After a 12-year hiatus, nu-metal’s kooky clowns have announced that they are reuniting this fall for a slew of live shows.
Mudvayne announced that they plan to perform at four different rock festivals this year including Louder Than Life, Aftershock, and Welcome to Rockville. These performances will be the first batch of shows the Illinois rockers have done since 2009. Along with a cryptic YouTube teaser, the band’s announcement was equally vague:
“These symptoms suggested that our evolution, I suppose, from the animal kingdom into human kingdom itself was catalyzed or triggered by our encounter with these hallucinogenics, and… Yes, we are an ape with a symbiotic relationship to a mushroom, and that has given us self-reflection, language, religion, and all the spectrum of effects that flow from these things. And one can only wonder how these hallucinogens might effect our future evolution as well. They have brought us to this point and as we make our relationship to them conscious, we may be able to take control of our future evolutionary path.”
Take from that what you will, but Mudvayne is set to return, and to celebrate the occasion we’ve ranked the nu-metallers’ 6 records, and revisited some of their biggest moments.
The Beginning of All Things to End
The Beginning of All Things To End
While Mudvayne’s debut was littered with interesting moments, the album’s heavier moments felt radio-friendly and overall weren’t as interesting as the work that would follow. “Seed” and “Cultivate” sound almost Post Grunge, while tracks like “I.D.I.O.T.” and “Poop Loser” are sprinkled with the charisma that would later help the group stand out amongst their fellow rockers, but the tracks don’t really expand into truly unpredictable territory. It’s a fine metal record but when held up against the albums that came after, it definitely falls flat.
The End of All Things to Come
A significant improvement over Mudvayne’s debut, The End of All Things to Come features heavier guitars, more of that slapping bass, and a more unique balance between screams and melodies. But songs like “World So Cold” felt soft and radio-friendly.
This was clearly a band that was trying to appease their audience and gain a following, but it was in the album’s heaviest moments that they showed their true talent. “Silenced” cracked with the anger and slapping energy that the group would later be known for, and “Shadow of a Man” had that experimental Hip-Hop energy that would soon kick start the nu-metal wave. The End of All Things to Come was far from a perfect album, but it hinted at the untapped potential the group had in them.
The New Game
A severely underappreciated record, Mudvayne’s 2008 record The New Game had everything that made the band great. “The Hate in Me” is a raunchy headbanger and “Dull Boy” toyed with that nu-metal rap energy that fans knew and loved. The record’s use of acoustic guitar also made for some interesting, grungy moments on “Do What You Do,” while other tracks made use of their knack for mathematical rock.
Mudvayne’s final effort before breaking up in 2010, the band’s self-titled album showed promise regarding the future of the band. Tracks like “Beautiful and Strange” and “I Can’t Wait” are full of ripping fast-paced guitars, chugging bass, and spit-fire vocals, while more straightforward tracks like “Beyond the Pale” are full of catchy melodies and hard Hip-Hop verses. The band’s self-titled effort showed Mudvayne at its peak, successfully implementing all the factors that made them stand out in the first place.
Lost and Found
One of the band’s most successful crossover records, Lost and Found spawned one of the groups biggest hits: “Happy?” a funky and rhythmically buoyant metal track that showed the band’s talent for curating tight riffs. Chad Gray’s vocals on Lost and Found were some of his grittiest to date, and the record still represents the apex of nu-metal’s fame.
While many critics dismissed the clown quintet as a bunch of posers, real fans knew the power of L.D. 50. It was an album full of crazy atmospherics, brutal metal hooks, and a handful of captivating moments of math-metal experimentation that established Mudvayne as a peculiar musical tour-de-force. The album would go on to outlive the band as the pinnacle of Nu-Metal, but tracks like “Dig” and “-1” would take on a life of their own in the years that followed the band’s demise.