He Is Legend - Suck Out the Poison
Record Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: October 3, 2006
He Is Legend's 2004 release, I Am Hollywood, was a critically underrated album that's since gained quite the following. However, many people have a misconception about that album based on it's 2006 successor, Suck Out the Poison, which is basically southern flavored metalcore. Suck Out the Poison doesn't make quite the impact that I Am Hollywood does, but it hits with twice the ferocity.
While most of I Am Hollywood is somewhat upbeat and good natured, Suck Out the Poison has a much darker vibe throughout the course of the album. Starting off with a southern-flavored riff to escort you into the album, "Dixie Wolf" gives an idea of what the rest of the album will sound like. Schuyler Croom's haunting vocals play a huge role in shaping the sound that's to come, and while they may not be as catchy as they were in the debut, there's a definite improvement in them and he seems to stress the execution of the vocals in contrast to the delivery that shined in I Am Hollywood.
The musicianship of Suck Out the Poison is on par with that of their debut. The more standard riffs they played to guide their sound throughout I Am Hollywood has been replaced with riffs just dripping in southern flair. Their perilous riffs just add to the haunting capabilities of the album, and the heavy leads they play in songs like "Mushroom River" really guide the tracks and provide the pivotal points for the escalation. The bass also plays a huge part, and amid the crunching guitars he bass lines can often be heard winding in and out giving the wall of sound that much more depth.
The first real highlight of the album comes in the form of the title track, "Suck Out the Poison." It owns a powerhouse chorus and the guitarists do a great job keeping this track moving, enough so that when Croom screams "Suck it out!" halfway through the track, it feels like it just started. The real highlight of the album comes in the form of "China White II." A continuation on the track "China White" from the debut LP, this track contains what is quite possibly the most brutal display ever seen from He Is Legend. Opening with a creepy riff and Croom singing "Mother, father, where did you go? I hear the flowers as they speak below, someone help me - I'm so afraid. The shape in the distance is coming my way" sets this track up to be spectacularly haunting. Of course, if you've heard the first track of the series, you know that it's actually about a malicious (and quite probably insane) gardener. The paramount moment of the album concludes as Croom scream/growls his way through this verse:
"Your mother never looked so good. Your daddy should have brought his gun. Now sleep child just sleep. And when you wake you will grow at my feet. Yes, when you wake you'll be beautiful again."
These lyrics, just like the ones on the rest of this album and those of I Am Hollywood, seem like the deranged ramblings of a madman and few bands can pull them off like He Is Legend. They're normally all over the place, and I for one appreciate them for that fact.
Following "China White II," the remaining tracks that make great impressions include "Serpent Sickness," "Goldies Torn Locks" and the eight-minute closer "(( (louds." "(( (louds" is one of those quintessential tracks that can basically sum up the life of an album in a single track.
I'm always going to have internal debates with myself about which of He Is Legend's albums is better. Though Suck Out the Poison is less accessible than I Am Hollywood, overall I think that it's their overarching effort. Less people will think this is a solid release, but throughout the course of it He Is Legend proves why they're on the top of whichever genre they foray into. Whether it's their interesting lyrics, the haunting clean vocals of Schuyler Croom, or the excellent job the musicians do supporting these facets of their sound that draws you in, it'll be all three of them that keep you.
I fucking love this album. It kicks so much ass and blows IAH out of the water. I can't get into that album but can't get enough of Suck Out The Poison. This is the hands down the best southern metalcore album. Everything about it kicks ass. The vocal, lyrics, musicianship, energy and song variety are all top notch, None of the songs blend together and there's not a weak track . That isn't something you can say about any of the bands they are compared too.
I agree for the most part. I usually hate southern metal/metalcore but dig this immensely.
China White Pt. II is definitely my favorite He Is Legend track (almost tied with I Am Hollywood). This record also took me awhile to get into and was disappointed at first, but now I am also torn between which album is my favorite. Hope they announce their new album soon. I'm curious how their next album is gonna turn out after hearing their demos of their new songs.
This album has grown on me lately; at first I really didnt get into it much at all and set it aside but I have dusted it off and really enjoy it a bit more than when I first got it. Its been a good sunny weather driving album.
But for me, it still doesnt touch their early stuff and I hate that Mckenzie isnt in the band anymore but I still gotta support the boys! ie I'm looking forward to another release this year. (on a new label ;) )
I am Hollywood
A Kiss that Killed The One We Love / Suck Out the Poison (tied)
thats my order for how I personally rank/enjoy their albums. In realty for me SOTP is probably a better album than AKTKTOWL but Kiss gets the nostalgia tug from me since its how I first discovered this band. Plus they are so different its hard to comprae.