good enough to get me into Mudvayne), and I think it may have worked wonders for Greg Tribbett. He's playing the most complicated, progressive riffs in Mudvayne's history, stretching the musical boundaries previously constructed by the band. Essentially, Greg is pushing himself to the level of Ryan Martinie and Matt McDonough, and the results are fantastic. The opener is not setting the bar higher than the rest of the album, in fact, I would place it below a few other tracks. The second track "1000 Mile Journey" has a fantastic opening, but then it slows down, suffering a similar fate as the title track of The New Game, and it lacks the overall consistency of previous epics such as "Choices or "(K)now F(Orever)." Perhaps the intention was to illustrate a long and repetitious journey.

"Scream With Me," the third track and first single is a change of pace from the two long openers, and it is a perfect choice for a single. It is essentially this album's equivalent of The New Game's "Do What You Do," at a short length, including a tasteful guitar solo, and providing the perfect transition to what may be the album's best track, "Closer." The opening riffs of "Closer" may remind you of the opening of "Stupid Girl" by Cold, and it is driven in the same way "Determined" was, though it is more progressive. It maintains a purposeful intensity through the entire song, and it includes some guitar soloing that is never overdone.

"Heard It All Before" is another strong track, with the album's most interesting guitar solo. The eerie opening and closing are very appropriate. Another standout track follows with "I Can't Wait." It probably has the most chaotic beginning Mudvayne has ever achieved (and I mean that in the best possible way). This song, like "Closer," maintains a ferocious focus driven by Chad Gray's powerful vocals. "They say that dead men don't pull triggers? I'll prove you wrong!"

"Beyond The Pale" has the best atmospheric intro, inviting a familiar vibe to emerge after the song kicks in a minute later. The chorus is distinguishable from other Mudvayne songs because it has a guitar part closer to the feel of Hellyeah than older Mudvayne. This would be a decent song if it continued at the same pace, but about halfway through it rushes into an unusually quick speed that Mudvayne has never play before. The layered guitar parts over the frantic drums and bass paint a picture of Mudvayne that is unfamiliar yet wonderful. "All Talk" follows and is lyrically one of the best moments on the album, criticizing people in a realistic and mature way. It's neither great nor weak musically, but the message actually carries the song along very effectively.

"Out To Pasture" is an unusually atmospheric piece, quiet and mournful in its vocal-less sections. The problem with its chorus is that it's too familiar, like a kind of non-violent pressure (neither satisfyingly loud nor appropriately soft); it just builds up and doesn't feel like it resolves. Nevertheless, it recalls the feelings of The End Of All Things To Come's "World So Cold." "Burn The Bridge" mines the territory of Lost And Found with its verses and the layered guitar parts of The New Game in its choruses, but it doesn't bring anything new with it. It's pretty much the same ol'. "Dead Inside" finishes the album in a softer fashion than the rest of the songs, and it comes out sounding kind of like Smile Empty Soul, except less whiney. I suppose the message that we're all "dead inside" is pretty universal and relatable, but it doesn't make for a particularly impressive song. The album might have been better off without it.

This is a good album overall, but it is definitely flawed. The first seven or eight tracks are consistently interesting, easily Mudvayne's finest work in years. It doesn't have the overall consistency that Mudayvne's first three albums had; it feels more like a bunch of songs thrown together. The high points are so high that it causes the album to become kind of frustrating in hindsight, making me wish they had followed through for the whole album. I don't think this is their best album, but it still seems the most adventurous, and I am confident that they will only use it as a foundation to build upon. Hopefully there will be more Mudvayne material to look forward to soon after the next Hellyeah album. Recommended for any Mudvayne fan, new or old.

Overall rating ~ 3.5/5
Standouts include "Closer," "I Can't Wait," "Beyond the Pale," and "All Talk""