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Mustasch - "Latest Version of the Truth" (CD)

Mustasch - "Latest Version of the Truth" CD cover image

"Latest Version of the Truth" track listing:

1. In The Night
2. Double Nature
3. Falling Down
4. The Heckler
5. I Wanna Be Loved
6. Scyphozoa
7. Spreading The Worst
8. Bring Me Everyone
9. Forever Begins Today
10. I Am Not Aggressive
11. The End

Reviewed by on May 18, 2010

"For once, the orchestra seems to be a member of the band, rather than the just 'sitting in' and 'Latest Version of the Truth' is a fantastic listen as a result."

It's always fun when a band stretches the boundaries of its genre, and make no mistake, that's just what Mustasch does on its latest CD, "Latest Version of the Truth." While embracing heavy, hard rock riffing and solos, along with fist-pumping choruses and powerful vocals, the band also incorporates a string section and choir for an appealingly unusual blend of sounds.

These Swedes know how to rock. They've been nominated for Heavy Metal Grammys in their home country and toured with Motorhead in Germany (and if that's not a lesson in Rock 101, I don't know what is). Ralf Gyllenhammar's vocals and lead guitar lines complement each other perfectly on most tracks, with Hannes Hansson's rhythm guitar, and Mats Hansson and Mats Johansson's drums and bass, keeping the rhythm train chugging along.

Straight-up rock gets its due in the opener, "In The Night," which gallops along at a good clip. The intro takes a while, but when Gyllenhammar's vocals come in, all is right with the world. He's got a great set of pipes with just enough grit and gravel to keep things interesting.

"Double Nature" is where things take a pleasant left turn. The song starts out with almost a booze-soaked Southern feel, before the strings come in and suddenly, I'm wondering a little bit if Mustasch is paying tribute to their fellow Swedes in ABBA. Seriously, I mean it as a compliment when I say Benny and Bjorn would probably be pleased. Then, we swerve back into hard rock, though the strings stick around and have an interesting break in the middle that goes back into ABBA territory before Gyllenhammar rips out a fantastic guitar solo.

My favorite track on the album, by far, is "Forever Begins Today," which, frankly, from the title on, sounds like it could be a James Bond film theme. The rising and falling guitar chord progressions just ooze John Barry and those huge string section parts accentuate it.

Tracks like "The Heckler" and "Spreading The Worst" go in a heavier direction, with deep, dark riffs that churn like mad. Regrettably, the album ends with the one track in which that riffing style goes wrong. Even when matched with the string section, the main riff of "The End" is literally monotonous, and things aren't helped when the strings play nearly exactly the same thing in parts.

The production values on this disc are superb, though occasionally Gyllenhammar's vocals get lost early on. "In The Night" is especially guilty in that regard in parts.

Mustasch's "Latest Version of the Truth" is an excellent album that combines a reverence for rocking with an incredible ability to infuse new sounds into the formula. For once, the orchestra seems to be a member of the band, rather than the just "sitting in" and "Latest Version of the Truth" is a fantastic listen as a result.

Highs: "Double Nature," "The Heckler" and ""Forever Begins Today."

Lows: "The End" goes on too long with a monotonous riff, though the piano and choir coda at the end is fun.

Bottom line: An excellent album that blends heavy riffs and orchestration to superb effect.

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)