September 14, 2006

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Godhead, The Shadow Line
Cement Shoes/Universal, 2006

If House of Wax II is ever made, this would make for intelligent product placement. Ill-conceived and unhappily been-there throughout, it’s an ah-ha moment for a band that’s at last figured a way out of their Vegas-goth attempts at measuring up to Gravity Kills once and for all — even with plenty of handholding from Marilyn Manson, they’ve never gotten their gearbox out of first. And so “The Shadow Line” is a tendering of their resignation to the Rammstein patrol as they work feverishly to catch up with such axe-solo-avoiding nu-metal mediocrity as Staind, hoping that maybe Paris Hilton will get another spear through her forehead during the crescendo of one of these dreadful ditties. Several melodies that popped into their heads during the writing process are comedic feasts in their final forms, for instance the “Hungry Like the Wolf” ripoffage in “Trapped In Your Lies,” and the one serious attempt to harness a little “Guilty”-like mayhem crashes and burns so spectacularly that one can picture a devil-horned Wayne Newton cackling over their fate (“Goodbye”). C

— Eric W. Saeger