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Opiate for the Masses - "Manifesto" (CD)

Opiate for the Masses - "Manifesto" CD cover image

"Manifesto" track listing:

1. 21st Century Time Bomb
2. Lie
3. Burn You Down
4. Dead Underground
5. The Habit
6. Hold On
7. Wandering Star
8. Black Book
9. Washed Away
10. Naked
11. Manifesto

Reviewed by on July 23, 2008

"'Manifesto' is rather disappointing and it's a shame as Opiate For The Masses has lots of potential to release a solid album."

Opiate for the Masses returns with their Century Media debut, "Manifesto," boasting of praise from members of Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot. Too bad that isn’t enough to make me jump up and down like a giddy little school girl. "Manifesto" is everything short of creative. Repetition seems to be the theme of this album, as indicated by the picture of the fist superimposed over the same fist again and again on the cover artwork.

Props to Opiate For The Masses for being so gutsy as to ditch the Tool influences, as evident on their previous album "The Spore," and opting for the dying industrial nu-metal, à la Static-X and Powerman 5000, for the follow-up. Even vocalist Ron Underwood sounds like Wayne Static and Spider One, especially in the aggressive lead track “21st Century Time Bomb.” The band has always prided itself in not being influenced by one genre of music. While “Washed Away” has some Nine Inch Nails influence, “The Habit” brings Opiate For The Masses's sound close to that of tourmates Filter. As with nu-metal, the band plays one riff over and over within the same song, like the neo-Finger-Eleven-styled version of Portishead’s “Wandering Star.”

That being said, hard rock and nu-metal fans may enjoy this record with its catchy choruses and the usual angst-ridden vocals that could easily receive some radio play on generic rock stations. After all, the album was produced by Ulrich Wild and John Travis, who have dealt with other radio-friendly bands such as Incubus, Seether and Deftones. Former Drain STH bassist Anna Kjellberg lays down a pretty solid bassline on the track “Black Book,” one of the few interesting musical highlights of this otherwise forgettable snooze-inducer. It’s a shame as Opiate For The Masses has lots of potential to release a solid album. However, I expected more from a Century Media band.

Highs: "Lie" and "Burn You Down" have catchy choruses that could get stuck in your head.

Lows: Listening to this album makes me yearn to listen to other music instead.

Bottom line: Fans of nu-metal might want to check it out. Otherwise, it's not worth the time.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

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)