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Rob Zombie - Educated Horses (CD)

Rob Zombie
Educated Horses
by Elina Papadoyianni at 29 August 2006, 4:41 PM

Rob Zombie is undoubtedly one of the most versatile figures in the Metal scene. His work since about 1985 has come to prove the above statement in many occasions, something that has granted him and his band, White Zombie, a very solid fan base with a taste for blood. Five years ago he made an effort to take his theatrical music ideas onto a mean that would picture them to a greater audience. He directed The House Of 1000 Corpses and a new excitement was evident in his life. The last album release of his, The Sinister Urge, was in 2001 just before his director debut, which by the way was followed by the sequel The Devil's Rejects, also featured in Educated Horses.
The striking thing about this album is the lack of effects and samples at least to the magnitude that all of Rob Zombie's fans have grown to love. What propels the album is the guitar techniques of John Five, who in this contribution of his might as well find the acknowledgement he truly deserves back from his Marilyn Manson days. The second thing that is absent is the theatrical mood of Zombie's previous works evident from the lyrics to the artwork. Forget the dreadlocks and the scary make-up as it seems that all of his inspiration on the matter went into his movies. There is only one originally heavy song by the title Let It All Bleed Out to remind us of the Zombie we used to know. In that sense, and in order to see the full picture of Educated Horses, one has to clear his head from past Rob Zombie trademarks like his 1998 Hellbilly Deluxe and put the album on repeat for a couple of spins. Don't worry; this won't take you too long. The whole eleven tracks of the album read 38mins and 29secs of total play!
On the positive side of Educated Horses you will find Rob Zombie's vocals being at the top and his lyrics more mature and deep than ever before. I believe that he bonded fantastically with John Five who co-writes 8 of the 11 tracks of the album. Lots of dark rhythms are present with eerie electronics and trashy guitars forming up a more Heavy Rock sound than Death Metal. The line-up includes former Alice Cooper drummer Tommy Clufetos and long-time bassist Rob Blasko Nicholson, while the likes of Motley Crue Tommy Lee and A Perfect Circle's Josh Freese not only add to the drums but to the promotional aspect of the album as well.
Educated Horses kicks off with a set of melancholic piano and acoustic guitar interludes in Sawdust In The Blood leading into some heavy guitar riffs in The American Witch. This track is heavy and catchy enough that raises expectations that the following three tracks simply fail to meet. Mid-tempo tracks Foxy Foxy, 17 Year Locust and The Scorpion Sleeps sound a bit repetitive concerning the choruses. 100 Ways puts some of the menace back on before we reach the album's peak in the face of Let It All Bleed Out. Certainly the heaviest track in Educated Horses presents a magnificent melodic guitar solo and hard, catchy choruses and Zombie's guttural vocals bringing back the darker atmosphere of the earlier days. The heavy acoustic Death Of It All is a worthy follow up with many theatrical moments enhanced by Rob Zombie's more whispering that singing the lyrics. The last three tracks remind us that White Zombie are far away despite the noticeable effort of Ride, however The Devil's Rejects is more than a connection to Rob's latest film. It sounds really good in most parts with an old-cut dusted Hellbilly Deluxe sound that makes one wonder why it was not included in the film's soundtrack.
Educated Horses is a decent album that will most probably grow on you after the first two hearing sessions. The music is great and well produced. It is not the album that we will remember Rob Zombie by, but it's certainly worth listening to.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Sawdust In The Blood
American Witch
Foxy Foxy
17 Year Locust
The Scorpion Sleeps
100 Ways
Let It All Bleed Out
Death Of It All
Ride
The Devil's Rejects
The Lords Of Salem
Lineup:
Rob Zombie - Vocals
John Five - Guitar
Blasko - Bass
Tommy Clufetos - Drums
Record Label: Geffen Records
     


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