Posts Tagged ‘Mike Sarkisyan’

71TtrBCBivL._SL1433_I was going though my collection of cassettes of early college radio shows that I did back in 2000/01 when I came across a song that brought back memories. The year 2000 was kind of a hot year for the genre known as Nu-Metal which at this point had taken over the world with bands like Puya, Limp Bizkit, Hed PE releasing music and gaining airplay. One band that had struck a chord with me was Los Angeles Nu Metal group Spineshank who by October 2000 had just released their sophomore effort The Height of Callousness which is this week’s album of the week. The band was made up of Jonny Santos (Vocals),  Mike Sarkisyan (Guitar, Co-Producer), Robert Garcia (Bass), and Tommy Decker (Drums) while the album was also produced by GGGarth. The album did fair upon it’s release as it sold over 150,000 copies and peaked at 183 on the Billboard Top 200 charts while also peaking at 13 on the Heatseekers, 23 on the Top Independents, and 104 on the UK album charts. The band mixing in elements of industrial metal on the album has often drawn comparisons to Fear Factory and Rammstein by critics.

918EIeKSQWL._SL1500_1. Asthmatic– The first track opens right up by going for the throat with a Slipknot ferociousness in a track that seems to be about how hurt the narrator is by someone who abandoned him. 4/5

2. The Height of Callousness– The title track does not lift the foot off the gas as the band is in your face right from the start in a track about a person who just feels nothing anymore. 4/5

3. Synthetic– One of my favorite tracks on the album that has that Nu-Metal radio sense to it while being an intense track. The track is about how if you keep listening to what other people tell you to do then you’ll never make your own choices because their synthetic. 5/5

4. New Disease– You can definitely hear the industrial influence on the track that reminds me a little of bands like Orgy in a track that is about no matter how hard you try to think that you have a purpose, the one that you believe to have may not be it. It’s kind of a self realization track. 5/5

5. (Can’t Be) Fixed– A track with a slow build up to a bass driven Dope-like sound on this track about someone who can’t be fixed because he refuses to change. 4/5

6. Cyanide 2600– an industrial heavy track that is all about someone who doesn’t care about anyone, but wants everyone to care about him. 4/5

the-height-of-callousness-51f9817d6b23b7. Play God– A track that goes back to the heavy guitar driven Industrial metal that we heard in the beginning. It’s a track that goes from 1 to 1000, but not one of my favorites on the album, but it’s not terrible. 3.5/5

8. Malnutrition– More industrial driven metal with that guitar assault which is more of the same like we heard in the last track. The track seems to be about someone who just feeds everyone BS all the time hence being malnourished. 4/5

9. Seamless– The track starts off with some bad ass metal riffage going on there and they never let the foot off the gas at all during the track. The song seams to be about someone who just feels like life sucks and that you’re wasting your time trying to better yours. 4/5

10. Negative Space– A track that reminds me of the radio tracks in a song that is about the narrator and how he is not going to be the same as everyone else anymore because he is giving up a life of addiction. 4/5

11. Transparent– The last track on the album that hits as hard as any on the album about someone who feels like he isn’t who he used to be and that he is so different it’s becoming transparent. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Were Spineshank titans of Nu-Metal the same way that Korn, Limp Bizkit, and so many others? Maybe not, but that is because they are one of the most underrated bands of the genre. There are some great songs on here and others that are really good. This is definitely an album worth listening to besides Strictly Diesel. So, with that being said, I am going to give the album 4.1 stars out of five for a final grade.