Pitch Black Forecast
Absentee

Here’s one I’ve been anticipating for awhile. Pitch Black Forecast is the new project from Jason Popson, formerly half of Mushroomhead’s vocal attack. While I was curious as to what kind of direction Popson would go in leaving his former mega-band, I was more interested in the fact that the godly Gene Hoglan was to be involved. “Mean” Gene is hands down my favorite drummer ever, so his involvement means it’s a mandatory must hear.

As I expected, Popson wanted something a little more metal and a little less “nu”. Absentee is a riff filled endeavor chock full of groove and half thrash. Machine Head and Pantera are valid references here, and Popson’s vocals have taken on a certain Anselmo-esque quality. While sounding slightly restrained, Mr. Hoglan’s drumming is top notch as ever, complimenting and well-fitting of the riffs.

The albums 9 fairly short tracks breeze by in a mere 29 or so minutes, but among them are a few noteworthy moments. Album opener “Atonement” locks into a killer groove riff from the word go and doesn’t let up. “Wrapped in Plastic” and “Ornament” are much thrashier than the bulk of material here, so they stand out a bit more amongst the thick groove. “Breathe Now” has a catchy as the plague chorus and “So Low” is a heavy as a ton of bricks, hammer blow to the head and features some guest vocals from Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe.

Even though I kind of dig what these guys are doing here, there is absolutely nothing special about Absentee – it’s all been done before, and it’s been done better. I can imagine that a lot of Mushroomhead fans who were confused by Popson’s departure from the group will still be confused when they hear metal here. Though if you dig on stuff like Machine Head, Pantera or possibly even Lamb of God, chances are you’ll find something you enjoy here as well.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
October 23rd, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: LoftComplication

    I had this band written down and I just looked over the list today and I couldn’t remember why. Im guessing its the Gene Hoglan link. Kind of a coincidence.


  2. Commented by: swampthang

    MASSIVE VANFLIPS AGAINST ALL NUMETAL BANDS


  3. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Was Popson the guy that sounded like a third-rate Ian Astbury impersonator or the “growler” in Mushroomhead? Hoglan’s one of my favorite drummers as well, so consider my interest piqued.


  4. Commented by: Staylow

    Popson was the growler.


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