Album Review: Knives Out! “Black Mass Hysteria”

First off, for those of you unfamiliar with the band, Knives Out! consists of members from Nothingface, Dog Fashion Disco/Polkadot Cadaver, and HellYeah. When I first talked to vocalist Todd Smith about this project two or three years ago, he told me it was going to be the “heaviest, most brutal shit he has ever written,” that quote from him made me giddy like a school girl. I have been happy with everything he has put out (Dog Fashion Disco, El Creepo, Alter Boys, Polkadot Cadaver, etc.) and to be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect. Now I will be honest I have yet to buy it. . Only because I cant find it in any stores, it was a digital release and only available through iTunes or you can get a hard copy from their merch store only, so far. Black Mass Hysteria was released this past Tuesday Feb. 14, I know right what a Valentines Day gift, between that Goatwhore’s new album and The Human Centipede 2 coming out on DVD it was a tough choice to make for the better half. . but I think I chose wisely. Getting sidetracked here, back to the album.

Black Mass Hysteria has all the elements you would want from each band. . the groove of HellYeah, the brutal crunching music from Nothingface and the chaos that is brought from both DFD and Pdot lyrically. Opening track “Hide in the Sky” instantly shows you the direction of the album as well as includes my favorite lyrics from the album “Jesus Christ go hide in the sky, you are worth much more dead than alive. The bread is the body, the blood is the wine. Kneel before the Virgin as she bleeds from her eyes!” The rest of the album is just pure chaos with songs like “Surrounded by Demons” and their first single “Blood Everywhere” there is no letting the listener down. Smith seems to continue on with his bizarre choice of lyrics as if written while on acid or other drugs for that matter. The album is very reminiscent of a Faith no More album, only instead of goofy and happy songs (for the most part) throw in the topic of death, decomposing bodies, with the sound of pure evil coming from from the instruments.

“Now scream my name and let me know you’re still alive” that is just part of the chorus from the song titled ‘Pink on the Inside’ and some of the heaviest I have ever heard Todd Smith scream, sing whatever you would like to call it. When you get a line up such as this (Tom Maxwell & Tommy Sickles of Nothingface, Todd Smith & Jasan Stepp of DFD/Pdot Cadaver, David Cullen of Polkadot Cadaver) you never really know who will bring what to the table or what kind of direction. I mean on the one hand you have Todd and Jasan who have worked together for years in numerous projects, then there’s Tom and Tommy from Nothingface. Not that there is much different lyrically from the two bands, but you can definitely hear the brutality that the Tom’s bring to the table, but you wouldn’t expect such a powerful album. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love all bands these guys play in with the exception of HellYeah. . sorry T. Maxwell, I enjoy them and all but I will take all the separate projects of those members any day over HellYeah; Nothingface, Pantera and Mudvayne for those that don’t know. But god damn this album has a lot to say and it really needs to be in more than just the die-hard DFD fans or the hopeful Nothingface fans that are just praying for a new album. . sorry to say this is as close as it will get, for now I’m sure, but we can get to that another time.

I have been listening to this album on repeat while writing this up and the more I listen to it, I can’t say album of the year, cause well lets face it if you see my collection of music there is much more tech death, black metal, progressive than there would be for just straight up heavy metal. And I mean come on Meshuggah, Gorod, and Gojira are putting out albums this year its like the other bands don’t even have a chance. But this is definitely one of my favorite albums that has been put out this year, so far. I believe it will stay in the top 10 of 2012, but that’s assuming that the long and I mean LONG awaited Necrophagist and Wintersun albums get released as promised and not pushed back another year or two *rolls eyes* I mean come on I know you are picky and anal, but release the damn album already Necrophagist!! That being said I know it will be nothing shy of amazing. Back to this album, there is a LOT to fight against this year, but I can firmly stand by my decision that it will be an album to go up against. I highly recommend this to anyone that is a fan of Faith No More, Dog Fashion Disco, Nothingface, and well of course Polkadot Cadaver. There is nothing like just popping in this album and listening to Todd work his magic with his vocals and lyrics, he is one demented individual!! If you come across this album or if they come to a town near you, I suggest seeing them and giving them your money, you wont be disappointed. (4/5)

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