"Set It Off" by Shuvel (2000)
Have you ever been so pissed off that only the heaviest, angriest music can make you feel better? Well, if so, this album is definitely for you when you're stuck in one of those momentary brushes with psychosis. I didn't think I'd like these guys at first judging by the fact I had heard they were total rap-metal in every sense of the word, but the songs are so well-crafted, and laced with genuine passion (I know I sound cheesy) that it is the perfect accompaniment to a foul mood. Which is something that can scarce be said for most rap-metal artists such as Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit or Crazy Town. In fact, I'd even put the underrated Shuvel in the same league with rap-metal pioneers Rage Against the Machine before I'd lump them in with Rage's countless imitators. If you're in that "fit to be tied" state of mind then the best songs to start off with are "Jump In," and "Hitlist," which both feature screeching, distorted guitars and paranoid, freakish screams in the chorus. Trust me, if you have even slightest little heart condition, if you crank up the horrifying screams on "Hitlist," don't be surprised if the next thing you hear is a medical professional screaming the word "CLEAR."
"Inside Out," is like a even-heavier Korn song with rapping, and "Freestyle," has a funk flow in the style of that other highly-underrated rap-metal band, Hed(pe). Two of the real gems here are "Move On," which has the perfect scream-along chorus: "That's right, yeah we gotta move on!" and "When I Think," which has a creeping intro that explodes right into a teeth-rattling visceral assault. Did I mention the lyrics on this song are moving and brilliant as well? Another real heavy hitter here that's not for the faint of heart is, "Those Who Stand in Line," with its paranoid fast pace that will get anyone's blood pumping. Being the fan of heavy music that I am, I could listen to this album all the way through at any given time, but by the end of the album I'll admit the average person might either get a headache or maybe even become bored by the same rap-metal formula (with the exception of the mesmerizing guitar-interplay on "Slipped"). However, if you're feeling depressed, angry, vengeful or confused, Shuvel offers the best therapy this side of Pahrump.
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