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Natural Selection

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★★★★☆
(90 Reviews)

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Corrosion Of Conformity In The Arms Of God 12 NEW TRACKS PRODUCED BY JOHN CUSTER PEPPER KEENAN – vocals/guitar, WOODY WEATHERMAN – guitar/vocals, MIKE DEAN – bass/vocals and special guest STANTON MOORE (from GALACTIC) on drums NO STRANGER TO BUCKING TRENDS, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE CORE WITH BOTH MUSICAL AND POLITICAL CONTROVERSY AND THE AGGRESSION THAT THRU TIME HAS BECOME THEIR CALLING CARD. IN THE ARMS OF GOD, THE LONG AWAITED STUDIO RETURN, IS BRUTAL PROOF THAT THE UNDERGROUND UNREST OF MIDDLE AMERICA IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL … AND SCARY AS HELL! THE ALBUM IS A BLEND OF COC DARK CORE ROOTS SMEARED WITH THE HEAVY TAUNTING OF A ’SABBATH’ ON STEROIDS. BY FAR ONE OF THE BAND’S HEAVIEST EFFORTS IN MANY YEARS, THE ALBUM REFLECTS AN EVOLVED HEAVY CLASSIC SOUND BLESSED WITH MODERN WISDOM. DESTINED TO DELIVER A JOLT TO METAL AND ACTIVE RADIO, IN THE ARMS OF GOD WILL SATISFY THE LOYAL AND SOLEMLY CONVERT NEWBIES TO WHAT IS… THE REAL DEAL.After a lengthy break from recording, Corrosion of Conformity have come back strong on this 2005 release. As direct and tight as Wiseblood, this new outing displays the grooves and heaviness apparent with other NOLA bands, exemplified by heavyweights Down and Crowbar. It’s hard and heavy yet melodic throughout. C.O.C. remain one of the more overtly political bands on the hard rock scene. Tracks ”Dirty Hands, Empty Pockets,” and ”Never Turns To More” are direct odes to the tarnished American dream and the struggle to remain individual as a human. The album also has a sublime and spiritual feel to it. The combination of these factors, along with the sludgy metal, makes this album feel like the direct descendent of such Black Sabbath classics as Masters of Reality and Sabotage, which is pretty amazing lineage. –Robert Arambel

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  • Wow is all I can say. I was in a music store and just so happened to stumble upon this. I’ve seen Fuel live 3 times before, and have heard their last album Something Like Human and I have lots of respect for the band. Prior to this album, I liked them, but did not consider them one of my favorite bands. This album has definitely put a different perspective. This album is raw and it just rocks! I’ve had it for almost one week and I can’t put it down. I have a 6 disc changer, but I’ve put it on repeat for this disc. I just can’t stop listening to it. Finally, a true guitarist! One that actually plays solos! The solos are great, the rythem on the guitar is wonderful, love the powerful distortion, and the drums give such a powerful beat. This IS A TRUE ROCK CD. Brett’s vocals can get annoying at times, and it would be better if he sang the lyrics a bit more clearer. But still fits right in. The band blends beautifully together. If you love rock, you will love this. I’ve listened to other bands that you have to skip tracks on (Creed for example), and listened to other bands that have tracks that sound the same (Godsmack for exmample). This CD will keep you interested throughout and the variety is there too! No 2 songs sound the same at all. Well colaberated! It would have been nice for all the members to write the songs together, but still one of my best CD out of my collection. GET IT!

    Posted on January 24, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The logic that so many people are using to bash this album……..well it frankly sucks. In fact logic really isn’t a good word for it. And since when do we use logic to judge music anyway? Music is art. Right?First of all….this is just really good, American rock n roll. So ya’ll can just get over it. I mean, cry me a freakin’ river. And then build a bridge and get a clue. I honestly wonder if half of you Fuel naysayers have even listened to the album before. Because your comments don’t line up with the copy of “Natural Selection” that I own. I bought mine from Wal-Mart…..not sure where you all got your copies from.Oh, and in case somebody missed it, i’ve been informed by one of the brilliant music critics on your favorite Amazon.com that the songs “Falls on Me” and “Won’t Back Down” sound exactly the same. WOW………and thats all i have to say about that. Those must not be the same songs that are on my copy of the CD.Anyway….to the music, which I have actually listened to several times. Imagine that! Song by song:1. Quarter (Good, hard rocker, real cool piano)2. Down Inside of You (Hmmm, don’t think the chorus is boring)3. Million Miles (Good stuff)4. Falls On Me (First single off the album, awesome song)5. These Things (Brooding, almost depressing, great guitar solo from Mr. Bell)6. Won’t Back Down (This is the first song I heard from this album, Fuel rocks out [hmmm.... don't know about the whole remix thing though])7. Running Away (Great lyrics to this song about an inner struggle that the songwriter’s having, awesome music, so what if it sounds a little 80s? Boo hoo people)8. Most of All (Simple musically, but very good nonetheless)9. Getting Thru (Good hard rock, but probably my least favorite on the album)10. Die Like This (I love this song, Brett sings his heart out, Carl Bell is just a darn good song writer)11. Luck (Cool, distorted voice thingy goin’ on, good song written by Mr. Scallions himself)12. Days With You (Good way to end the album)SO yeah, this is a good album. Plain and simple. Not a whole lot not to like here. Oh and one more thing: all you people who are saying this is not Fuel……if you don’t mind me asking, if its not Fuel, then who in the world is it?Ah yes, and for the ignorant character who seems to think the album cover looks like someone about to get their finger pulled…you might want to do some research on a guy by the name of Michelangelo. Good call!! My roomie here at college would like to use a line from the movie “Toy Story” to describe your utter ignorance: “You uncultured swine”

    Posted on January 24, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’m just gonna do a simple track overview, which will tell all of what is needed to be told.Quarter-9/10 A great opener and a possible single for this album, really draws you into the dark.Down Inside of You-9/10 Another great rock anthem that contains a dark side that shows some new Fuel baby!Million Miles-9/10 I love this song, it starts so slow and Scallions puts a drawl on the lyrics to make it sound so awesome!Falls On Me-10/10 Obviously best song on CD, i mean thats why it was the first single.These Things-8/10 Brings back some flare from previous bands and really helps this record along and proves to be one of the better songs, maybe not at firt listen, but it catches on.Won’t Back Down-8/10 From Daredevil which makes it just totally nasty(in a good way) but I would give 9/10 but compared to others on this album it only deserves 8/10.Running Away-10/10 Awesome traditonal Fuel, and thats fine by me.Most of All-10/10 My favorite surprise single on the album that has to be the second best song easily.Getting Thru?-5/10 Only bad song, its kind ahard to get thru it.Die Like This-10/10 Third best song on the CD, yeah baby!Luck-9/10 I love the distroted voice, makes this rather subtle song obtain a real BANG!Days With You-9/10 Ballad all the way, bring it on, it comes to be probably the sixth best song on CD which is good for a CD full of awesome songs!This new CD by Fuel conquers all previous records and it really rcoks, I mena there is only one bad song on the whole CD and even then it isn’t as bad as half the songs that are out there we are forced to listen to.

    Posted on January 24, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • *IMPORTANT*:: This is a long, tedious, and infinitely awesome review. If you are worthless, skip it.

    The Incredible and Awe-Inspiring Legacy of the FUEL of Life, Vol. 3: “Natural Selection”.

    And so it continues. Three years following the lovable success of their sophomore record “Something Like Human”, FUEL triumphantly returns to the fray with their 3rd record, “Natural Selection”. This album shows the band taking their music to admirably new artistic heights in much the same way they did from “Sunburn” to “Something Like Human”, and will hopefully continue this trend for years to come. Let me break the record down for ya:

    1 – `Quarter’ – If you were sleeping peacefully during the calmest night that ever there was, `Quarter’ would be the midnight train carrying 400 tons of radioactive explosives that derails, crashes, and explodes fantastically into your bedroom, sadistically ruining any chance of a good night’s sleep. Which then, of course, would destroy everything in existence. This track is menacing, bombastic, explosive, destructive, and delectably, irresistibly AWESOME. “I walk alone, I ask no quarter friend!!” vocalist Brett Scallions roars viciously through a thunderously tearing main riff, soon followed by lead guitarist Carl Bell, shredding out a wickedly awesome solo off into the mayhem as Kevin Miller mercilessly beats the living tar out of his drum kit. With bassist Jeff Abercrombie keeping things tightly in control, `Quarter’ becomes an altogether lovely and deadly song, and makes for the best opening track of Fuel’s 15 year career. 5/5

    2 – `Down Inside of You’ – Though the band’s website refers to this song as “a dark rocker”, “dark” isn’t really the right word to adequately describe the mood of the song. It’s more like, “an impressively mystic riff-rocker made for those who rock”, or something, That said, the song DOES rock, just not as massively or darkly as `Quarter’ oh-so obviously does. The lead riff is a chunky and fast one, the kind of thing Tom Morello(of AUDIOSLAVE) *might* write, if his riffs weren’t so darned insane. The riff, the bass, the drums are all really great and gel smoothly together, but the track *tends* to become a little repetitive, especially if you listen to the album as much as I do. It’s still a fabulous song though, and Brett’s voice starts hitting notes that I never thought it could hit. Guess it was all `deep inside of him’.:) 4/5

    3 – `Million Miles’ – With every album Fuel had managed to release, there has always been one song that stood out from the rest; one song of fairly stratospheric proportions. “Sunburn” had `Hideaway’, whose churning and refined beauty gave way to gorgeous instrumentation on a nearly epic scale. “Something Like Human”, in turn, had `Hemorrhage’, whose towering vocal delivery and superior instrumental work is second only to nothing at all(yes, I love this band THAT MUCH). For “Natural Selection”, there’s two. And one, obviously, is this one: `Million Miles’. The softly strummed opening chords make you feel like you’re swimming in something quiet, something peaceful . . . but something dark and disturbing as well. “On my way for the day I find no sorrow . . .” Brett sadly laments with quiet indignation, but then firmly shakes away his pain and need in a pounding chorus of “I, I think I might’ve loved you . . . these things I said, but you were a million miles away . . .”, sounding like the ghost of Layne Staley; with perfectly vocalized harmonics. Arguably the best song on the record, but certainly one of Fuel’s best artistic movements to date. 6/5

    4 – `Falls On Me’ – The album’s first single is something of a `Hemorrhage/Bad Day’ hybrid, with fast `Hemorrhage’-type guitar-pickin’ action, and a `Bad Day’-like chorus of amazing poppie-ness. As such, it is pretty much the ONLY choice to be had for choosing a single. None of the other songs have that ready-for-radio vibe to it like this one does, but even then it’s still a fantastic song. The most ballad-like track on the album, reminding us all of songs from previous albums, a la `Sunburn’, `Shimmer’, `Innocent’, ect. The highlight is mostly Brett’s vocals, being uncharacteristically low but quite solid. 5/5

    5 – `These Things’ – Even though `These Things’ seems to be the album’s most unpopular track amongst the other commenters on this site, this is the 2nd `song of fairly stratospheric proportions’ on “Natural Selection”. It starts out innocently enough, with a quiet, but mournful riff, partly reminiscent of `Innocent’ from “SLH”, with a loop of talking voices in the background. I also love the bass in the beginning, before Brett starts singing – again, *high* – with some of the best lyrics Mr. Bell has penned thus far. “I’ve got a smile to hide me, I’ve got this cross to bear . . . I’ve got this fear that dreams are all I have that’s left to me . . . these things have I” he croons as the distortion gets cranked up and the song slowly begins its restless churning. The song soon transforms from a strong anthem to a instrumental that majestically diffuses any other solo that Carl Bell has written before now. This track is perfect in all the best possible ways, and is also the longest song on any Fuel record(which, unfortunately, still isn’t that long). 6/5

    6 – `Won’t Back Down’ – Oh, my dear heaven, this is such an awesome song. Like C.S. Lewis once said about J.R.R. Tolkein’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS, “It came like lightening from a clear sky.” Carl wrote this song after nearly a year of sitting around, NOT performing music. Essentially, the whole song was written in about a week for the Daredevil Soundtrack. Starting with wild, grinding effects in the background, loud guitar chords are soon exploding from nowhere, are suddenly gone, blow back on, fall off somewhere, and then the pounding song truly begins. Great instrumentation and a FREAKIN AWESOME vocal delivery give this song everything it needs to be one of the best heavier tracks that FUEL has created ever recorded. The `industrial’ taste to the song is intensified by the work of Charlie Clouser(of NIN) contributed to the track. 5/5

    7 – `Running Away’ – A calm, metallic siren wails up and down as a chorus of violas and violins grow from nothingness, escalating to an interestingly dissident pinnacle. It pauses here, as if the music itself isn’t quite sure of what’s to happen next . . . and then enters Carl Bell with a low, rhythmically choppy riff that inches it’s way softly along, almost against it’s will. By this time, the mood is so firmly set it seem nearly impossible for any more emotion to creep in anywhere. At least, until Brett comes in. Of all the previous songs that I have swept praise upon, it is this one, I believe, that touches me the most. The lyrics are both loving and haunting, and Scallions voice is so pure with feeling that I sometimes wonder how some folks get through the day without this band. Not as *good* as tracks 3 and 5, but this is my favorite song on the record nonetheless. 5/5

    8 – `Most of All’ – I find it rather amusing that, while this album has two songs of `fairly stratospheric proportions’, it also has two of the worst songs Fuel has ever written. And, un-coincidentally , this song is one of them. Apparently, and not without a certain amount of understanding, the band decided to experiment with the pop/punk sound that bands like GOOD CHARLOTTE have made a career out of. For most of those who are commenting on this album, this would seem like a GOOD thing, and I suppose if you are a fan of bands like that then this would make some amount of sense. But while I applaud Fuel’s desire and daring to attempt a song like this, it still really sucks, and could’ve easily been replaced with a song a million times better(specifically `On the Road Again’, which can be found on the “Falls On Me” import single). On a positive note, Brett’s voice frikin rocks! 1.5/5

    9 – `Getting Thru?’ – If you took the main riff from P.O.D.’s most successful track `Alive’, gave it a bit more personality, added vocals that could carry the same emotion and identity, and generally make a fantastic, hard-rockin song that made `Alive’ look like the pansy child of Fred Durst, it would be `Getting Thru?’. Much like `Prove’, from `SLH’, the blistering main riff booms along with a high-pitched riff-counterpart, adding greatly to the atmosphere and identity of the song. Yet, while `Prove’ was the most blatantly sinister track of Fuel’s career(barring, of course, `Mary Pretends’), `Getting Thru?’ is almost lighthearted, and I’d swear it’s the poppiest, but HEAVIEST song of it’s kind. 4.5/5

    10 – `Die Like This’ – I have heard arguments that shun Fuel for being “a generic crap-fest”. Though this is not at all my personal view of the band, I must admit that this particular song is one of the most disgustingly generic steaming piles of manure that I have ever personally heard. Though, again, as with the case of `Most of All’, most folks seem to love this song, even while nearly everything about it is undesirably ridiculous. The intro was stripped off of `Hemorrhage’, the music in the verses sounds exactly the same as something like a TRILLION other songs, the lyrics are outrageously weak at best, and so on. Carl supposedly wrote about 40 songs to choose from for this album, and I’d bet my Wal-Mart shoes that half of them were ten times better than this. 1/5

    11 – `Luck’ – The final two tracks on the album reminds me most of what we found and felt on Fuel’s grand debut, “Sunburn”. This song nearly hops along, spending a vocal melody and musical talents that make it clear the band LOVES doing what they do. One of only two songs by vocalist Brett Scallions that have ever made it to record(along with `Knives’ from “SLH”), `Luck’ is the singer’s best song thus far. The lyrics are really fun to sing to and the vocal melody is purely awesome. The song’s bouncy melody keeps the track sonically interesting, and a truly spectacular solo helps to make it obvious that what Brett has made here, if not an emotional masterpiece, proudly displays talent, fun, and impeccable musicality. Here’s hoping we’ll hear more of Brett’s writing on whatever’s to come next! 4.5/5

    12 – `Days With You’ – In the past, Fuel has ended their albums on a quietly desperate note. `Hideaway’ and `Slow’ were both weary pleas for salvation, with music crafted to match perfectly the messages within. `Days With You’, however, is something entirely different. The song, musically, is really more like 3 songs which have been cut apart, adjusted, and dispersed throughout a four-minute span in such a way that would melt all three separates into one whole. Starting quietly, shifting to pure aggression, then maintaining both in a simply perfect solo than makes me love this band even more. The song ends up conveying a sort of angered resolve, and really seems to me the type of thing PEARL JAM would do(or would HAVE done in the “Vs.” days). A fabulous end to a fabulous album. Kudos to Fuel, who simply rule. 5/5

    I am almost perfectly sure nothing this long has ever been posted on this site. Why do I labor so long, so diligently, so IDIOTICALLY, on something that hardly anyone will notice or remember? Because Fuel is NOT a post-grunge carbon-copy of NIRVANA. The music that Fuel writes, despite my best efforts, is indescribable. As an incredibly die-hard fan, their songs inspire such emotion and beauty and honesty that I can hardly explain my true feelings for them. They mean a whole lot to me. Each song has it’s own identity, it’s own mood, it’s own life. Too many people dismiss them, and while Fuel doesn’t care one way or another, they deserve to be recognized for the great music they write. For GREAT, it truly is.

    Thanx for reading. Now buy the freaking album.

    Posted on January 24, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Fuel’s third album ‘Natural Selection’ was the biggest surprise for me in 2003, mainly because the more I listened, the more I loved it. I had always been able to appreciate Fuel’s music on a superficial level, but now I think I’m becoming a fan with this release. Fuel abandon the more straight-forward post-grunge/hard-rock formula present on their first two albums for a more experimental sound on this album. It doesn’t mean the songs suffer, in fact the whole album sounds better than anything they have done before. With expert production by Michael Beinhorn (best known for Soundgarden’s ‘Superunknown’) and strong lyrics by band guitarist Carl Bell, Fuel have reached a whole new level. Songs like “Getting Thru” and “Falls On Me” may feel more at home with their previous work, but the layered “These Things” and the bitter “Quarter” help elevate the band above a wasteland of other grunge-cloned bands. Far too bold and mature for the Nickelback and Puddle of Mudd crowd anymore, it’s easy to see why this release isn’t selling as well as the others: it’s unique! Highlight tracks include: “Quarter,” “Running Away,” “Days With You,” “These Things,” and “Million Miles.” The only thing that drags this album down is the inclusion of the “Bring You Hell” remix of “Won’t Back Down” (originally from the ‘Daredevil’ soundtrack), which is hardly a remix at all, and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the material. Still though, it’s a solid album, the best work Fuel has accomplished to date. If you weren’t a fan of the band before and are a little skeptical, it’s worth a shot. There is something for everyone who likes any form of rock music on here. And if you were a fan of the band before, just enjoy watching them grow and expand their sound.

    Posted on January 24, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now