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)

June 26, 2012

Dead Nation ~ The Best Of Dead Nation (hits comp)

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Style: industrial, heavy metal
Label: Fuck You Tour Records
Year: 2011
Home: Illinois

Members: John Balz ~ guitars/vocals/bass/keyboard programming/bullhorn

Culling together eleven tracks from DN's five albums this is a good starting point for a band that describes itself as a "rock madhouse of all original super-tunes led by the Madman John Balz." The madhouse fuck you attitude the pervades their promotional material might lead one to believe DN is a straight in your face thrashy heavy metal band ... the truth is far different & the music far more unpredictable & interesting. Think the soundtrack of The Matrix or the industrial edge of Rob Zombie & you'll have made a few good steps towards uncovering the general sound of DN. Synthesized talky/rap vocals cry out against an electronica industrial foundation with the hypnotically churning guitars varying from being upfront to tucked deep, surprisingly, in the mix. This is not a guitar driven industrial album. It is homespun instead of highly glossed pounding industrial metal, sounding shockingly original next to the typical bedroom thrash bands that one might take DN to be. "Balz Is Dead" is a particularly interesting track as it's an electrified zombie, as in walking dead not Rob, hoedown. Though pulled from numerous albums all the songs are generally in the same mold, sounding very cohesive together, with variations on how the guitar & electronica foundation mix & argue over who is going to get top-billing. The catch-22 is that it's always Balz's crooning. "Tripton" is the only track severely sounding out of place, thankfully also the closing track, as its super ethereal compared to its neighbors. One of the more interesting homespun industrial outings.

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