I really became a fan of Dope with the bands last release 'Group Therapy'. I figured this band was just a trend even before I had ever heard of them. Well, I ended up liking them quite a bit and did venture into their back catalog. It was with much anticipation that I wanted the bands latest release 'American Apathy' which if I remember right, was actually going to street back in February, but was bumped. Many months later and a deal with Artemis Records, we finally get to check it out. I found the release heavier in my opinion than the previous 'Group Therapy'. This release seems to be a bit angry with the music being delivered brilliantly, especially if you are a fan. Now opinions may vary from the fans, but I definitely like what I hear. There is alot here once again. The band always seems to deliver alot of bang for the buck. Purchasing this disc for around 12 dollars gives you 17 tracks on the album. If you get the limited edition version, you end up with a bonus disc and six additional tracks, some of which I understand have been released before maybe? Some are remixes such as 'Motivation' that appears on the 'Group Therapy' album. Things to mention about this latest release. It is definitely heavy with some very cool guitar groove throughout. Listening to some of the tracks like 'I'm Back', the first track I heard 'No Way Out' which I really liked. 'Revolution' totally rocked. I would say that I like most of the album. The one thing you may have to be careful of is the content. This kind of stuff doesn't really bother me personally, but the album definitely earns the explicit content sticker. If that doesn't bother you and you like the music hard, modern and with a heavy dose of attitude, this album will fill the need well. Looking at other tunes that I like, I really like the heaviness and also melodic nature of 'Always". 'Dream' had a cool vibe to it and could be a cool radio single. I also like 'The Free' with it's solid rhythm work and keyboard sound. A good driving dark track. 'People are People' was an interesting cover. Never really a fan of Depeche Mode, but I found this one kinda catchy.
What can I say? I like this album. I think that if you already like Dope, you are gonna like it. It has that familiar ring to it and then some. The music is full of attitude which is usually the case with this band. It has a little new and a little old in terms of sound. I think that most of the album is pretty cool and the bonus disc was a nice addition to an already bolstered package. Very cool indeed!
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Reviewed by Dave Palmer
A few things I find interesting about this release. First of all and most notable is the fact that the album was produced by Queensryche drummer Scott Rockenfield. Upon hearing that you might immediately think that the band is gonna be somewhere in the same genre as Queensryche. You would partially right, but mostly wrong. The band is heavy, leans more modern, but does have a bit of a progressive edge, but not in the way you might think it would be. The other thing I found interesting was the fact that this band is signed through Magna Carta. I was surprised due to the sound of the record and the difference in sounds usually heard on Magna Carta's roster. That's okay though because this band has some positive things going for them besides the two mentioned. They are heavy as mentioned, but provide a pretty entertaining listen that isn't necessarily the same type of listen as you get with alot of the other modern bands in today's market. The progressive portion of the band really starts on the album with the second track 'Fallen' in my opinion. The rhythm work stands out here and shines a little light on where this band is at musically. As you move from track to track, you also get a sense of the similarity to other bands in the market. The attitude and a bit of the dark edge seems to work well for these guys. This is apparent on tracks such as 'ETA', 'Severed Ties', 'Blind' and the title track 'Slave to None'. If you are looking for a more traditional sound, these guys might not work for you. If you have an open mind and are interested in a mix of various elements bound together, this release will rank up with some of the notables of the year. Vocally, the band is good and it adds an enhancement to each track. Vocal work is sometimes a bit more rough and angry and at others, a bit more polished and melodic. I would also mention that there is a decent flow from track to track. It will be interesting in time to see where this band goes from a songwriting perspective. They are off to a good start and this album gets it done pretty well.
Totalisti is a band that plays it pretty heavy with some unpredictability. The band in some ways can be likened to other bands in today's market, but not totally due to their unpredictable approach. Some call it a progressive element and in some ways I agree, but I think it's light on that element. The album is a solid listen if you like a more modern heavy edge to your music. Decent stuff!