“Songs Of Sanity” by John 5

Artist: John 5
Title: “Songs For Sanity”
Label: Shrapnel Records
Release Date: 9/13/2005
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 8/10

Guitarist John 5 from Marilyn Manson will surprise a lot of people with the release “Songs For Sanity”. On this album there is none of the Gothic Horror Show Metal that one might expect from the guitarist but instead a wild display of technical ability and style that will quite literally blow you away. For the most part it’s a heavy album with lots of skillfully composed runs and thundering drumming. Songs that prove this best are “Gods And Monsters” and “Soul Of A Robot”. The bluesy feel is given its time to shine in “Blues Balls” which is brief and to the point. The track has a Stevie Ray Vaughn feel and is done quite well. “Fiddlers” is truly a song that is among the most fun; while it’s rocking, it has a strong bluegrass feel to it. This was probably my favorite on the album, along with the moody “Sin”. Joining John 5 for the album’s recording is the legendary Steve Vai, whose contributions are solos and some lead work on a couple of tunes. John 5 himself plays most of the guitars and even does a little bass. Other players across the record include Larry Klein & Joah Jones (bass), Rodger Carter & Aaron Rossi (drums), Sid Riggs & Kevin Savigar (keyboards). Legendary axe wizard Albert Lee makes an appearance by soloing on “Death Valley” and it’s nice to see his talents represented for the world to enjoy on an artist of today’s work. “Perineum” was also one of my favorites as it had such a level of progressive technicality to it and was perhaps the heaviest of the numbers on the album.

I think anyone who goes in for solid instrumental albums along the manner of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani will enjoy this recording. There are hints of Blues, Rock, Progressive and Metal all displayed at various points and the whole thing shows the level of player that John 5 actually is. I admit that going in I expected something akin to his work in Manson, but this album just goes to show that one should not dismiss before listening. The entire album is a fun listen and I recommend it to all of you.

Song Listing:
1. Damaged
2. Soul Of A Robot
3. Gein With Envy
4. Sin
5. Behind The Nut Love
6. Blues Balls
7. Fiddlers
8. Gods And Monsters
9. Die 4
10. Death Valley
11. Perineum
12. Deneuement

Official Web site: http://www.john-5.com/

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