G//Z/R—Plastic Planet (1995)

Close-up of an insect with globes of the earth for eyes.

G//Z/R—Plastic Planet (1995)

Details

Produced by Geezer Butler and Paul Northfield. Engineered by Paul Northfield. Recorded at Long View Farm Studios in 1995. Music by Geezer Butler and Pedro Howse. Lyrics by Geezer Butler.

Band

  • Geezer Butler — Bass / keyboards
  • Burton C Bell — Vocals
  • Deen Castronovo — Drums
  • Pedro Howse — Guitar

Tracks

  1. Catatonic eclipse
  2. Drive boy, shooting
  3. Giving up the ghost
  4. Plastic planet
  5. The invisible
  6. Seance fiction
  7. House of clouds
  8. Detective 27
  9. X13
  10. Sci-clone
  11. Cycle of sixty

Review

After a hiatus of almost a month due to a couple of trapped nerves in my neck which left me with C6 paresthesia, I’m back now that my right arm doesn’t immediately ‘go to sleep’ when I’m anywhere near a keyboard.

While I’ve not been able to type very much during the last four weeks I’ve still been listening to the next two albums in this project: Paradise Lost (85 tracks in the last month) and this album from G//Z/R (60 tracks).

I’m not a great lover of insects, I have to be honest. So the cover of this, Geezer Butler’s first solo album, kind of put me off from the word go. That’s a drop of 10% on my review score for a start!

When I first put this album on I was quite surprised. I hadn’t read any reviews. I hadn’t even read the CD liner notes. I had no idea that Burton C Bell from Fear Factory, for example, was the vocalist. I just wanted to hear the album afresh, without any preconceptions.

Except, I realised, that I had one major preconception: I had expected something in the doom metal vein of Black Sabbath (Geezer Butler‘s day job). But why should it be?! Surely one of the points of solo projects is to branch out and explore other areas of music that don’t fit in with the day job. Take Andreas Kisser’s Hubris I & II (2009) albums for example, a world apart from Sepultura.

Just like the early days of Sabbath, Butler wrote all the lyrics for this album. And just like Sabbath he doesn’t get to sing them, handing those duties to Burton C Bell whose performance on this album is exemplary. I’ve not listened to much Fear Factory but I can say that I definitely enjoyed these vocals more than any FF record I’ve heard. A combination of singing, barking, growling and almost whispering. Variety is where it’s at.

The music is a hybrid of industrial and sludge metal, it’s heavy but melodic. There are to my ear elements of Black Sabbath (the opening track reminds me of the “War Pigs” riff) in there (how can there not be?), as well as Fear Factory, Clawfinger, Megadeth (track #2 “Drive boy, shooting” reminds me of the main riff in “Kill the king”) and even Adam and the Ants (“Detective 27” reminds me of elements of the Kings of the Wild Frontier album).

Conclusion

I’ll be honest, it took me a few listens to get into it but get into it I did. It’s a solid album, with some good melodies and catchy lyrics. But it’s not an outstanding album. If I was playing my MP3 collection on random play and this album came on I wouldn’t skip it, but I’m not sure that I’d seek this album out to listen to it. I guess time will tell.

Review score: 65%

Bonus

This looks like the official video for track #2 “Drive boy, shooting”, although the audio quality isn’t great.

 

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