The Next Room

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Mordred's third long-player, 1994's The Next Room, is one of those weird albums which sees sonic improvements made, questionable creative choices corrected, faulty parts replaced (in this case, goofy singer Scott Holderby), and yet the end results are somehow far inferior to the previous, supposedly flawed original. Whether displaying full-on, grim-faced metal intent ("Skid," the almost power ballady "Splinter Down") or resuming their often gimmicky and unfulfilling funk metal experiments ("Crash," "Shut"), Mordred simply doesn't sound convincing. Even when they come close to making things right ("Lo-Cal, Hi Fiber," "Acrophobia," "Murray the Mover"), it's just that -- close but no cigar. New singer Paul Kimball certainly sounds more powerful and confident than his ousted predecessor, but ultimately his muscular style is just as generic for the day and age -- and not even he can lend credence to a band who was, by the time of this release, a largely forgotten precursor to a movement (funk metal) which never really took off as expected. Mordred knew the jig was up as well and decided to call it quits a short time later. Pity...though it must be said that radio darlings Incubus eventually made a similar setup work wonderfully on their behalf a decade later, albeit with far better songwriting to back it up.

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