Global Warning - Enemy Within

Year of Release: 2005
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:56:00

Global Warning consider themselves alternative metal. Though, given the popularity of this nu-metal sound, I'm not sure what it's the alternative to (she said, somewhat facetiously). Okay, yes, it's now a term to describe a certain style with its characteristic and markers, rather than it describing the music's role. If that makes sense. It's "Xerox" versus "copying machine."

Anyway, the press sheet proclaims: "Seattle, WA frequently produces bands that change the way certain music scenes exist" and then lays out a claim that Global Warning are the next band to do that. Well, though it seems that they've made inroads in the mainstream, tracks from their previous albums charting, I don't think they've broken through in the same way such other Washington state acts like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden have, or even Hendrix, Queensryche, Heart? for that matter. I mean, heck, the first three are now considered "classic rock" and can be heard right alongside the latter three (at least in the US).

That doesn't mean because they - Global Warning - aren't on the tip of everyone's tongue - or have become annoyingly everywhere - that they aren't good. It also doesn't mean they are good and are some undiscovered gem. They are... they do what they do well, but leave one, me at least, wanting something more. ? ? Incidentally, I wasn't much a fan of Nirvana, though did like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, so it's not that I don't like some alternative metal (grunge, or whatever you want to call it; it's still rock 'n' roll to me and I like it 'cuz it's here to stay*).

They don't sound like any of those bands mentioned above, except maybe a tad bit of Soundgarden. No, rather, I think they sound like a rawer Metallica. Not as dynamic instrumentally, but the gravelly voiced vocalist remind me of James Hetfield. In fact, the music itself isn't all that dynamic, in that in the broad view, they all kinda sound the same. Anyway, if you think of Metallica's "Don't Tread On Me," then you have a good idea of how this album sounds, and pretty much consistently. If that doesn't mean anything, then how about this: you are in a construction zone and the buzz-saws are running and there is hammering while the foreman barks out orders. It's not as chaotic as that might sound. In music terms: this is an album of mostly mid-to-up-tempo pieces, nearly all featuring fuzzy, chugging guitars, including bass, minimal drums and percussion. Well, "Missing Piece" is a bit different, a bit more arty, I guess, comparatively speaking. Parts of "Secret" are mellower, "cleaner" (think "Nothing Else Matters" or "Fade To Black"), as it starts out balladic-like, with chiming guitars, moody bass, and crashing percussion accents. The bonus track, a remixed version of "Disconnect" is a bit different, a bit. It's a funkier than the other material. The fuzzed guitars are still there, but? this is a slinkier piece.

Although you wouldn't necessarily guess from the lyrics, which are also rather samey in construction -- the words and point might vary, but their rhythm is the same. That might work with a book of sonnets or poems (no one accused Shakespeare of being samey, did they? Did they?), but somehow it doesn't work for lyrics. Anyway, though you wouldn't necessarily guess, this is a Christian metal band. Maybe because it's more about ideas based on beliefs that about the beliefs themselves. In fact, the name Jesus doesn't appear anywhere.

In fact, lyrically it's rather dark: "Away From Me" (can't get away from self ("no matter where you go, there you are."**)), "Chasm" (being the outcast (their "Unforgiven," if you will)), "A Deafining Silence" (human apathy towards the ills of society we're creating; that very apathy the cause), "Empty Inside" (giving into temptation, each time), and so forth. Fourteen tracks in all. I guess the closes that comes to a specifically Christian message, and not one that could be equally secular, is "Speak To Me." I'm thinking of the lyric "See who saved me?" I take to be a reference to Christ. But, then again? room for a secular reading as well, since the "who" isn't specified.

At fourteen tracks, however short, after a while, it becomes tiring. Just too much of the same thing. It's not awful, if this is your type of thing. It's certainly not progressive in any sense of the word. Certainly not in the sense we usually apply here, but also not in the more general sense that Global Warning are going to start a trend. They are following a trend. And the reason, I think, that Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc. took off is because they were different. Different from what was popular at the time - hair metal, traditional metal, and artsy, new-wave. Just as punk was a reaction to progressive rock? Since this nu-metal style didn't try to knock rap - one of the current reigning music styles - off its pedestal, it instead embraced the anger and energy and style. There's no rap here, not really. Sorta close to the chugging, lively "Guilt Complex," but it's a stretch.

There are actually 15 tracks here, though the counter shows 20. Tracks 15 - 19 are silent, and then track 20 is a brief reprise of "Secret." A haunting, acoustic rendition, that I actually prefer, perhaps because it is different from everything else on the album? and had they included it in the "main album" -- that is, this style with the full piece -- we might have had a bit more of the diversity this album needs.

Anyway, I've not mentioned who played what because I just don't know. There's nothing at their website, despite pictures that at least seem to prove there's more than one person involved. But they aren't captioned. And the press-sheet from Silent Planet Promotions makes no mention of names; nothing in the booklet or tray card.

So? it's okay. Unless you are a devoted fan of alt.metal/nu-metal, or even a casual fan feeling up to your ears with Korn, fit-to-be-tied with Slipknot, or feeling chained to your Linkin' Park, you can feel safe giving Global Warning a miss. You've heard it before - musically and conceptually.

[*with credit to Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones and Danny and the Juniors, respectively; ** not a lyric from the song, but what came to me; from Buckaroo Bonzaimethinks. ]

Away From Me / Bring It On / Chasm / Solace / A Deafening Silence / Missing Piece / Crawling / Secret / Empty Inside / Guilt Complex / Speak To Me / Hype / Waiting / Disconnect (Remix Bonus Track) / Hidden Track: Secret (reprise)


Global Warning (2000)
Digital Black (2003)
Enemy Within (2005)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: October 8th 2006
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 2237
Language: english


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