Korn's Family Values Tour is back after a five-year absence and this superb compilation disc lets fans everywhere enjoy one of metal's premier road shows from the comfort of their own headphones. The cream of the show's lineup is featured -- Korn, Flyleaf, 10 Years, Stone Sour, Deftones, Dir En Grey and Deadsy -- and some great songs get a second life recorded live before enthusiastic audiences. One's fingers are tempted back to the volume dial again and again. This stuff has to be consumed loud!
If you want the hard stuff, there's two bands you know you can always count on: Korn and the Deftones. The former -- those alt-metal vets from California -- account for five of the tracks here. But they're interspersed throughout the album's "set" rather than in one block: a tactic used for all the bands represented and one that does the disc a service.
Korn still play with the same enthusiasm they did when they started out 15 years ago and it comes right through the speakers. The pick of their tracks are the double-shot "Shoots and Ladders/Wicked" and their signature classic "Freak On A Leash." "Shoots and Ladders/Wicked" has to be some of the weirdest stuff ever laid down -- a marvelous meandering freakout that features twisted sing-song nursery rhymes and metal sludge for the first number, and a murderous version of "Nick Nack Paddy Whack" (!) and guest vocals from Deftones singer Chino Moreno for the Ice Cube rap joint "Wicked." If the '60s had psychedelia, this is the twisted new-millennium equivalent.
But the headliners don't hog the limelight: not by a long sniper shot. To begin with you have the Deftones and their unique brand of heavy riffage, which is perfectly exemplified on "My Own Summer." You can hear the Black Sabbath roots clear and true as this one unfolds. Moreno doesn't spare his throat when it comes to the primal screams either.
There's also very tasty fare from some of the less established bands. Japanese goth-metal outfit Dir En Grey turn plenty of ears with their two offerings. The more memorable of the pair is "Merciless Cult" on which singer Kyo delivers some of the most tortured vocals this side of the Styx over meltdown axes. There's little surprise that the frontman has been hospitalized in the past with inflamed vocal chords.
The other act that deserves a special listen is Flyleaf, fronted by the amazing Lacey Moseley. One of modern metal's few frontwomen who can do the sing-roar thing, Moseley grips your attention and doesn't let go. On "I'm So Sick" (which charted as a single from the band's eponymous debut album in 2005), her anguished vocals are viscerally expressive as she pours them out over roaring guitars. On the band's version of U2's "Pride (In The Name of Love)" she teams up with Richard Patrick from Army Of Anyone. The two singers play off each other perfectly, sometimes combining and at others splitting lead duties. It adds a new dimension to a rendition of a classic that's fairly faithful to the original, though, as one would expect, a tad heavier.
Every track contributes mightily to the whole package but one more is worthy of honorable mention. "Carrying Over" by Deadsy is the only acoustic number, in fact the only ballad, on the album... and it works perfectly as a closer.
The energy of The Family Values Tour 2006 proves that this traveling monster of a show has plenty of life left in it yet. And keeping the disc to 16 tracks offers the listener a nice stiff belt without it ever bogging down. Metalheads will want this one in their collection... nothing surer.
By Adrian Zupp
|Artist:||Various Artists - Hard Rock|
|Number of Discs:||1|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.21|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.0 x 0.42 x 5.63|
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