CELLOUT – Superstar Prototype (CD)

Review by Kinger

I would like to start this review by sending out my sincere apologies to the band for such a delayed write-up. I received this CD quite some time ago (gee, was this really sent out last January! -ed). I guess an explanation of some sort is in order.

I think everyone knows by now that we are predominantly an 80’s online Metal Mag. But due to the overwhelming support and feedback we’ve received to date, we decided to start covering new Metal under the DEMOLISH A.D. moniker. Well, little did  I know that the flood-gates would break wide open and would be instantly bombarded with so much new material that it would make yer’ head spin! Hey – I ain’t complaining here but let it be known that there is a LARGE-ASS queue at the moment. As a matter-of-fact, the “clearing” of said queue is starting right here and now with a kick-ass Swedish band called CELLOUT.

I must confess that when I received their e-mail that I wasn’t that thrilled by the band name and CD title. I know, I know – don’t judge the music from the name and or cover alone. But it just seemed to me that the name would be anti-climactic and might even go against the band in some way for some reason. Not sure why…just being honest here.

Once I got over the name, I gave the guys from their label the green light to send over a promo package [thanks Michael Phelan!], which I promptly received. I am glad some things have changed regarding reviews and modern-day postal service. I know it used to take a month [or more] to get stuff from overseas back in the day.

So this is what happens when a “metal” guy [Percy Mejhagen] who counts Sepultura, Machine Head, Korn and Pantera among his early favorites) gets together with a melodic rock fan +  guitarist [Robert Monegrim] to jam?

Upon first listen I wasn’t disappointed at all. It was well-produced and had plenty of hooks and melodic grooves and genuine heaviness! The radio-friendly “Dark Days” was extremely catchy and I found that after multiple spins in the car that I began to reach for this CD (even though I probably had at least 100 more choices sitting right beside it) and this was the 1st track I cued.  And let me just state that this is typically NOT what I listen to at all and or how I listen to music, but somehow CELLOUT was able to change my listening habits and break the chain.

Evidently this album has been a long time coming with early demos dating back to early 2000’s and I can imagine for some, that this is just going to be considered a “throwback” from almost a decade ago. Big mistake! Their music is not ground-breaking of course as there are many bands before them treading these same waters, but they just do what they do  – and really well I might add. No one can fault them for that. I seriously doubt that they sat down to emulate anyone on purpose although they do sometimes wear their influences proudly on their sleeve(s).

Pic by Tage Rönnqvist

“Personally, I’m a sucker for melodies – The sweeter the better, but with a dirty twist to them.” —Percy Mejhagen

 

So what genre(s) or style came to mind while jamming to this?

A more melodic PANTERA perhaps. Haters might even call it a “nu-Metal” type recording but this is not really totally “nu Metal (God – I hate that term anyway – ed)” The material is highly commercial yes but the arrangements are not wimpy at all. Some have even went as far as comparing them to NICKELBACK. I am not so sure about that one. It would have to be a much HEAVIER version of the Kroeger bros!

The album, which was actually released last year on Nuerra Records was mixed by veteran producer Ulrich Wild (Seething, Pantera, Deftones, Static-X to name a few), and very heavy and notably detailed throughout. Mr. Wild has been around for a while kids as he was nominated for a Grammy for best engineered non-classical album waaaaay back in 1995 for his work with WHITE ZOMBIE. I am not sure how large the budget was for this project but their sound is certainly “BIG”.

Without going into too many details there were a few moments on a couple of songs where the singer and or band did not quite “pull it off” and these sections could have been left off the CD entirely. Nothing too outrageous or anything, just some average-sounding riffs or lyrics and or uninspired performance aspects. That’s just my personal preference and I am sure there will be someone out there (maybe a chic -ed) who will recall these parts or songs as their personal favorites. It could be that these aren’t really that bad but since the other songs are so much more catchy and or anthem-like that these pale in comparison.

Peep the following video/song for the song “As I Fall”, which kinda’ resembles some older KORN material and then goes into a more melodic structure.

 

I must also recommend that you give a special listen to this CD with headphones on as you will hear all sorts of ambient noise, cool samples in the background/sound scape, synths, killer background vox shouts and other misc. audio “whatnots” throughout. I dig the electronica elements and I wish they were a bit louder in the mix.

All-in-all this a really solid and promising first effort with excellent musicianship. If you are a fan of this style of Metal in general – then you will love this. I would sure like to hear more from this band in the future. I think as they write more material they will come into their own sound if-you-will. Highly recommended!

 

CELLOUT

Percy Mejhagen (Vocals/Guitar)

Robert Monegrim (Guitar)

Anders Sevebo (Bass)

Martin Karlsson (Drums)

“Superstar Prototype”

Tracklist

01. Dark Days
02. All My Demons Inside
03. The Gift
04. Flooded
05. Set Things Straight
06. Blow
07. Breathe
08. As I Fall
09. Fake
10. In My Arms
11. The Tragedy In You

-

LINKAGE

http://www.celloutonline.com/

http://www.facebook.com/CellOutband

http://www.myspace.com/cellout

http://www.reverbnation.com/cellout

http://www.nuerra.com/

http://www.tageronnqvist.com/

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