Dope - Felons And Revolutionaries
Epic Records
Industrialized Nu-Metal
14 songs (47:41)
Release year: 1999
Dope, Epic Records
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

A friend of mine recently convinced me to give this band a shot so I decided why not? I'm not a big fan of most nu-metal, but I'm always looking for something different. Dope is definitely a band I would never have listened to on my own...and there's a very good reason for that. In fact there are a lot of good reasons, such as valuing my current intelligence level, not wanting to kill myself, etc. But I digress.

The first song, Pig Society, starts out with groovy, repetitive guitar riffs and the distorted vocals of Edsel Dope, the band’s founder. Now here is my first problem with the sound, and something I think a lot of nu-metal suffers from. The vocals just do nothing for me. It sounds like the guy can't really sing at all, or thinks he cannot, so he tries to disguise his awful voice using fancy electronics. I would much rather listen to a vocalist try his best to actually sing, growl, scream, anything but put his voice through electronic distortion which just gives me a sense of incompetence. There are very few vocalists that can pull off a sound like this, Marilyn Manson (occasionally) being one and it seems obvious to me that an imitation of that sound was the (horribly conceived) idea. So for the rest of the album I mostly tried to ignore the vocals, something next to impossible since the production seems to pay particular attention to making them more audible than much of the "music". The album continues pretty much the exact same way for the rest of the 14 tracks. I'm not kidding. If you've heard the first track, you've heard the whole album. The only things that really change are the lyrics (barely) and occasionally the tempo. There are some industrial elements thrown in from time to time, mostly in the form of synths and of course the ever-present vocal distortions. The lyrics for the most part are full of angst and anger at a society that the singer feels has failed, but gives the listener nothing thought provoking, simply regurgitating lyrics full of unnecessary obscenities and name-calling with no thinking behind them. The band seems to be trying to express anger and rage, but in the end it just sounds like a complete farce. I find myself unable to take the music seriously because of the lack of originality and I don't feel the music comes across with any real emotion. America The Pitiful sounds like an insincere rip-off of every Marilyn Manson song ever made. I have to stop now because I really can't find anything positive to say about this band. Everything they do sounds uninspired and just plain boring.

The influences on this album are extremely obvious: Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and Ministry are the most noticeable as you can hear elements of each one in just about every song. Unfortunately the band takes these influences and goes nowhere. Instead they copy the sounds pioneered by these artists and unskillfully recreate them, putting together a pile of rip-offs the likes of which I have seldom heard or ever want to hear again. This is by no means a diatribe against nu-metal, but if you want to hear some bands that are talented and original, you’re looking for Disturbed, Nothingface, Godsmack, etc. I can't speak for the rest of Dope's material, but please for your own good stay far, far away from this album, unless of course you want a good laugh.

Killing Songs :
Khelek quoted 20 / 100
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