Mushroomhead's latest release finds the Cleveland icon more resolved and focused than ever. More raw and less produced than its predecessor, XIII, the disc is firmly new-school Mushroomhead. In the opening seconds of "12 Hundred," drummer-producer Skinny's double-kick blast and guitarist Gravy's seven-string fury send the song into high gear as new singer Waylon asks, "Is there really anyone there?"
The new frontman quickly justifies the band's faith in him -- he can go from melodic singing to deep screaming at the drop of a hat. The brutal "Just Pretending" and "Erase the Doubt" are the album's real standouts, but the more melodic single "Simple Survival" has a real shot at getting heavy radio rotation. Look for the band to deliver every note of the album during its live show. Old-school fans might not like the album's more metallic sound, but Mushroomhead will still have plenty of fans for life.