Band/Artist: Gorilla Voltage
Release House: Majik Ninja Entertainment
One Sentence Synopsis: Long anticipated follow-up to their debut album, Ape-X
Release Date: 1/18/2019
Running Time: 53 Min
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Reviewed by: Reverend Leviathan
Final Score: 4.5 Moons (Out of 5.0)
Previously known as The Damn Dirty Apes, Gorilla Voltage (consisting of the members ClockworC and Mr. Grey) hit the underground hip-hop scene hard with their debut album Ape-X, released in 2017. After an EP, a re-release of Damn Dirty Apes material, and a compilation of “Lost Tapes,” fans were much anticipating their sophomore LP, Gods & Claws.
When I pressed play and “Handful of Matches” came on, I had a very good first impression of
the album. Opening the album with a banger, it’s a great example of that raw, metal-aggressive hip-hop sound that is their own. That style flows throughout each song, with a few surprises here and there, where one will have more of a metal influence, while another will lean more towards the hip-hop. One big surprise was Phil Labonte (All That Remains) being featured on the song “Good Die Young.” Covering everything from partying, to an alien apocalypse, to angry sex, the aggression never stops.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, my all-time favorite song is definitely “Generation Fool.” This song really showed what these guys are capable of. Musically, it’s like an industrial metal/hip-hop fusion, with some amazing ranges in vocal stylization. Screaming, metal growls, rapping, and singing all present in the track. I really hope to hear more like this from them, as they do it well! My other favorite tracks are “Rocks in My Socks” (featuring Rebecca Leon), which is more hip-hop oriented and oldschool sounding, and “Spaz Out,” which is a nice balance between the rock and hip-hop influence. And you can’t go wrong with Kung Fu Vampire’s appearance on “Mad Scientist.”
It has currently been five days since its release, and I’ve been listening to it non-stop. The album had six different producers (Dras, Zombie Aristocrats, Godsynth, Seven, Johnny Sustar and Tunna Beats), contributing to the variation in styles. You’ll either be tapping your foot, nodding your head, or headbanging while listening to each song. The mixing is pretty solid throughout, though the mastering could be a bit better. Volume levels are noticeably different as you go through the album, though not enough to where it takes away from the listening experience.
Mr. Grey and ClockworC’s vocals complement each other very well. Mr. Grey has the deep, aggressive voice that’s really good for the metal screaming and coarse rapping, while ClockworC is great at the chopper style of rapping, and has a very good singing voice. (Not to say that Mr. Grey doesn’t.) The emotion in the voices comes strong with each song.
This album didn’t really appeal to me as a Goth, but more so as a fan of the group’s particular style of hip-hop. Rivet heads and industrial metal lovers would be able to get behind “Generation Fool.” “Doomsday” paints some pretty horrifying images in the listener’s head as they discuss aliens taking over the world, and I think those in the BDSM community might appreciate the romantically-aggressive track “HATEFUCK.”
Coming through beating on their chests, powerful and booming, the groove of hip-hop mixed with the rawness of metal, Gods & Claws is a testament to Gorilla Voltage’s versatility and talent. One of the underground’s best albums!
Theme: 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Presentation: 4.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Gothic Fit: 3.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Final Score (not an average): 4.5 Moons (out of 5.0)