Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

April 18, 2010

Powerman 5000 ~ Tonight The Stars Revolt

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: heavy metal, industrial
Label: Dreamworks
Year: 1999
Home: Boston

Members: Al 3 ~ drums
Dorian 27 ~ bass
DJ Lethal ~ turntables
Spider One ~ vocals
M.33, Adam 12 ~ guitar

Additional: Malachi Throne ~ narrator
Scott Humphrey, Marc LaCorte ~ programming

Guest: Rob Zombie ~ vocals
Ginger Fish ~ piano

I first heard this album from a next door neighbor in college when it first hit the shelves. I was immediately enthralled by it. I'd never heard anything quite like it, with it's quasi-industrial metal & forward driving rhythms that always sounded to be like they were ahead of the beat thus driving it forward, versus the sludge of doom metal I wasn't yet interested in. Further, the campy 1950's science fiction theme of the album (i.e., most apparent in the songs "Tonight The Stars Revolt!," "When Worlds Collide," "Watch The Sky For Me," "System 11:11," "Blast Off To Nowhere," "Super Nova Goes Pop" & "The Son Of X-51") was similiar to the surf rock I was then listening to such as Man Or Astro-man?. I was also struck by the dynamic singing ... though listening again after years I can't help but hear the Marilyn Manson similarities. & thus I come to the weakness of the album. At the time I wasn't listening to Marilyn Manson, but now I've heard everything he's done & it's hard not to call this the lost Marilyn Manson non-rated X space album. The fact that they once toured with Manson & feature member Ginger Fish on the album proves the point. Some of the songs are incredibly strong (i.e. "When Worlds Collide," "Good Times Roll," "Nobody's Real" & "Super Nova Goes Pop") & memorable, while others are a bit repetitive & survive only by their campy theme ... oh, but what a great campy theme it is! Unlike some concept albums that are hard to dicipher, you never ask yourself what this is about ... as most often nothing but just repeating sci-fi phrases against an industrial metal foundation. Sadly, the weakness of the album discouraged me from investigating them further when they abandoned the sci-fi motif. Lead singer Spider One is the younger brother of shock rocker Rob Zombie so more than a few songs, particularly "Operate, Annihilate", have a very Zombie-esque sound.

(featured on the Roman Midnight Music CD Reviews & Interviews podcast: episode 17 "Industrial Metal," April 2011, click here to listen)

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