Mudvayne, 'Mudvayne' (Epic)

Critical Mass
Label: Epic

by Mikael Wood

"It's getting harder all the time," roars Chad Gray on the new self-titled album by his Illinois alt-metal outfit Mudvayne. That may well be true of the life that Gray leads. But harder all the time definitely isn't the case with Mudvayne's music, which since the band's 2000 debut has gotten progressively handsomer and more melodic: These guys once flailed like a future-prog version of Slipknot (whose Shawn Crahan served as executive producer on L.D. 50), but now their doomy riff-o-rama comes equipped with mellow-bellow butt-rock choruses. Mudvayne even closes with a tender acoustic number that recalls Nirvana's "Something in the Way." The result? Ozzfest for oldsters.

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