As you may or may not know, Cory was one of the guitarists for the flamboyant horror themed band GWAR, who made the character of Flattus Maximus his own between the years of 2002–2011. In fact when he was found dead of a heart attack on the band’s tour bus in November of 2011, the other members of Gwar retired the character of Flattus in honour of Cory’s memory. So when I first got hold of ‘When Worlds Collide’ from The Cory Smoot Experiment, the first question on my mind was “I wonder if this will be anything like Gwar?”. Well in places it is, but not as much as you may think.
The opening track ‘The Blood Red’ features some very impressive guitar playing in the opening sequence, something that Cory never really got to show off with GWAR. And indeed, throughout the album, Cory’s ability on guitar is proven again and again in ways you may not have heard before.
Melodic at times and heavier than a mountain at others; ‘When World’s Collide’ is overall though for fans of something heavier than GWAR. Cory’s Death Metal growls and his guitar on top of double bass drums make for some Slayer-esque listening, but with little in the way of surprise. Based on the fact that this is a solo album by someone trying to strike it out on their own merit, it is the guitar licks that Smoot himself plays that carry this album. The vocals are nothing special, and although I’m sure each song has good lyrics, they become hard to understand through the way to album was mixed with the guitar sound on top of all else. Quiet vocal moments become totally drowned out by the guitar wailing over it. In complete contrast to this you’ll find that Cory’s solos, his chance to really shine as a guitarist, are quietened into the background. As Cory himself recorded the vocals for this album I would have liked to hear his vocals in equal contrast to his riffs. But sadly I could not.
This is a really confusing album that tries hard to make you want to like it. But as I said, nothing special. The best track in my opinion is the last track ‘Sloth Loves Chunk’. A melodic track, with an obvious titular tribute to the 80’s film ‘The Goonies’. It’s a funky slap-bass instrumental in which, in my opinion, the way the entire album should have been done.
I can see how this album may not be everyone’s cup of tea, indeed it’s not mine, but there is no doubt fans of GWAR and Cory Smoot will delight in the musicianship on display.
All proceeds from this album will be donated to The Smoot Family Fund to help provide for Cory’s family.