Top critical review
17 people found this helpful
on 20 July 2006
I've been a massive fan of Killing Joke for over 20 years now, but unfortunately the esteem I held them in is starting to fade somewhat. Hosannas from the Basements of Hell is in my opinion by far the worst cd they have released in their career. The main reason for this is the horribly muddy production, I really thought there was something wrong with my speakers when I first heard it - all the instruments tend to merge into one, and Jaz's voice is so lost in the mix that it's hard to work out a word he is singing. This could be seen as a good thing however, because the lyric sheet was dismaying reading; " But then I walk down the stairs and Killing Joke waits for me there" Ugh! The lyrics to say their album "Brighter Than a Thousand Suns" are poetry in the truest sense, and while I understand that Killing Joke seem to be intentionally rejecting any artistic pretentions in favour of a more primal, instinctive sound, the deterioration is unforgiveable for me.
I had read on a few occasions that the album grows on you over time, and that's why I have waited a couple of months before writing any sort of review - but the only way in which it has grown on me is that if I'm in the mood for listening to something really loud, and repetetive, then this is what I reach for.
What I can't understand is why Killing Joke were content to release this album - Geordie is still an amazing guitar player - but his guitar is lost in the mix ... the whole thing sounds so samey and amateurish that it could have been recorded by almost anybody, and while it might be considered a good effort for a newly formed band, Killing Joke have set a much higher benchmark for themselves, and have sadly lapsed into mediocrity.
If they go on to release another album, I can only hope that it is nothing like this one.