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Rob Zombie: Hellbilly Deluxe 2
By Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal

Release Date: February 2nd, 2010
Record Label: Roadrunner Records

My rating points:

    Track Listing:
  1. Jesus Frankenstein (5:22)
  2. Sick Bubble-Gum (3:44)
  3. What? (2:48)
  4. Mars Needs Women (4:59)
  5. Werewolf, Baby (4:00)
  6. Virgin Witch (3:39)
  7. Death And Destiny Inside The Dream Factory (2:19)
  8. Burn (3:04)
  9. Cease to Exist (3:39)
  10. Werewolf Women of the SS (3:01)
  11. The Man Who Laughs (9:44)

Famed musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie returns with his fourth studio album after a gap of almost four years since the last effort. This is also a follow-up and companion to the triple platinum 'Hellbilly Deluxe'. Even though the album was recorded in 2008, this long gap can be explained by the fact that he was caught up in his 'Halloween II' movie commitments. Even then, the album was supposed to be out by November 2009 but pushed further back due to lack of publicity. Well here we are finally, less than a week away from its release and here's a track-by-track review for you.

The album starts off with some dark, doom metal type overtones in 'Jesus Frankenstein' and reminds the listener instantly of the song 'Black Sabbath' by the band of the same name. The song remains dark and heavy throughout with amazing interludes that give it a typical Rob Zombie sort of atmosphere. After listening to the whole album, I can say that this song is definitely one of the best. A good way to kick off the album, making the listener hungry for more!

Things get heavier with the next song titled 'Sick Bubble-Gum' and its your signature Zombie track, with heavily distorted and down-tuned guitars accompanied with lyrics that sound very easy to sing along with. There is more than a hint of guitar riffs and solos in this one, as compared to the opening track.

The tempo picks up just a little bit with one of the shorter songs in the album, 'What?' From the feel that I get out of it, it should be a good live song. Despite not having anything musically outstanding, the average Zombie fan should dig this. The album has progressed quite nicely so far, each song offering something different and adding to the previous one. No reason not to expect even better things from the rest of it you would think.

Acoustic guitars take a prominent position for the first time with the first minute and a half of the next song 'Mars Needs Women'. It comes off as quite refreshing and possibly the most unique part of the whole album. After that though, the song settles down as the usual slow tempo industrial rock tune with repetitive lyrics. This is followed by the track 'Werewolf, Baby', which isn't a bad song by any means and goes very well with the rest of the album. The main riffs are quite interesting and can be described as a sort of heavily distorted blues-country composition.

The doom-laden ambience of the first track returns with 'Virgin Witch'. I wouldn't expect anyone to go crazy head banging or singing along to this one, neither is it likely to feature as a regular live track. But musically it is one of the best songs in the album, specially the delightful solo at the end of it. This surely gives a lot of depth to the album and goes a long way in preventing it from sounding one-dimensional. 'Death And Destiny Inside The Dream Factory' is quite a contrasting follow up to this, being the shortest song on the album and a typical rocking number. The next song 'Burn' has nothing wrong with it from the musical point of view, but the 'lyrics', if you can call them lyrics, are such that it might be enjoyable to some while a turn-off for others.

'Cease To Exist' is slow, dark, heavy and almost gothic in its musical atmosphere. The vocals too are a lot softer than the other songs so far, sounding electronic for the most part. Drums are quite prominent and take the foreground in the interludes and latter part of it. Its hard to really get into this song after just a few listens, but it has the potential to grow on the listener. The tempo finally picks up again with 'Werewolf Women Of The SS', which is perhaps the fastest song of the album, having some tight guitar riffs and a more than decent solo. The last song 'The Man Who Laughs' is the only one written collectively by all four members of the band and is quite progressive in nature, at first sounding like a continuation of the previous song, going from that into a slow interlude and then a drum solo which lasts for four minutes, no less. Because of this I am pretty sure that this song will feature in their live shows.

So overall it's a good album from Rob Zombie and co, very well written, and very creative particularly in the case of songs like 'Werewolf, Baby', 'Virgin Witch', 'Cease To Exist' and 'The Man Who Laughs'. A Rob Zombie fan should enjoy this effort from its start to finish and even a new fan or a person unfamiliar with the band should find a lot of reasons to like this, save for one or two filler songs. I don't expect this to reach the heights that 'Hellbilly Deluxe' did, but it is guaranteed to keep the fans happy.

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