Medication could be considered by some as a supergroup of sorts, as the band is comprised of former members from Ugly Kid Joe, Machine Head, Life of Agony, Dayinthelife, Skrew, and Soulfly, yet while Medication's full-length debut does boast trademark styles from each aforementioned group, it unfortunately is stuck being nothing more than an average alternative metal release. Since the group's formation, Medication has been viewed as one of the underground's most reliable forces in modern metal. As a result, Prince Valium had to be considered one of the most anticipated albums of 2002. There are several great songs captured within this 13-track album, yet it seems that in their rush to land a record deal and get their name seen, these five men spent little time forming a spectacular product for their fans. Whitfield Crane's nasal voice is rather subdued here, rarely striking forth with the brazen originality he once was recognized for. The same goes for Logan Mader, one of the metal scene's most notorious guitarists. It's not that Prince Valium suffers simply from a multitude of faceless tracks that melt into one another with little fluctuation, although this is a contributing factor, but rather that Medication just doesn't seem to be trying too hard. It seems as if these musicians have instead relied on their mutual name power to propel them to the front of an extremely competitive music scene. Where their earlier EP was effective in creating interest, Prince Valium seems to have little growth, and at times even steps backwards rather than capitalizing on the groundwork laid down beforehand. When the members of Medication combine their collective mindset, they succeed quite well, as "Xanax," "Now and Again," and the title track attest, but the album is bogged down with plentiful amounts of filler. With many debuts, it is expected that groups will still be working out their bugs, yet in Medication's case this shouldn't be a factor since each and every one of the musicians has vast amounts of experience (excluding drummer Trey, who replaced Ray Mayorga when he returned to the Soulfly fold). It may have been in Medication's best interest to follow up the earlier EP with another EP comprised of the best songs offered here, yet as it stands, Prince Valium is relegated to the sidelines of the nu-metal scene rather than the forefront, where Medication rightfully should be.
Prince Valium Review
by Jason D. Taylor