|Volume 93, Issue 19
Thursday, September 30, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Cornell's solo album cutivates own sound
With his two previous solo efforts, "Seasons" from the Singles soundtrack, and "Sunshower" from the Great Expectations soundtrack, Chris Cornell proved to the music world that his talent did exceed the boundaries of Soundgarden.
Back then, the band was a Seattle staple, so the success or failure of these lone ventures appeared moot. This time around, however, Cornell has gone solo for good with the release of Euphoria Morning. With Soundgarden no longer there as a lifeline, the success or failure of this effort may be somewhat more essential.
Although influences from his former band exist, Cornell does an excellent job of creating his own sound. This sound includes the edginess in "Can't Change Me" and "Pillow Of Your Bones, the touch of blues in "Mission," melodic acoustics in "Sweet Euphoria" and the melancholic, piano driven "When I'm Down." With such a mixture of sounds, Cornell pushes his talent to the limit vocally, successfully achieving a unity of voice and music.
While the album stands on its own, a majority of the songs do not embody the attitude of Cornell's previous solo efforts. Indeed, Euphoria Morning comes with a lot of emotional baggage and not a lot of the gritty guitar playing of which Cornell is fully capable.
Disappointingly, Cornell does not provide the necessary fuel most of the songs deserve, leaving Euphoria Morning an album full of unfulfilled possibilities. However, the talent is there and Cornell proves there is life after Soundgarden.
Metal Blade Records
European heavy metal has a sound all its own. In the early '80s, it stood as an influence for North American bands who did not want to travel down the glam-rock road to this continent's brand of heavy metal.
Even now, European heavy metal is stronger than ever and Holland's God Dethroned has contributed to the scene with their latest release, Bloody Blasphemy.
As is often the case with the genre, Bloody Blasphemy is unmerciful in its assault of breakneck guitar and pulverizing drums. The singing is difficult to swallow and the lyrical promotion of death and evil seem all too fitting. Unfortunately, God Dethroned follows this blueprint song after song, which makes for a boring listen.
There are, however, a couple of bright spots on the album. The songs "Soul Capture 1562" and "Under the Golden Wings of Death" separate themselves from the rest of the album by slowing down and focusing on some genuine song writing. As well, the incorporation of piano on "The Execution Protocol" works as a natural complement to the heavy guitar.
However, these encouraging exceptions do not last long and Bloody Blasphemy continues with a one dimensional, endless attack of screaming metal which leaves the neck sore, the ears ringing and the soul howling for something more.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999