Ghosts of the Social Dead
Dinner for Wolves
Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Why do bands feel the need to try and revive a genre or style that’s been a long time dead? I’m talking about nu-metal. Sure, Korn are still sticking at it and doing their thing rather well to be honest. But the rest of those bands that appeared in the late 90’s and early 00’s have thankfully gone the way of the dodo. Australia’s own nu-metal soldiers Superheist have returned after a 13 year hiatus. To be honest, we didn’t have a lot to offer to the nu-metal genre during its heyday, so it’s fair to say that Superheist were our only hope. Having said that, I’m not sure how much value there is in a return from the group after so much time away.
After disbanding all those years ago, I think it’s fair to say many never thought a return from Superheist was on the cards. But here they are, with new vocalist Ezekiel Ox (Full Scale) out front. Whilst the band’s earlier releases may hold up in this day and age, to be fair, this one is just average and well, unnecessary. The opening riffs, complete with the spacey echo effect to boot, that define “Wolves in Your Headspace” really define what to expect from the next 40 minutes and really, none of it raises the bar above mediocre.
Sure the production sounds good thanks to Jay Baumgardner (Coal Chamber, Papa Roach, Drowning Pool, P.O.D., Orgy) but really, unless you’re absolutely frothing at the mouth for a brand spanking new nu-metal release, then Superheist are really bringing nothing to the table with Ghosts of the Social Dead. Don’t believe me? Well just check out the Linkin Park rip off that is “Back to Base”. The chorus is everything I associate with Linkin Park’s debut album. Don’t get me wrong, I like that album. But I don’t need to hear a rehashed version of it some 16 years later. Still don’t believe me about the lack of originality of this album? How about the lyrical brilliance of “Flick the Switch”? Good lord, just how many times was the line repeated throughout? It doesn’t get anymore one dimensional than this.
I’m all for supporting bands and recognising bands who are delivering something of value when they unleash something new or a new version of something old unto the masses. Sure some bands churn out albums with AC/DC like predictability and that’s totally fine as long as the final product holds its own. But y’know, sometimes, some things are better left dead and well and truly buried. Sometimes, bands return from neverland and deliver. Sometimes, they return from neverland and you hope they return with haste. I hate to say this about my countrymen but Ghosts of the Social Dead totally falls into that category. I still have a bit of a soft spot for some nu-metal releases. I’ll be totally honest about this one - Superheist have delivered an average album that sounds good. Sure, musically it’s sound but I’m not sold that Ox’s vocals fit just as I’m not sold that the world needs another nu-metal album. Perhaps it’s a case of a little from column A and a little from column B. Either way, the bottom line is that Ghosts of the Social Dead is chock full of filler mixed with very little to no killer material. Maybe it’s teething problems that will sort themselves out with a future release. It would be nice to think that is the case. However, I’m more resigned to the fact that it’s not and Superheist would be better off being a part of Aus metal history rather than trying to resurrect it years later.