Formed way back in the early 1990’s in Cleveland, Ohio, Mushroomhead has performed incognito since 1993, using the masks as a way to remain unrecognized as the band was initially a side project. The band released their debut self-titled album in 1995 with Superbuick swiftly following in 1996 and then M3 in 1999. This is when the band took a different direction, feeling that others were following their lead and 2001 saw the release of XX which was a combination of the past independent releases and then XIII in 2003. Continuing the swift release schedule, Saviour Sorrow saw its release in 2006 followed by Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children in 2010. The seventh studio album The Righteous & The Butterfly was released in 2014 and for the best part of the past five years, Mushroomhead has been writing this album, so has the time been used well?
As the choral opening of ‘A Requiem For Tomorrow’ fades and the electronic, synth, and powerful guitar tones hit with some serious power, the sound is very industrial and the sound created by the 8 piece band is that of horror and elaborate Rock.
As the tracks progress, the vocals are switched between members, yet the energy and the vibe do not change, as the horror-based backings come more to the fore in tracks such as ‘What A Shame’ with its slow and purposeful music that sounds very much straight from a classic horror film.
The 17 tracks on this album span over 70 minutes and feel like a musical production, with its grand music, melodies, and the powerful Rock that accompanies it and then with the additional energy provided by the electronics that join the party and the boost the tempo as the storytelling feels like a concept album.
It is clear where the time went for creating this 8th studio album, the structures are complex and grand and the attention to detail is incredible. It really feels like this could be a soundtrack to production and the way that the music makes you feel the emotions is special.
A Wonderful Life is a very impressive release and one that you can’t really appreciate fully with one or two spins as the amount to try and take in is that great and the album really deserves to be given the investment. Mushroomhead have managed to create a standout an album that steps away from pretty much everything else that is out there at the minute and it stands proudly alone happy to be different and different sounds very good.
A Wonderful Life is released Friday 19th June 2020 via Napalm Records