The Cory Smoot Experiment: When Worlds Collide

Listening to When Worlds Collide really brings home what a talent was lost to not only metal but music when Cory Smoot (A.K.A Flattus Maximus), guitarist with GWAR passed away last November. It is fair to say he was generally overlooked by far too many when talking about the great metal musicians but just one listen to this album easily sets the record straight. Without the sad background to the album it is a strikingly  impactful release leaving one open mouthed at the skill and imagination at work but knowing this is his last piece of impressive creativity brings a deeply sad yet celebratory emotion surging through thoughts as it excites and satisfies immensely.

The songs on When Worlds Collide were recorded in 2010 at Cory’s Karma Studios and were meant for a concept album called Religion is Fiction. The original idea was for Cory to record the tracks and then bring in some of his favourite and the best vocalists from within the Richmond metal scene, including frontman Dave Brockie from Gwar and Randy Blythe of Lamb of God. Due to scheduling problems this never materialised so he did the vocals himself and renamed the whole project The Cory Smoot Experiment. Cory completed the project just before what was to be his final tour with Gwar in the fall of 2011. Found dead in the band tour bus from a heart attack aged 34, he left the world with great memories and an album in When Worlds Collide which is destined to have a highly acclaimed place in metal for decades to come.

Though not quite flawless and at a few times feeling still not quite completed the album from its very first few seconds captivates and ignites nothing but enthused passion and deep stirring pleasure. The Blood Red opens with a guitar slicing the air with red hot sonic slashes of sound before the song erupts into a rampaging grooved infection. With grizzled understated vocals immersed within the commanding riffs and bulging rhythms the song bundles through the ear with excited muscular intent. The song also immediately sets the stall for the album in the bringing of a persistent array of flavours and sounds into a thunderous and inventive union, the song playing with a classic metal energy and almost grunge like breath.

The song slips right into Fortunate Sun next with its slow burning intensity and invasive presence. Heavy, atmospheric, and openly expressive the track reaps many essences from sludge and stoner sown fields to great effect. Though brief it is striking and makes the perfect seamless lead into its successor Religion Is Fiction. Apart from the great sounds the way the songs for the majority fluidly flow into each other no matter the fuel driving each strongly diverse and distinct song is another excellent aspect to the album. It brings a rolling energy to the album to give it an evolving and perpetually organic structure.

Religion Is Fiction is where the album truly ignites, the song a raging feast of intensity and great sounds. It is a maelstrom of grinds, grooves, and ravenous riffs to leave the senses breathless and the heart hungry for much more. Again short at barely two and a half minutes the track is a vicious aural predator which wastes no note or thought as it saturates the listener in pure metal contagion.

The corrosive violation of Rebirth feasts on the debris the previous track left behind whilst the stunning melodic and acoustically lined Brainfade sets an inspired respite before the death thrash assault of Mandatory Purgatory lays one on their back once more with its colossal unrelenting riffs and venom dripping groove. Again these tracks are very brief and it does add to the feeling that the album was not at its final completion and would have gone on to be a true all time classic if fate had not stepped forward.

The album simply continues to light up the ear and heart through the likes of Countdown To Oblivion, the blackened hearted The Gauntlet with its spiteful riffs and funked up mischief, and Hollow Tree with a glorious mesmeric bedlam of ideas and sounds. Ending on the unpredictable and surprising instrumental Sloth Loves Chunk, a jazz funk/progressive metal brew of invention, enterprise, and teasing, the album is a real treat for the ear and beyond.

With all proceeds of the album to be donated to The Smoot Family Fund which Gwar and Metal Blade Records set up to help provide  for Cory’s family, When Worlds Collide is quite simply a wonderful must have album offering a constant pleasure for metal fans of all preferences.

Go get the album here http://www.metalblade.com/smootfamilyfund/

RingMaster 04/06/2012

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