precious death - southpaw
PRECIOUS DEATH
Southpaw
Metro One
1994

I admit, near the end of the band’s tenure, when Precious Death was experimenting more with modern rock, they fell out of listening favor with me. Comes with being a shallow, narrow-minded metal head, I guess. That’s also why, perhaps, when I showed this CD to a certain editor of mine at Cornerstone, he wrinkled his nose at me. Or that could have been the sulfuric water.

Anyhoo, music preferences aside, I actually enjoy this CD. It’s a little known album in the band’s three-CD collection, released in 1994 on the fledgling Metro-One label. The music found in ‘Southpaw’ has a thick foundation of metal, with elements of progressive and, yes, modern rock. One would almost use the overexposed label “grunge” for the general category, but that would be stupid. I would consider ‘Southpaw’ for Precious Death to be in the same category as Soundgarden’s ‘Badmoterfinger’ or Alice In Chains’ ‘Facelift’; both albums predate the grunge encroachment, and are basically metal albums with strong experimental elements to differentiate themselves from the general metal plethora of the time.

As a for instance, the vocals here are pristine and wails with the same clarity as Chris Cornell, while the music is as thick, sludgy and heavy as Alice In Chain on songs like the opener “Southpaw”, “Hello” and “King Of Siam”. There’s a moment of Fishbone-inspired funk metal on “Shine” that’s pulled off nicely. “Talk About The Weather” has a metal boogie feel to it. And lest we forge, tucked snugly out of the way as the last track on the CD is the acoustic ballad “One Day To Live” that was, unfortunately, the song picked to represent the band on Metro One’s ‘Seeds Sampler’ compilation. Bad idea as that probably gave the wrong impression of a band that was heavier than that. Oh well. Very good CD. Recommended for those who like metal with a little variety.

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