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F5 - "A Drug For All Seasons" (CD)

F5 - "A Drug For All Seasons" CD cover image

"A Drug For All Seasons" track listing:

1. Faded
2. Dissidence
3. Fall to Me
4. A Drug for All Seasons
5. Bleeding
6. What I Am
7. Dying on the Vine
8. Hold Me Down
9. Defacing
10. X'd Out
11. Look you in the Eyes
12. Forte Sonata

Reviewed by on June 17, 2006

"In the end, F5 feels less like a destructive force and more like a twisting pile of raked leaves."

F5 is the new undertaking of former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson. If listeners are expecting Megadeth, however, they have another thing coming.

The music of F5’s album “A Drug for All Seasons” only has slight metal elements -- mostly in the guitars, though even the guitars and bass seem mostly hard rock. The drums, Dale Steele’s clean vocals, and the pop choruses are far more mainstream rock than anything metal. F5 will likely appeal only to those eighties metal fans that just can’t fathom listening to anything with screaming, grunting, or growling in any capacity.

That being said, F5 does not do the genre of “clean metal” well. Most tracks, though well-produced, feel empty and without energy. The choruses are often the main culprits. For instance, the third track, “Fall to Me,” and the following title track seem to be building up to a climax, but then fall flat with weak, uninspired choruses. Singing “Yeah, you’re my drug for all seasons” repeatedly sounds as lame on the album as it does in print. All is not lost here, however. The most complete track, “Dissidence,” features a quality hard-rocking riff and sounds a little reminiscent of Sevendust.

F5 also accomplishes one of the most butchered covers of a song…ever. Covers can be excellent additions to albums, but only when they truly enhance the song and give it something new—listen to Graveworm’s “Losing My Religion” or even Disturbed’s “Land of Confusion,” for instance. What F5 has done to Eddie Brickell’s “What I Am,” though, is hardly local cover band quality. The heavy guitars suck the life right out of the song, while the faux-melodies ruin any hint of harmony that would be present in this song.

In the end, F5 feels less like a destructive force and more like a twisting pile of raked leaves. Though the main attraction is a former Megadeth member, the two bands have almost nothing in common, especially where intensity is concerned. If F5 is to follow up “A Drug for All Seasons,” hopefully they’ll come back with more passion and better vocals.

Highs: the track "Dissidence" and quality production

Lows: uninspired vocals and poor choruses throughout

Bottom line: Only worth a glimpse from "clean metalheads"

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 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)