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Probot

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★★★★☆
(113 Reviews)

Probot Biography - Probot Discography - All Heavy Metal Bands

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ALL RISE!!! . Probot is upon us and it’s far more than anyone could have ever expected; an all-star performance record of monumental proportions. The songs on the Probot album were mostly written by Grohl. He then sent out these recordings to all of his favorite metal vocalists from a specific period of time in underground metal (83 to ’90,) Each song features its own throat and Grohl also had help from a few other dudes (Kim Thayill of Soundgarden lays a blistering solo down on the King Diamond track, Bubba Dupree from Void is on the Mike Dean track. etc…) Grohl enthustiacally explains: ”There are some fast tracks, the Cronos track (Centuries of Sin) is old school fast thrash metal. The Lee Dorrian track (”Ice Cold Man”) is slow and has a dirge to it. The Snake track (”Dictatorsaurus”) is kind of reminiscent of a old Voivod track. The King Diamond track (”Sweet Dreams”) is slow. The Mike Dean track (”Access Babylon”) is sort of like an old school metal hardcore-crossover song. It moves in a lot of different ways. It isnt about me; I’m just having the time of my life in fantasy camp being able to create something with these people I listened to for years when I was young.” Probot is a ecletic metal compilation. Each track is its own unique entity, always potent, always compelling…. and completely metal!Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl has always been an unabashed metalhead–Nirvana were heavily indebted to Black Sabbath. Now the multi-instrumentalist indulges his adolescent fantasies by inviting a slew of ’80s underground metal vocalists to caterwaul their original lyrics set to a dozen Grohl-penned instrumentals. None of the results rival ”Ace of Spades” or ”Paranoid,” but as vanity projects go Probot is a hell of a lot of skull-crushing fun. Remarkably diverse, too, from the doom-laden dirge ”Ice Cold Man”–voiced by Lee Dorrian of Napalm Death–to the hardcore thrash of ”Access Babylon,” a collaboration with Mike Dean from Corrosion of Conformity. Mainstream music lovers will only recognize a couple of names, but the most distinctive turns come courtesy of cult artists, particularly D.R.I.’s Kurt Brecht and his blood vessel-bursting bellow on ”Silent Spring,” and the creepy Goth intonations of Tom G. Warrior (Apollyon Sun/Celtic Frost) on ”Big Sky.” –Kurt B. Reighley

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  • If you like any of the samples from this album (or the individual artists’ other work), I whole-heartedly recommend you buy this album. The songs are very representative of the individual bands of all the different artists that appear on this album. (With the exception of Voivod, whose track on the Probot album sounds like their later work, though still enjoyable.)
    This is the best Various Artists album I’ve ever heard. I have albums from every artist on this record. And, I think this muthah’ rocks it up something fierce…
    If you like old-school power, speed, doom, and punk metal, then don’t listen to a single word against this rocking epic album.
    There is great continuity on this album, its a bitchin peice of work, not a “collection”, at all.

    THIS IS NO ‘METAL-GIMMICK’ THIS IS THE REAL-DEAL-HOLYFIELD. LISTEN TO CRONOS’ TRACK. HOW CAN YOU ARGUE WITH CRONOS AND TOM WARRIOR AND WINO???? I HOPE THERE ARE SEQUELS. I HOPE THEY GO ON TOUR, SOMEHOW.

    One caveat, most of the instruments on the album are played by Dave Grohl’s personal team. They are very good, and carry the spirit of the bands that they are trying to emulate.

    Posted on January 4, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • With these reviews, there seem to be two camps: Metalheads who are following the Underground Masters, and Dave Grohl fans. People from both sides say this is a good/bad album.
    Not to sound elitist or anything, but I’d say I’m in a very good position to review this CD. Growing up, I was into alternative rock such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, Faith No More, you get this jist. Anyways, since my Pre-Teen days, I’ve branched out into a lot of different generas, but still keeping my alternative roots. Today, my main genera is Metal. The reason why, the simple fact that Metal is producing most of the great albums of the decade (such as Mastodon’s Leviathan, Satyricon’s Volcano, Pig Destroyer’s Terrifyer, Cathedral’s Endtyme, Amon Amarth’s Versus the World, and Anthrax’s We’ve Come For You All). So to all who say that this is a compilation of musicians from a washed up genera: Bully to you! Metal didn’t “die” in the 90’s, it went into the underground. Just like the talent from Rock is now coming from more obscure directions, while Metal is proliferating in the 00’s.

    Now, as to the CD:
    Dave did a great thing here: Showing the musical fruits of Metal. For this reason, Probot is the best record to show a new fan the vast diversity within the genera.

    1. Centuries of Sin- A great opener. A little more in Venom’s recent style than their old-school kind. Still a great track though, and Cronos sounds more menacing than ever! Lyrics are fairly cheesy though.
    2. Red War- I love Sepultura, but don’t like Soulfly. This is why I was a bit offset about this song, it was in the Soulfly format. Despite this, it is a great song for what it is, and I enjoyed the heaviness of it.
    3. Shake Your Blood- One thing I found hilarious about some of the “Rockers” here bashing the album, is that a good deal of them have never heard of Lemmy. I’ll tell you this right now, if you think you know anything about the history of Rock N’ Roll, but don’t know Lemmy, you’re a joke, period. The riffs on this song are cool, but they don’t quite sound as Motorheadish as I would expect. More chuncky, less speed. It is as fun as hell though!
    4. Acess bablyon- Some people say it’s too short, but hey! That’s what C.O.C.’s first two albums were like! The vocalist sounds very energetic (I do not have the C.O.C. album that he’s on though), and it even out-thrashes the opening track.
    5. Silent Spring- 2nd best lyrics on the whole album, right behind Snake’s track. DRI’s lead singer delivers with intensity, and like Shake Your Blood, is chunkier rather than speedy, unlike what I’d expect. I REALLY need to get a DRI album.
    6. Ice Cold Man- Unlike pretty much everybody else’s opinion, this is my favorite song. Cathedral’s style is hard to digest, even for most Metalheads! I didn’t like it at all the first three times I heard it, but then I realized the perfectly haunting atmopshere that envelopes you slowly from the beginning. Probably the Heaviest (Note: Heaviness does not = speed or aggression) track on the whole album.
    7. The Emrald Law- A very epic sounding track. For all you Rock fans, I highly suggest you get a St. Vitus album. Despite them never being popular, they have a sound that many people of different tastes would probably like (same with the band Trouble, track 9). I’d have to say though. Wino’s vocals sound a bit odd on the refrain, but overall the riffs are majestic, and the song has fantastic tempo changes.
    8. Big Sky- Tom. G. Warrior. What else can you say? This man is a true musician in every sense of the word. I don’t know if he’s been doing anything important recently, but his work with Celtic Frost is monumental! There are no symphonic parts on this track, but it uses riffs to create an atmopshere reminecent of a dark and desolate place.
    9. Dictatorsarus- As I said before, best lyrics off the album, it’s just so fun! Snake’s voice doesn’t sound as odd as it usually does (I haven’t bothered to check out their recent stuff though, and I probably never will), and like others have said, it is much like an early Voivod song. It is sci-fi themed, not in a silly manner though, but in a creative way.
    10. My Tortured Soul- A very somber track from the vocalist of Trouble. Good lyrics, but the song isn’t very heavy at all (which isn’t a fault, of course). You have to just smile when you hear the heartfelt deliverance of the refrain.
    11. Sweet Dreams- No my favorite, but still cool. Like Ice Cold Man, I had to get used to it. It is more of a power ballard, with the gothicy vocals of King Diamond pushing through the sludgy riffs. The lyrics are cheesy, as are any Mercyful Fate or King Diamond lyrics are (but that’s what makes them so fun at the same time!)
    12. A HILARIOUS track. What can ya say?

    Posted on January 4, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • For all the moronic people that have questioned Dave Grohl’s greatness over the years, I hope you choke on Probot. Flat out, this is a great metal album. There isnt a trace of “nu-metal” crap on any of the 11 tracks. Before even putting on the CD, just read the lineup of vocalists. Legends like King Diamond, Cronos, Max Cavalera, and Wino dont just lend themselves out to compilations. They agreed to be a part of this project for a damn good reason: the music is POWERFUL! This is what metal used to be. I could try and explain more, but my words wouldn’t do justice. If you enjoy old-school metal/hardcore, Probot will not let you down. Buy it now.

    Posted on January 4, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This sort of album is supposed to fail. Get a superstar and build a large revolving cast around him or her. Santana and Rob Thomas. Bleechhh. Herbie Hancock and Jessica Simpson. Speeww. Dave Grohl and King Diamond? Hmmmmmm . . .

    Dave Grohl indulges the many metal sides to his soul and creates one hell of a rocking piece. Some people on this page complain that there aren’t guitar solos galore and a bunch of triggered double-pedal work like there is on a Fear Factory album. Well, you’ll notice that there is no cameo from that guy from Fear Factory here. A lot of these artists here are from the “one- bass-pedal-is-good-and-we-only-need-a-ten-second-guitar-solo” school of eighties metal. Cronos from Venom gets things going in true doom style at the beginning of the album and things hardly let up from there. Max Cavalera bellows his way through “Red War,” which by the way has double bass-pedal. There are some pretty sweet time changes on this one. The only song I don’t really like much here is Lemmy’s “Shake Your Blood.” I know Lemmy personifies all things metal and I love his other work as much as anyone else, but this song sounds like a toss-off. He could have been more metal here, for sure.

    Things really range all over the metal map, which could be bad. But it’s not. It’s fun and extremely impressive. Like the best of metal artists, Grohl doesn’t have to stick in one niche category (e.g. thrash, doom, metalcore, extreme, blah blah blah). Metal is music, making it capable of infinite permutations. D.R.I., C.O.C., Cathedral, Voivod. He rocks on all of their styles and does it convincingly. He almost goes over into hair territory with Trouble’s Eric Wagner on “My Tortured Soul.” Grohl makes this fun, making you raise your devil fingers to a major chord progression and melody, of all things. You could never do THIS to Warrant. Maybe you could have if Grohl was Warrant’s drummer (I know, that’s blasphemy . . . it’s a joke, strike it from the record).

    The album ends with the piece de resistance: King Diamond’s “Sweet Dreams.” I personally don’t think that the King ever sounded any better than this. It must have something to do with Grohl’s comparative restraint on the instruments. He knows how to lay down an appropriately creepy doom guitar pattern while not overpowering it with a bunch of notes. Basically, he highlights the singer on these tracks while proving way more than competent at providing the backup. This really works well with that depraved sicko King Diamond indulging his absurdly strained falsetto, “I’m crawling out of my skin,/ you’ve got to let me in/ to your sweet, sweet, sweet dreams.”

    The only thing that is missing on this album is a few more guitar solos. This is the only area where Grohl falls short musically and it shows. While I am not from the school that says every song needs a two minute solo, I could use more than a couple of good solos here. Grohl calls in the splendiferous Kim Thayil to ice Lee Dorrian’s “Ice Cold Man” with some highly-processed glissandos and trills and this works wonderfully. Wino sings “The Emerald Law” while shredding his guitar within an inch of life by the middle of the song: jackpot! The rest of the album has a dearth of solos. Just a couple more would have taken this album up to near a five. The Voivod or Sepultura songs would have especially benefited from this.

    The excellent production and spirited performances on this album make it far more than a period piece. This is a bunch of metal believers putting their worst/best face forward in order to put the ugliness back into rock where it belongs. Dave Grohl is merely a splendidly talented vehicle for this mission. Buy this album, but only if you want to rock in eleven different sickly sweet ways.

    Posted on January 4, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I honestly don’t understand some of the one-star reviews below. There seems to be a lot of Dave Grohl bashing, but it’s pretty clear that he’s one of the most talented musicians in rock music today. From his hardcore punk days in the 1980s, to the legendary Nirvana, the Foo Fighters (probably the best alternative/modern rock band ever), and stints with QOTSA and Killing Joke, you can’t go wrong with a Dave Grohl project. During all this time, he still found inspiration to come up with these 12 odes to the underground 80’s metal scene that he loved so much.Many people complain about this being a vanity project. Does the cover say “Dave Grohl’s Probot”? Nope. Did it come packaged with a Foo Fighters album? Did anyone FORCE you to buy this? No. Then shut up. I don’t look at this at a vanity project so much as Dave just rocking out. If anything, he’s helping to keep artists like Tom G. Warrior, Cronos, and King Diamond relevant and helping them find new, younger fanbases. I bet Probot is responsible for moving more than a few Venom, Celtic Frost, and Mercyful Fate records. Plus, Grohl insisted on this record being released on an independent label (the superb Southern Lord Records) rather than a major label. Also, he got Away (from Voivod) to do the cover artwork. Okay, it might be a bit vain, but it’s so freakin’ cool that you can’t complain.So, on these twelve tracks, Dave calls on the skills of some of the best to lend some vocal support: Cronos, Max Cavalera, Lemmy, Mike Dean, Kurt Brecht, Lee Dorrian, Wino, Tom G. Warrior, Snake, Eric Wagner, King Diamond, and uhh…Jack Black. Each song sounds great and fairly unique, leading to my one minor complaint with this CD. The songs tend to sound like unreleased tracks from the singers’ former bands. I’ve read that Grohl wrote half the songs, figured out who would fit with the song and sent them out, then wrote the rest with singers already in mind. That certainly explains “Red War.” No one but Max would fit with the song’s sound and structure. But that’s a pretty minor complaint for a record that overall pretty much rules the school.If you’re even remotely into metal, you should probably pick this one up, then maybe find some records from Trouble, Mercyful Fate, Venom, Celtic Frost, DRI, Cathedral, Napalm Death, The Obsessed……

    Posted on January 4, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now