What a fitting band name. Not because Droid is one of those super-technical bands that play like they’re inhuman, but the double bass drums link up with single note guitar chugging so often that it sounds robotic. I deal with metalcore so often that I actually forget about so many bands within a certain genre (which will not be named as of yet) that do their best to beat that low open guitar chord to death.
The promotional sheet I got with this album lists Droid as being the first band on Korn guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer’s Emotional Siphon label, as well a s mentioning being on tour with Korn. TWICE! Not only that, but Chino Moreno from the Deftones does a guest vocal spot on the song “Vengeance Is Mine”. Right now you’re probably thinking that Droid lives dead smack in the world of nu-metal, and probably has zero credibility. To say that would be kind of uh… well, sort of wrong.
I guess I should name off the things that definitely aren’t nu-metal here, such as the tight strings (as opposed to intentional string slack), the very tight playing between the band members (I did mention they can sound like robots sometimes, didn’t I?), and if you asked Decibot, having bad cop vocals all the time equates to a higher nu-metal ranking. The band does hang around groove metal a lot, which isn’t surprising considering how many nu-metal bands loved Pantera. You do have those spoken word moments every now and then when a song slows down in the middle, as well as those guitar portions driven by special effects, which are completely void of depth. There’s a lot of short repetitive riffs all over the place as well, but those portions seem to be a bit more profound than typical nu-metal, probably due to the fact that they’re mixed in with regular length guitar riffs.
All that nu-metallish and groove metal action is actually kind of passable, but there are some significant downsides to Droids self-titled album. That hardcore screamed bark is damn near monotonous, even when the vocalist (simply known as James) moves his scream a slight bit higher and lower. He’s actually pretty clear in pronouncing his words, which unfortunately have the same amount of depth as the CD insert they’re printed on. How many times does this guy need to go over the subjects of pain, anger and death, while inserting the odd “motherfucker” in there, while also relaying how tough and resilient he is against life’s hard moments? The lyrics are one nu-metal holdover they badly need to ditch in order to mature.
The songs themselves tend to all blur together, as they’re all mid-paced grooving beatdowns that try and wring everything they can from the lowest guitar note they can hit. I mean, they do a good job of beating that low string to death, but at the same time, how many times will I end up mentioning “groove” to get my point across? The attempt to convey just how angry the band is supposed to be doesn’t quite cut it for me either, mainly because I think if they were really the angriest guys on the planet who managed to channel all their anger into music, they’d probably be playing as fast as Nile.
In the end, I’m not even sure this band has an audience. Aren’t most of those nu-metal fans grown up, and too picky to be worried about a new band? And aren’t Droid just too heavy for those people? And hasn’t this band already lost a lot of credibility to prevent them from appealing to an underground audience? I know I make them sound worse than they really are, as this album is a good way to move into a grooving post-nu-metal sort of progression. I sincerely hope the band continues to make some more progress beyond their chosen genre, as in actuality they’ve grabbed some portions of nu-metal and taken it to a new place pretty well. They’d better not even dare to touch metalcore on their next attempt though…
The Official Droid Website
Droid at MySpace
Emotional Syphon Recordings