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The Sinister Urge

ARTIST: Rob Zombie (Google this artist)
ALBUM: The Sinister Urge
LABEL: Geffen Records

Rob Zombie’s last album of all-new material, 1998’s Hellbilly Deluxe, demonstrated to the world that, after deciding to disband his horror-metal uberband White Zombie, Rob could singularly produce hook-laden metal monstrosities decorated with garish embellishments culled from his favorite cult-terror films. The result was record sales that rivaled even those of his former band.

In 2001, Zombie has returned to familiar territory with his second full-length solo album The Sinister Urge. While not as original as Hellbilly Deluxe, it is pleasingly similar and, in fact, even seems to use the previous album as a blueprint. This is good news for Zombie fans as the result is horror-rock with all the Zombie trimmings: Rob’s trademark snippets of dialogue from b-movies are all over the album and his screamed “Yeah”’s and indecipherable vocals are layered on thick. The album is a little on the short side, but that’s a minor complaint because the inevitable remix album will almost certainly be right around the corner. One album track, "Scum of the Earth," appeared on the Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack, so completists will be happy to see its inclusion here. The final cut on the album, "House of 1000 Corpses," portends the arrival of Zombie’s horror film of the same name, rejected by Universal earlier this year for being “too visceral” (Zombie is currently shopping the film to other studios).

The key creative crew on The Sinister Urge is virtually identical to that of Hellbilly Deluxe. Band membership (Riggs, Blasko, and Tempesta), production credits (Zombie and Scott Humphrey), and art direction credits (Zombie) are all the same. Rob even stuck with the same type of packaging for the album, right down to the method of differentiating the explicit from the clean versions (look for the row of skulls and crossbones on the left side of the CD cover if you want the explicit version). However, original Rob Zombie artwork is nowhere to be found (Zombie is an accomplished comic artist; seeing what kind of degenerate artwork he could come up with was part of the fun of White Zombie releases). Guest stars on the new album include Ozzy Osborne, Tommy Lee and Kerry King of Slayer. Mixmaster Mike scratches on practically the entire album. Rob’s Universal monsters influence is still ever-present with pictures of Lon Chaney in the liner notes and Dwight Frye on back cover.

The Sinister Urge is more of Rob Zombie at his best. As his tour with Ozzy continues through the end of the year, Zombie’s legions of fans can rest easy knowing that he has delivered another satisfying album’s worth of music to blast while drag racing through the graveyard.

review by David M. Lisa

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