Probot – Probot

Probot is Dave Grohl’s tribute to the music and bands he loves — the metal of the early 80’s. It’s like a tribute album, except with new songs instead of covers. So it’s kind of like a tribute album of cover tunes of eleven different bands that hadn’t been recorded yet, using the original singers of those bands to make new songs in old styles. Confused? If Probot’s Dave Grohl set out to make an album impossible to classify or stereotype, he succeeded.

The only thing tying the eleven tracks together is Grohl himself, who wrote each tune and performed most of the musical duties himself. For an album with eleven singers and various other guest musicians, the disc is surprisingly cohesive. Despite the rotating vocalists, the instruments maintain their voice throughout the album, preventing the album from sounding like eleven different bands instead of one. But don’t expect the songs to sound alike — each one sounds taylor made for each chosen vocalist.

“Centuries of Sin” with Cronos (of Venom) kicks off the disc with fire and intensity, preparing the listener for what lies ahead. Following is “Red War”, a track with Max Cavalera performing vocal duties which could have just as easily appeared on Sepultura’s Chaos A.D. The next track, “Shake Your Blood”, puts Motorhead’s Lemmy up front for both bass and vocal duties on a song that rival’s “Ace of Spades”. I’m not just gushing here — the tracks are that good. “The Emerald Law”, featuring Wino (St. Vitus, Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, Place of Skulls), sums up the feel of the whole project to me with its muddy riffs and straight forward rocking.

Browsing the track list is like a walk down memory lane from the early 80’s metal scene. Mike Dean (COC), Kurt Brecht (DRI), and Tom G. Warrior (Celtic Frost) all make appearances and keep the album moving forwards. Even the slower tracks, like “Ice Cold Man” (with Lee Dorrian of Cathedral and Napalm Death) and “Sweet Dreams” with King Diamond on vocals don’t derail the disc’s momentum. The music was fleshed out with a few guest appearances as well; Bubba Dupree (Void) and Kim Thayill (Soundgarden) both lay down some killer guitar work.

But the real genius here is Grohl himself. Somehow he’s managed to put together an eclectic mixture of artists and end up with tenacious results. If the Foo Fighters helped Grohl emerge from Nirvana’s shadow, Probot will put the final nail in the coffin.

The Foo Fighters proved that Dave Grohl has a mind for pop. Probot proves he’s got a heart of metal.

01. Centuries Of Sin w/ Cronos (Venom)
02. Red War w/ Max Cavalera (Soulfly, Sepultura)
03. Shake Your Blood w/ Lemmy (Motorhead)
04. Access Babylon w/ Mike Dean (Corrosion of Conformity)
05. Silent Spring w/ Kurt Brecht (DRI)
06. Ice Cold Man w/ Lee Dorrian (Cathedral, Napalm Death)
07. The Emerald Law w/ Wino (St. Vitus, Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, Place of Skulls)
08. Big Sky w/Tom G. Warrior(Celtic Frost /Apollyon Sun)
09. Dictatorsaurus w/ Snake (Voivod)
10. My Tortured Soul w/ Eric Wagner (Trouble)
11. Sweet Dreams w/ King Diamond (Mercyful Fate)

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