I split 1999 in the Year-a-Month project into two separate months, because of the long list. To simplify things, I also simply skipped a month so I could do the full write-up all at once. I also skipped Satan's Child by Danzig, because I couldn't find it for a reasonable price. A lot of new stuff this month.
Acid King: Busse Woods - Busse Woods is a Cook County Forest Preserve near O'Hare Airport, just outside my old stomping grounds of Chicago. The members of Acid King used to hang out there as teenagers, and so this album and its title song is a tribute to that beloved era.
Black Label Society: Sonic Brew - Black Label Society is a new band this month. Its founder, Zakk Wylde, was Ozzy Osbourne's lead guitarist for several years. The guitar work is my favorite (by a long margin) aspect of Ozzy, so not surprisingly I'm really digging this album.
Dope: Felons and Revolutionaries - Dope is a new band this month. They also fall under the heading of "stoner metal", but they have a much harder sound than Acid King. I was able to get this album for free from Freegal, which is mighty nice.
Filter: Title of Record - This album is slightly heavier than the last, which of course means that I like it a little better. Not that I had any major problem with the first one, but heavier guitar sound is always welcome. Least favorite song, not surprisingly, was the big single: Take a Picture. Way too mainstream pop for my taste.
KoRn: Issues - Listening to this album immediately after Slipknot, I could almost picture the members of KoRn sitting around trying to figure out how to sound more mentally screwed up, while the members of Slipknot were just concentrating on shredding. They both are "issues" bands (no pun intended), but KoRn needs to step back into the music instead of just the image.
Megadeth: Risk - This album sucks. Mustaine apparently thought he could make more money by switching over to a more Alt Rock sound - maybe that's the reason for the title: he was risking the band's reputation on a genre change. Happily, things get heavier again with the next album.
Slipknot: Slipknot - Slipknot is a new band this month. I already own their 2004 album Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses. This first album actually follows a 1997 EP (Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.) that contained the track that gave Slipknot their name. The album Slipknot was voted the best debut album in the last 25 years. I agree. This stuff kills.
ZZ Top: XXX - ZZ Top continues their transition to a blues band with this album. As a blues sound, I dig the distorted guitar and bass lines. I'm not a huge blues fan myself, but I still found myself tapping my foot while listening to this album. I doubt I would pay money for this album, but getting it via Freegal from the library is OK with me.
Overkill: Necroshine - Overkill remains my go-to band for graveyard metal. I happened to listen to this album right after Megadeth, and it was a breath of fresh air by comparison. It did an excellent job of soothing away the alternative rock rage left with me by Mustaine and company.
Staind: Dysfunction - This album wins this month's Most Disturbing Cover Award, narrowly edging out Slipknot. Maybe I'm just in more of a Staind mood, but I enjoyed this one a lot more than the last one.