Probot – Probot (LP of the Week)

I am not sure exactly how many people knew about this, even if it was reviewed in Rolling Stone. Many people likely still missed it. This release is a must for underground metal fans of the 80s, and recommended for fans of Foo Fighters (can not say all fans will appreciate it).

Probot is of course Dave Grohl’s metal project, wherein he plays the vast majority of the instruments on all tracks, and on many, all the instruments. Which in itself is quite impressive. The lyrics were written by the specific guest singer on each track.

Way before Dave found himself drumming for Nirvana, he was into punk rock and more specifically hardcore (Circle Jerks, Minor Threat, Battallion of Saints, Hüsker Dü, D.R.I., etc), and then of course metal.

The album starts off loud and fast with Cronos of Venom. It continues that way for “Red War” featuring Max Cavalera on vocals. The cornerstone of the album, as Dave Grohl writes in the liner notes is Lemmy (do I even have to say Lemmy from Motörhead? Probably not but I added it anyway) and “Shake Your Blood”. It definitely sounds like some vintage Motörhead.

I cannot say I am familiar with all the metal singers featured on here, and their original bands, as my early background was more punk/hardcore, while Dave Grohl obviously found his way to a lot of metal (he “liked it fast and weird (still does)” he writes in the liner notes). From what I do know, Dave pretty much nailed the music on the tracks (all his own music) as if it were the respective singers original bands — and the ones I am as familiar with, I can only feel it must be the case as well, as the vocals work well with his instrumentation.

Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) Lemmy (Motörhead) Wino (The Hidden Hand, Place of Skulls, The Obsessed, etc.)
Aside from the aforementioned tracks, and also “Access Babylon” featuring Mike Dean of Corrosion of Conformity, it really is not as heavy as one might have expected thinking of a metal album. Dave, et. al. (Kim Thayil of Soundgarden has a couple of guest guitar parts), does a very nice job going through numerous styles of metal. Such as thrash of “Silent Spring” featuring Kurt Brecht (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles), the doom metal of “Ice Cold Man” (Kim Thayil plays additional guitar) featuring Lee Dorian (Cathedral, Napalm Death) and “My Tortured Soul” featuring Eric Wagner (Trouble), and the almost stoner metal of “Big Sky” featuring Tom G. Warrior’s (Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Apollyon Sun) throaty voice which almost sounds like Dave Mustaine (on parts) over instrumentals that would fit for a Queens of the Stone Age track, even if it is more doom metal.

Likely everyone who knows him, knows Dave Grohl plays drum and guitar, but probably would not have thought of him as a multi-instrumentalist that would record an entire album.

Must hear tracks: “Centuries of Sin”, “Shake Your Blood”, “Access Babylon”, and “Ice Cold Man”. And of course check out the entire album! Also notable, King Diamond of Mercyful Fate closing the album on “Sweet Dreams” before Jack Black appears with the hidden track, “I Am the Warlock” (recommended for Tenacious D fans).

Read the official presser over at Southern Lord. And Wikipedia for more information and additional links.

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