SPV 98372

4-Way Diablo [Audio CD] MONSTER MAGNET

MONSTER MAGNET once again proves that it's one of heavy rock's most reliable units with 4-Way Diablo, a recording that demonstrates the New Jersey outfit's remarkable diversity and its unstoppable drive. The opening, titular cut, "Wall of Fire," and "Cyclone" (which recalls Black Sabbath's "Heaven and Hell") serve as perfect and powerful Monster Magnet primers. The Latin-tinged "You're Alive," the quiet closer "Little Bag of Gloom," and the (early) Def Leppard-esque "I'm Calling You" speak to the group's ability to traverse from light to dark and everywhere in between with ease. A patina of psychedelia sound still hovers here, suggesting that quartet will never betray its roots. Of course, 4-Way Diablo doesn't add up to a classic album--the same eclecticism that stands as its greatest strength is also often a weakness--but it does remain one of the better hard rock releases this year and it will stand as a testament to Monster Magnet's enduring nature and willingness to boldly strike forth into new territory rather than staying on an outdated and mundane course. --Jedd Beaudoin