DJ Spooky vs. Dave Lombardo

Drums of Death (Thirsty Ear)

Lawmakers should spend less time worrying about men wedding other men and more time disrupting the noisy, unholy marriage of metal and rap. Drums of Death is the latest proposed union in this rocky, decades-old courtship. It succeeds better than most, thanks to the bludgeoning drums of former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and the eerie atmospherics of Meat Beat Manifesto head honcho Jack Dangers, who co-produces many of the album's tracks. But even with DJ Spooky's avant-garde hip-hop pedigree, the album's sci-fi imagery and '80s all-star cast plays like an outdated vision of the future, like the erotic astronaut Barbarella. Chuck D hopelessly parodies his former self on "Brothers Going to Work It Out" and "Public Enemy #1," while Living Color guitarist Vernon Reid shreds on "Guitar DJ Tool Element" and "Obscure Disorder (Ghosthacked!)," among others. The latter fares much better than the former, but neither exactly coalesces with the album's sloppy (and noisy) hip-hop/metal backdrop. It's 2005, people. And we need an amendment ASAP.

 
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