Music Reviews

Artist: Godhead (@)
Title: The Shadow Realigned (remix album)
Format: CD
Label: Warrior Records (@)
Rated: *****
Godhead is a band I'm sure you've probably heard of, and likely even heard at one time or another as they've gotten quite a bit of exposure. If not, they're sort of an alternative melodic metal band that flirts with gothic-industrial. On this remix of their 2006 'The Shadow Line' album the flirting has gone full-tilt into goth-industrial territory (for the most part), which seems to be sort of a trend lately with some metal outfits. If nothing else, it's a way to get a review here on Chain D.L.K. (we don't do regular metal) and maybe pick up a few rivethead fans in the process.

Godhead is led by Jason C. Miller (lead vocals, guitars), a pretty talented guy with a great set of pipes for melodic metal and a knack for songs ideally suited for the genre. I should make it clear that I don't care much for alt-melodic-metal, so my previous acquaintance with the band is nearly nil. Remixers on this album include: Jason Miller, Ben Moody (Evanescence), Michael Wandmacher (aka Khursor), Ashburn "Creature" Miller (Orgy), Bryan Konietzko aka Ginormous (animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra), Jamison Boaz, Joe Bishara (Insidious, 11-11-11, Dark Skies, The Conjuring), Team Cybergeist, Shok (too many music production credits to even begin naming), and Psyclon Nine. A little familiarity with 'The Shadow Line' album may be in order, and you can find them easily enough on YouTube, so go check them out first (I'll wait)...Done? Good. Now without further ado, let's get into the remix tracks.

1. The Gift (Robotic Beehive Remix)
Synths replace some guitar and bass, autotune on voice (awful), vocal harmonies stripped away; move the track closer to the goth-industrial, but comes off more like edgey synth-pop.

2. Through The Cracks (Sweet Kill Remix)
Strong synths and and upfront drums, more open spaces allowing this track to breath and cook, and not messing with the vocals makes this remix a stronger effort than the original.

3. Unrequited (Ben Moody Remix)
Ben Moody turns this track into a strange electronic fantasia, but only messes with the vocals peripherally (some effects here and there). Actually, kind of a killer remix.

4. Hey You (Ginormous Remix)
Choirboy intro and all the metal completely stripped out of the track. Synths replace guitars, basic heavy programmed rhythm replaces drum battery. A little plodding but Nine Inch Nailsish. Metal fans won't like it, but I think it's okay.

5. Trapped In Your Lies (NeonGenesis Remix)
Very busy synthwork, dull, stilted drum programming, and very little of the vocals makes this an exercise in bad prog-rock geared for the dark dancefloor. I don't see how Jason let this one pass. Next.

6. Inside Your World (Dark Moon Remix)
The original was a power ballad. This beast of a remix turns the track into almost something completely different- very heavy exploding with dark energy. Best remix on the album so far.

7. Goodbye (Khursor Remix)
In the original, this breakup opus alternates between seething with anger and angst. The remix morphs the cliched material into a cool piece of cinematic cybernetics. If this was actually how Godhead usually sounded, I very well could see myself listening to them regularly.

8. Another Day (Shok's Other Way Remix)
Shok's remix picks up the pace of the drudgy original and makes it come alive. Good use of stuttering electronics and nifty crunchy percussion breaks make a big difference. I don't know if Godhead fans are going to like this one, but I do.

9. Once Before (Arritmic Remix)
Burbling electronics and a dancey beat take an average rock song and make it sound pretty cool. Good club fodder.

10. Push (Creature Remix)
A strange sort of cyber-ambient vibe with a beat, almost minimal with only snippets of the original vocals makes this one of the more experimental remixes on the album.

11. Your End Of Days (Jamison Boaz Remix)
Where the hell have I heard this song before? I know I've heard it somewhere... anyway, the Jamison Boaz Remix makes it sound just a little creepier. It's sort of a toss-up between this and the original.

12. Fall Down (Joe Bishara Remix)
One of Godhead's more mellow tracks off 'The Shadow Line' is given the shoegazer treatment by horror movie soundtrack composer Bishara. Keven Shields, eat your heart out.

13. Unrequited (Team Cybergeist Remix)
If Depeche Mode tried to become a hard rock band, they might sound a little something like this.

14. Trapped In Your Lies (Psyclon Nine Remix)
Well, it started off promisingly enough with a neat dark ambient opening, but Psyclon Nine decided to keep the vocals up front and put the band in a box. Sounds "phoned-in". Disappointing.

15. To Heal
One of the three non-remix tracks on the album, "To Heal" is a previously unreleased Godhead originial. It's kind of a slow-boiler straddling the line between melodic metal and something a little darker. Though there are keyboards, there's nothing really electro-industrial about it. Better than some of the songs off 'The Shadow Line' though.

16. God Of Thunder
Maybe a little better than the Kiss original, but that's mostly due to Jason Miler's voice more than anything else. Kiss is the last band on earth I'd want to pay any homage to though.

17. Never Let Me Down Again
This Depeche Mode cover shows what Godhead might sound like if they tried to become a synthopo band. (Recall track 13, turnabout is fair play.) Not bad actually, just don't expect a whole lot of synths.

Overall, 'The Shadow Realigned' is an interesting, if uneven album with its high and low points, fortunately with more highs than lows. Don't expect this to be a harbinger of a new direction for Godhead though. Jason Miller likes to experiment and deviate from the well-trodden melodic metal path now and then, but more than likely he'll return to the fold in order to keep the fan base he's got.

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