Sep 2011 26

HoodooEngine - EgowhoreHoodooEngine
Category: Industrial/Metal
Album: Egowhore
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: HoodooEngine’s Egowhore is a good album, but the band should put some effort into stepping away from typical.


HoodooEngine is heavily influenced by all the usual suspects – Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, KMFDM, Marilyn Manson, etc., and you can hear every one of those groups swimming through the tracks of their first album. If you’re a fan of dark metal or industrial music, you’ll probably enjoy Egowhore; just don’t expect anything too revolutionary.

The music is standard for the genre: multiple guitars, a drum machine, and some sound effects. The truth is, even on some of the better tracks like “Nefarious,” “Elohim,” “Hoodoo Luv,” and “Venomous Minds,” the deft instrumentals are nearly lost behind the unremarkable and sometimes indecipherable vocals. Johan Ess has gone through a lot of effort to create a vibrant stage persona, but his vocals are not nearly as imaginative. For the most part, he delivers the lyrics in a tuneless chant, many times notably Marilyn Manson-like. But to make things worse, the vocals are duplicated and layered; no melody, no harmony, just multiplied, as if there were two or three guys standing arm in arm, bellowing words from a cue card. And the lyrics… from what can be understood of them, they’re mostly made up of typical dark keywords (fire, poison, lies, cancer) and phrases that sound kind of deep and impressive (Pandora’s Box, blankets of cobwebs).

HoodooEngine has the ability to be a very good industrial band. The music is solid and the lyrics, though typical, do their job. The problem is the vocals. If the band wants to compete with the big boys, they should consider pulling back on the duplicate layers and focusing instead on vocal variety. Otherwise, they will have to get used to being known as the band that is “influenced by…”

Track list:

  1. Old No. 9
  2. Nefarious
  3. Egowhore
  4. Elohim
  5. Defcon Dawn
  6. Hoodoo Luv
  7. Level 5
  8. Fat and the Thin
  9. Venomous Minds

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Charity VanDeberg (CharityV)

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