Probot

Probot

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If you had to summarize drummer Dave Grohl's impact with only two words, they would be "grunge" and "alternative." Grohl played alongside the late Kurt Cobain in the grunge powerhouse Nirvana -- whose impact was truly enormous -- and he continued in a grunge-minded direction after forming the Foo Fighters in 1995. The word "metal," however, doesn't immediately come to mind when Grohl's '90s contributions are discussed; while Nirvana and the Foo Fighters both had metal influences, they weren't metal bands in the strict sense -- they were more hard rock than metal. Of course, there has often been a fine line between metal and hard rock, which are closely related even though they aren't exactly the same -- and given Grohl's fondness for metal, a straight-up metal project like Probot was long overdue. This CD is neither grunge nor post-grunge; a definite departure from Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, Probot is metal all the way and features well-known headbanger vocalists like King Diamond, Max Cavalera (of Sepultura and Soulfly fame), and Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister. Grohl's idea was to feature different metalheads he has long admired, and by doing so, he ends up traveling all over the metal map. The drummer's affection for thrash is evident when he joins forces with Kilmister on "Shake Your Blood" and Cronos (of Venom fame) on "Centuries of Sin"; meanwhile, Corrosion of Conformity icon Mike Dean's inspired performance on "Access Babylon" takes the album into hardcore territory. Equally memorable are "Red War" (the ferocious, Sepultura-like alt-metal offering that features Cavalera) and "Sweet Dreams," which features Diamond but is closer to the Black Sabbath worship of stoner rock than the Judas Priest-minded power metal that Diamond was known for in his '80s/early-'90s heyday. And whatever the style of metal that he is embracing, Grohl's drumming is passionate throughout this fine album, which is as rewarding as it is unpredictable.

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