As metal continues to get smarter and smarter, it seems that Sleepytime Gorilla Museum just keeps getting dumber and dumber. Perhaps encouraged by the affirmation that metalheads have given their more blatant heaviosity, the Gorillas are more than willing to indulge those impulses on their third album. Thudding detonations of power chords and cookie-monster vocals explode all over the disc as if the group were engaged in a Norwegian battle of the bands that decided whether they lived or were burned at the stake. While cuts like "Formicary" and the deceptively lovely "Angle of Repose" engage in some beautifully challenging melody-harmony combinations (thanks to the avant-garde proclivities of violinist Carla Kihlstedt), and the entire disc is seasoned with blasts of noise, complexity and sheer madness, the presiding vibe is one of dark heaviness that finds the group being less challenging and less abrasive in favor of broad and simple metallurgy. Jason Ferguson
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