Top positive review
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Awesome Awesome Awesome
on 11 April 2006
Killing Joke appear to have been around for ever but it's actually a mere 28 years. Their back catalogue is positively jaw dropping, their break-up/reformation history a book in itself.
This, their 12th studio album, has a considerable amount to live up to, following on from their eponymous 2003 offering, a bombastic, political crucifixion of Bush, capitalism and globalisation, all set to the sound of a huge object landing from a great height with a trainwreck in the background. One line alone; 'they're dropping bombs again and they're doing it in your name' (Seeing Red) said more than the entire musical output of 2003 combined.
So how do you follow that? Well at first glance, 'Hosannas' gives some cause for alarm. The political sentiments have been largely ditched, at a time when the middle east is in shreds, Iran/US tension is mounting by the day, the planet is heating up and bird flu looms....hold on, that cover artwork looks suspiciously like an avian/human hybrid.......
Moving swiftly along, we reach the music. Jaz's earth-shattering vocals are well down in the mix this time, slightly reminiscent of 'Mathematics Of Chaos' from 'Pandemonium', but nonetheless effective for all that. Lyrics are included in the booklet and are essential, so don't be a cheapskate and get your mate to run you off a copy -- just buy it!
To be honest, 'Invocation' is worth the asking price alone -- a giant rumbling riff, backing what sounds like an orchestra who've stumbled into the wrong studio, with Jaz roaring over the top. But there's more -- another eight tracks, all clocking in at excess of five minutes, and at the risk of mentioning birds again, not a turkey in sight. It's awesome, it's angry, it's phenomenal, it's -- well, it's Killing Joke.
If you've never sampled the band, this may not be the ideal place to start -- I'd recommend Pandemonium or the 2003 album, but for commited jokers, this really hits the spot. If you've been unsure whether to dip a toe in -- don't hesitate -- just do it. Long live the Joke.