Games Meet Metal: Retro Review: Astro-Creep 2000

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Retro Review: Astro-Creep 2000

Retro Reviews is an idea I pitched to the rest of the GMM writers some time ago, and then completely forgot about it. I thought it would be worthwhile to dig up some of our favourite albums and "Re-Review" them for some of the new metal listeners that haven't heard of this stuff. I went through a bunch of iconic band's discographies to find some special anniversary dates for some of metal's greatest albums. I gave the list to the rest of the guys and there's a lot of good stuff that will be celebrating an anniversary later this year. So keep your eyes and ears open, because if you missed this stuff the first time around, you should really give it a listen if you're looking for something new. Check out my review of White Zombie's Astro-Creep 2000, which was released on this day 15 years ago!

Back before he was a director and solo artist, Rob Zombie was the founder of White Zombie which became one of the first Groove Metal bands (along with Pantera and Sepultura) in the early to mid 90s. White Zombie first gained attention with their 1992 release La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1. The music was raw and heavy and their lyrical content was like a mini screenplay for a grindhouse horror movie. Their music had enough influence to be included in Guitar Hero (Thunderkiss '65) and Guitar Hero III (Black Sunshine). The album went double platinum and launched White Zombie into the great metal spotlight of the early 90s. White Zombie increased their popularity when they released their forth and final album on April 11th, 1995. This album was also certified at Double Platinum and was the bands highest performance on the Billboard 200, peaking at #6. They released three singles from this album, with More Human Than Human being the most recognized and popular. Here's the video for the album's first single, Electric Head, Pt. 2.

15 years ago I was living a mining city in Northern Canada by the name of Thompson. I was 12 years old and during this time I was starting to pay attention to the music that was coming out, instead of what my parents were listening to. Every Saturday at 10pm, MuchMusic (Canada's MTV) had an hour-long program called LOUD that was dedicated to playing Hard Rock and Metal songs. That is where I got my first taste of White Zombie. Electric Head Pt. 2 was the first song that I heard from these guys and I've been a fan ever since. The music was catchy and the lyrics were awesome. I remember really liking Supercharger Heaven, More Human Than Human, El Phantasmo And The Chicken-Run Blast-O-Rama and the Electric Heads at the time and to be honest, it's been a while since I sat down and listened to the whole thing from start to finish. Those songs are still awesome, but now I'm kicking myself for not paying more attention to Grease Paint And Monkey Brains, Creature Of The Wheel and Blood, Milk And Sky.

Astro-Creep 2000 was a huge step forward in the production end of things as well. The mixing sounded a lot better, and Rob Zombie was able to use more sound samples to give each song its own personality. The album covers a lot of different genres, but still sticks close to the groove metal formula. You've got your slow, brooding songs with Blood, Milk And Sky and Creature Of The Wheel, your faster tempo'd, moshing songs with Supercharger Heaven and Electric Head Pt. 1, and your accessible hard rock songs with More Human Than Human, El Phantasmo and Electric Head Pt. 2. And like most metal/rock albums released after Anthrax's version of Bring the Noise, there are a couple of songs that experimented with Hip Hop elements to stay relevant to the way music was going at the time.

After listening through this album again, I can still say that I am a fan. The album has great pacing and the music is still really enjoyable. As I was sitting here writing this, my 5 year old son came over to see what I was listening to. He said "It sounds really cool. Like a haunted house or something." I guess it's safe to say this album gets a Slaytanic!

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