Thessalonian Dope Gods
"High Idol Pulsation"

(Sin Klub Entertainment 2003)Thessalonian Dope Gods - High Idol Pulsation

After multiple listens to the Thessalonian Dope Gods latest long playing release, "High Idol Pulsation," it is still difficult to get the whole picture of their diverse, yet familiar, sound. The Thessalonian Dope Gods start off the CD with the industrial metal meets New Orleans speed metal stomping of "Meat of the Hoof," giving the listener a good jolt. Next comes the unexpected transition into the trippy and bubbling beat of "Burying the Equilibium," easily the strangest song on the record with its rap and dance-like qualities and a chorus that could be by Savage Garden" -- no kidding!

The vocals throughout the album are screamed much like what you would hear at an Ozzfest these days, and much of the singing and beats on the album could be compared to Rob Zombie, however, the Thessalonian Dope Gods have been churning out songs like these since at least 1992. "Only God is Meaner" is a clever, distorted goth rock song reminiscent of Type O Negative or Sisters of Mercy, and the chorus "Only God is meaner -- past-life's joke, post misery" just might make you think for a minute. The next couple of songs blend together in their mid-paced industrial rock style, with more of the same kind of singing going on. "12-Gauge Deed" is an acoustic number with an electronic pop drum beat and tambourine with a softer style of singing and lyrics reminiscent of the occult-influenced Led Zeppelin IV stuff.

"Licking the Stitches, Loving the Bone" starts off with a straightforward guitar riff, but soon breaks into layers of echoing beats with a noodly distorted guitar riff in the background. This is one of the most interesting songs on the CD, and the real drumming at the chorus and the Cleveland hardcore-style guitar solo at the end makes it an energetic change. Another standout track is the cover of Split Enz's "I Got You," which might be the most diverse song on the album, with its hardcore punk sound, quirky synthesizer breakdown, and piano fade-out. "High Idol Pulsation" gets harder and faster with "Handful of Stars, Mouthful of Retch" and "Scarehead" before it gets spacey and poppy again at the last official track, "Rattle." The CD actually ends with a hidden track that is much like the other fast ones, but seems even less serious than the others with its repeating of the phrase "soup of the day."

Overall, "High Idol Pulsation" would be welcome in CD collections as diverse as the Thessalonian Dope Gods' music. "High Idol Pulsation" is a fun industrial rock record (a rare thing) that gets better with repetition, and the "Houses of the Holy" parody on the back cover should get a chuckle, too.