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Downcount - "Soundtrack Of The Revolution" (CD)

Downcount - "Soundtrack Of The Revolution" CD cover image

"Soundtrack Of The Revolution" track listing:

1. Burn
2. Free
3. The Time Is Now
4. Backed Into A Corner
5. I Regret
6. Anniversary
7. Against The Law
8. Altered State
9. Life Support
10. End Of My Rope
11. Escape
12. Come And Take It

Reviewed by on April 12, 2010

"'Soundtrack Of The Revolution' rocks so hard that I imagine even the biggest granola-munching hippie metalheads out there will find much to love even if they disagree with the message."

When a band brings its politics to the forefront, it often runs the risk of those politics overpowering the actual music. Fortunately, Downcount, whose lyrics are nakedly political on many songs, avoids that trap by wrapping the lyrics in tasty riffs and grooves on "Soundtrack Of The Revolution."

Singer Doug Kendall was a top-rated radio host in South Carolina, prior to starting the band with guitarist Eric Fleming. Kendall's right-wing political point-of-view comes across loud and clear on tracks like "Against The Law" and "The Time Is Now." The one time the lyrics descend into platitudes is "Come And Take It," a defense of gun rights that announces that "gun control is a steady hand."

Kendall's a more-than-solid singer, showing off what he can do melodically on the heartfelt ballad "Anniversary." He's also got a great "rock voice," adding a bit of a shout to tracks like "Backed Into A Corner" and "Altered State."

That said, the real star on the album is guitarist Eric Fleming, whose riffs and solos bring to mind everyone from Alice in Chains to Pantera. Take, for example, the opener, "Burn," which features a chunky riff and some splendid soloing. "I Regret" is another star moment for Fleming, featuring an excellent bridge and solo.

My biggest complaint, production-wise, is that Kendall's vocals get covered up in some places. It's worst in the opening of "Against The Law," though it does happen elsewhere too.

"Come And Take It," marred by lazy lyrics and some sub-par riffing, is the one truly bad song on the album. That said, occasionally, there's a been-there-done-that feel to some of the songs like "Life Support" toward the end of the album. Then again, the riffs rock hard enough that you probably won't care all that much.

It's great that Kendall and the rest of the Downcount crew have found an outlet for their political point-of-view. Even greater is the fact that "Soundtrack Of The Revolution" rocks so hard that I imagine even the biggest granola-munching hippie metalheads out there will find much to love even if they disagree with the message.

Highs: "Burn," "Anniversary" and "I Regret."

Lows: "Come And Take It;" a few instances in which the vocals get covered up.

Bottom line: Great groove metal with a message.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)