Lord of the Cynics (Crack Nation)
by Lex Marburger
What has changed since Nine Inch Nails released Broken and Fixed in the early ’90s? Not much. Well, the White Zombie bass sound (stolen by Korn) has surfaced more often, and drum’n’bass has crept in here and there, but in truth, Acumen Nation lives by tried and true formulas, and while Lord of the Cynics may poke its head above the morass of nü metal/industrial/whatever, that’s not really saying much. Processed and distorted vocals, “heavy” (or, rather, compressed and smoothed) guitars, that bass sound I was talking about, and the drums… well, shucks, the snare is so thin I can use it to filter my coffee. Shall we look at the lyrics? “Have you ever seen the sun cringe…,” “Adrift the snowman regurgitates…,” “Alive in deviation..,” “All the king’s horsemen are dead, and I’m left to clean up the mess…” Ok, maybe we shouldn’t look at the lyrics anymore.
To be fair, there is a 15-second bridge in “Metard” I kinda dig, and “Cowboy God” (when one overlooks the title, of course) opens with the kind of violence I’d like to hear more of. Even “Capsule,” with it’s obvious bite of The Fragile mixed with Stabbing Westward, makes for an interesting listen, if for no other reason that it’s the only mid-tempo song on the album and it shows some solid songwriting. But as a whole, I would suggest Pigface over this.
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