Release Date: April 20, 2004
Reviewed by Jeff Brinn
After their tragic loss of front man Dave Williams, Drowning Pool could have easily lay to rest any attempts at keeping together the very band that garnished them a name in the ranks of modern metal.
With their newest release “Desensitized,” Drowning Pool have put forth a some what solid effort with a sound so power riff driven one might think these musicians were students in the Dime Bag Darrell school of groove. Sadly unlike their past release “Sinner”, ” Desensitized” just doesn’t seem to hold the attention that one would hope to expect. Sure, guitarists C.J. Pierce easily throws out some very solid metallic grooves and the recent added addition of Jason “Gong” Jones on vocals seems like a great fit for Drowning Pool to say the least. Respectfully Jones has a much broader voice then Williams contributed which in return, easily gives Drowning Pool a larger musical pallet to work from. The only problem “Desensitized” seems to have (besides easily the stupidest CD cover in modern metal this year) is that it so obviously seems to be still following a dead trend. All thou, with the mixture of Nu-Metal and the sudden rehash of traditional heavy metal working its way back into the main stream Drowning Pool seem to have at least attempted to adjust their sound a bit. Tracks like “Love and War” and “This Life” give solid efforts of going out on a limb with stronger song writing and a fair attempt at experimenting out of the typical nu-metal clichés. Sadly a few cuts are easily sub-pare filler tracks that easily should have been left off. Compared to a lot of new acts “Desensitized” is a notch above with its lead guitar breaks and heavy hitting metallic sound giving forth a strong effort but sadly Drowning Pool still fall short in originality.
Now that the death of nu-metal has finally taken many needed causalities in the music industry Drowning Pool seem to have made a decent effort that possibly may save them from becoming one hit wonders. Remember, not all is lost, “Desensitized” does have its high points including a very killer production and at loud volumes this is where songs seem to shine. Songs like “Numb” and “Let Go” easily could easily make rock radio singles giving Drowning Pool a fighting chance at sticking around. If you’re a metal head and enjoy such acts including Union Underground, Soil, Black Label Society and other such artists I highly recommend giving the release a spin but don’t expect any thing to ground breaking.