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Psychostick - "IV: Revenge of The Vengeance" (CD)

Psychostick - "IV: Revenge of The Vengeance" CD cover image

"IV: Revenge of The Vengeance" track listing:

1. Revenge of The Vengeance (0:42)
2. Obey the Beard (3:53)
3. President Rhino (2:12)
4. H-Flat (0:20)
5. So. Heavy. (4:48)
6. Dogs Like Socks (1:09)
7. Super Legit OFFICIAL Teaser #2 Explode (0:31)
8. Quack Kills (3:29)
9. Blue Screen (4:37)
10. NSFW (3:13)
11. Danger Zone (3:50)
12. New To The Neighborhood (0:53)
13. Loathe Thy Neighbor (4:57)
14. AWESOME! (3:32)
15. Choking Hazard (3:14)
16. Fight to the Death (3:18)
17. Bruce Campbell (2:40)
18. Trick or Treat (0:40)
19. Dimensional Time Portal (3:21)
20. The Power of Metal Compels You (2:04)
21. Outtakes IV: The Outtakening (3:47)

Reviewed by on December 3, 2014

"If you love beards – and you DO love beards – or have ever wanted to dangerously stalk Bruce Campbell, “IV: Revenge Of The Vengeance” is the album for you."

It's time to find your sense of humor, metal heads (you probably left it in that Deathspell Omega CD case or dropped it in the bathroom at a Cannibal Corpse show), because Psychostick is back to get revenge for some stolen vengeance (and elect a Rhino to the white house). If you love beards – and you DO love beards – or have ever wanted to dangerously stalk Bruce Campbell, “IV: Revenge Of The Vengeance” is the album for you.

Although clearly a comedy metal outfit, here's the thing about the band: the comedy isn't there to cover up a lack of talent. The Pyschostick lads perfectly play a huge range of styles, from technical to thrash to groove to deathcore to rock, and it's all spot-on. That massive range isn't just limited to the instrumentation though, as the vocals cover all the aforementioned styles, and there are parts that make me think Psychostick's vocalist could give anybody from the big power or melodic metal bands a serious run for their money.

On the comedy side, I haven't been this amused by a tongue-in-cheek album since Steel Panther's “Feel The Steel,” and the jokes come from every direction, even skewering/saluting standards of the metal scene. “So Heavy” deconstructs the typical deathcore song, explaining everything that's happening through the vocals (“a little bit higher gain, a little more brutal now, doooooooouble bass!”). The track “Blue Screen” is then an emotional ballad about a man's computer dying that is on a Weird Al level of word play hilarity. “Quack Kills” deals with one man's descent into madness as he realizes the shrink he's seeing for being terrified of ducks is “a quack.”

The crowning achievements of the album are easily “Obey The Beard” and the jaw-droppingly amazing “NSFW.” No foolin', that track deserves some kind of fucking award, like a fucking Grammy or something. “NSFW” somehow smoothly transitions between just about every sub-genre out there, all while only using the word “fuck.” The spot-on Green Jello impression parroting “Three Little Pigs” (all still to just the word “fuck”) is an added bonus that fans of '90s music will love.

As a comedy album, of course there are tracks that will fall flat for some listeners. “Dogs Like Socks” is less amusing without the accompanying video, but hey, it's only a minute and nine seconds long, so it's not a huge burden to listen through. The all voiced tracks “New To The Neighborhood” and “Trick Or Treat” were probably funny in theory, but it didn't really work for me and just interrupted the actual musical humor. “Dimensional Time Portal” is also sort of a scatterbrained mess, but it gets funny at the end, and its necessary to understand what's happening in next track “The Power Of Metal Compels You.”

With only a couple of misses and mostly stunning hits, Psychostick doesn't just have a hilarious comedy release, but an all-around entertaining listen that works for metal heads musically as well, and that's quite the achievement.

Highs: Nearly every track is laugh-out-loud hilarious, and the music is spot-on to boot!

Lows: The voiceover tracks are less amusing than intended.

Bottom line: Psychostick elects a rhinoceros president, stalks Bruce Campbell, loses loads of porn in a computer crash, and then saves the world!

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 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)