RudeInternetUser | Taichung, Taiwan | 01/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I went through that phase where I really liked Nu-Metal. Of all the Nu-Metal CDs I've listened to, this one really stands out. Unlike most other similar CDs, there is not, I repeat, there is not a single track that tones down a bit; every track is very intense. The guy screams in every track, and when he's not screaming, he uses his scratching singing voice, not melo smooth singing sound. The band also mixes in some electronics in the music. While this band is not as big and probably won't leave as big of a Nu-Metal legacy as like Korn or Disturbed, it is still played in my CD player very often."
One brutal kick in the spine...
Andrew Ellington | I'm kind of everywhere | 12/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If there was one band to define my early teenage years it would have to be SpineShank. Accompanied by Coal Chamber, SpineShank was about the only band I listened to for quite a while. This album in particular remained in my CD player almost religiously. After hearing `Synthetic' for the first time I just knew that this album would be one that I would never get enough of. What I didn't expect was the sheer brutality that `The Height of Callousness' provided.
From the very first track one knows that this is going to be pulse pounding metal. `Asthmatic' is the perfect fusion of techno and metal, creating a great sound and impressive foundation for the remainder of the album. The bridge is pure insanity, and that will become a staple for the remainder of the tracks here as well...the bridges always seem to explode with pure metallic brilliance. The title track is possibly even more brutal, getting right in the face of the listener with brute force. The bridge here will have the listener chanting obscenities, always a good thing...right? Luckily for the SpineShank fan this special edition album offers us remixes of each of these tracks at the end of the album. A lot of `remix' tracks prove themselves lackluster but both the `Punctured Lung' remix of `Asthmatic' and the `Fist F*** Integrity' remix of `The Height of Callousness' prove themselves to be pure brilliance. `Asthmatic' retains its brutality while mellowing out some of the edges while `The Height of Callousness' just goes all out with brute force displaced in every direction.
`Cyanide 26000' follows suit with these tracks in offering aggressive metal. The vocals come across almost gurgled throughout the chorus and adds layers to the creativity within their intensity. `Malnutrition' seems to be a favorite among SpineShank fans and while the verse structure is just plain amazing the chorus comes off a bit lackluster, but just a bit. `Seamless' and the closing track `Transparent' work to capitalize on the success of the previous tracks and does so well enough.
`Synthetic', their first single off the album, may be their most marketable track beings that it is probably the least aggressive, of close to it. It's also probably the catchiest track on the album, yet it still manages to remain intense and, yes, brutal, never falling into the genre of rock/pop. In fact there are no `pop' elements present on this album which is refreshing considering how many supposed `rock' bands tend to adapt to what is culturally popular at the moment. `New Disease' became popular die to it's placement on the `1,000 Miles to Graceland' soundtrack. It's a great track that is a bit softer than the balance of the album. `(Can't Be) Fixed' has some extremely impressive techno elements in it and that helps keep it memorable. `Play God' is probably one of the best tracks here, unique and forceful. I'm just enamored by the chorus.
Surprisingly my favorite track on the album is the most conventional track here. `Negative Space' is just a perfectly constructed track. It's actually quite beautiful when you think about it, yet it still works in moments of brutality within its majesty. I just love this song.
Now along with the two remix tracks we are treated to two bonus unreleased tracks, `Perfect Ending' and `Full Circle'. I love the vocals on `Perfect Ending', the verses feeling so smooth, much smoother than anything on the rest of the album. `Full Circle' is a heavier track but it is also a bit too familiar sounding, almost like it was ripped off one of the tracks that made it on the album.
The complete album is nearly perfect, and its few `quote-unquote' flaws are very few and barely noticeable. `The Height of Callousness' still remains one of my favorite albums to date. It's such a shame they broke up."
Michael Bustraan | Michigan, USA | 02/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now I really enjoy this album and everything on it but I have to wonder why nobody has referred to this album with the proper genre. They say techno infused and all that but doesn't Industrial Metal fit them a bit better. Or Industrial Alterna-Metal or something. Although genre is not really important for the music but it does make it easier to sort things. Either way I love this album and am glad I accidentally recieved this import when I bought it from a different website a while back. It is great music and is something different. It is far from some stereotypical "Nu Metal" band and that is for sure. So many annoying metal listeners tag anything different than straight up metal as Nu Metal and it is stupid. It is far more complex than that. Either way check this album and Spineshanks other work out. You may not like Santos new band Silent Civilian but they are also a good listen if you like Metalcore."