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Mushroomhead - A Wonderful Life

A Wonderful Life
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 13 August 2020, 4:15 AM

The modern Metal genres are here to stay, no matter what some can say. The praises from the press and the commercial success testify these words; and these aspects created a flood of many bands doing the same genre, what means that new ones must bring something of their own to be heard. And the North American group MUSHROOMHEAD is coming with the eighth bone crushing album “A Wonderful Life”.

Their music can be faced as a blend between influences of Industrial Metal, Alternative Metal, New Metal, and Electro-Industrial music. Obviously it’s chaotic, brutal and aggressive to the bones, but the contrast appears due many catching melodies that make their music accessible for different fans (just hear “Madness Within” and see what these words mean). To be honest, this album has a commercial appeal, something that will make them reach a broader public, because the energy that flows from their music is really something intense, and the hooks makes things even more interesting. Yes, it’s good, indeed.

Matt Wallace produced, mixed, and made some additional production, having the mastering done by Howie Weinberg. It’s abrasive, greasy and aggressive, as could be expected from such musical genre, but it’s not something deeply conventional as well. The sonority of “A Wonderful Life” has a defined insight, what make the songs better understood than the greater part of the bands from such genres sound.

The 13 songs of the album are all very good, but for a first time on it, the conventional and abrasive energy of “A Requiem for Tomorrow”, the clear accessible insight used to mold “Madness Within” (the vocals are really excellent, and the melodies are filled with groove), the darkened and introspective “The Heresy” (that can be faced as a commercial song as if RAMMSTEIN could be more aggressive and chaotic, with some female voices), the nasty and deeper melodies of “What a Shame” (the pulsing presence of simple bass lines reinforces the nasty and bitter feeling of it) and of “Carry On”, the Gothic Rock influence that is sensible in some parts of “I Am the One”, and the very good melodies of “The Flood” can be said as the right ones. But the bonus songs “To the Front”, “Sound of Destruction”, “Another Ghost” and “Lacrimosa” are good as well.

Maybe “A Wonderful Life” can’t give satisfaction for those fans that prefer something aggressive and nasty as MINISTRY. But it will improve the success of MUSHROOMHEAD for sure.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. A Requiem for Tomorrow
2. Madness Within
3. Seen It All
4. The Heresy
5. What a Shame
6. Pulse
7. Carry On
8. The Time Has Come
9. 11th Hour
10. I Am the One
11. The Flood
12. Where the End Begins
13. Confutatis
14. To the Front
15. Sound of Destruction
16. Another Ghost
17. Lacrimosa
Jason Popson - Harsh vocals
Steve Rauckhorst - Clean vocals
Jackie LaPonza - Additional Clean Vocals
Tom Shaffner - Guitars
Rick Thomas - Keyboards, Samples, Synthesizers
Ryan Farrell - Bass, Keyboards
Robbie Godsey - Additional Percussion
Steve Felton - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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