Daniel Lioneye

Vol. II

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With the decade-long gap separating Daniel Lioneye's two albums -- 2001's haughtily named The King of Rock'n Roll and 2010's Vol. II -- comes a similarly sizable stylistic disparity. The first saw the H.I.M. side project indulging primarily in sleazy rock, but the second finds lone remaining member Linde and his new henchmen, Burton, and -- ahem! -- Black Vomit Bolton, delving into a frantic brand of industrialized black metal, reminiscent of a happier, snappier Anaal Nathrakh. Apparently, the aggression required to inspire this sound (epitomized by the computerized vocals, rampant dissonance, and teeth-chattering rhythms heard on "Euroshaman," "Flatlined," and "Who Turned the Lights Out?") resulted from some tough personal times experienced by Linde, but short of providing him with a personal catharsis, their speedy one-dimensional irritations will be of little use to most listeners. Luckily, the day is heroically and unexpectedly saved by more varied and dynamic efforts like "Neolithic Way," with its whistling synths and exotic sitars, the melodically infectious "I Saw Myself," and the robotic stoner rock of "Kiss of the Cannibal." Even so, Vol. II is clearly a hit-and-miss affair, more likely to round out the collections of die-hard H.I.M. fans than seduce large numbers of new fans to Daniel Lioneye's fan club.

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