It has been a week since Foo Fighters released Dream Widow, a concept album that coincides with their recent film release, Studio 666. If you haven’t seen the film yet, watch it. It’s Evil Dead on steroids and it’s just purely hysterical. Sadly, it has also been a week since the loss of their drummer, the extraordinary Taylor Hawkins.
Shortly after I sat down to write this last week, after listening to the album basically all day long, the news about Taylor broke. I’ve been trying to figure out, through tears and reliving memories of Foo through my life, how I could do this justice. I didn’t want this to be just a downer of a review. It seems we’ve been writing so much gloom the past few years, and frankly, I’m tired.
It is emotionally exhausting sitting down and having to write in memoriams what feels like every other week/month. Over the past two years, we at ZRockR have felt the personal loss of one of our own, friends of ours in the music scene, musicians we loved… The loss of Taylor Hawkins hit hard in my home, and with me personally. I feel like I’ve lost a friend, even though I never met the man.
We caught Foo Fighters in 2019 at Intersect Festival and Taylor’s band Chevy Metal back in 2016. It’s a terrible blow to the music industry, and I know all of us on staff send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Taylor’s family, friends, and of course to Pat Smear, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Rami Jaffee, and Dave Grohl. Our love and our prayers for healing are with them all.
Rest in Peace, Taylor.
I know I said I didn’t want to be a downer, but these things needed to be said. Now, about that album…
When you think of Foo Fighters, you don’t really think “metal”, right? Rethink that. Now.
I didn’t know what to expect when I pressed play, and immediately with “Encino”, you’re hit with a mix of thrash and doom. Dave Grohl is fucking insane and proves he can do more than just sing; motherfucker can squeal with the best of them.
Following up is “Cold”, which I’ve basically had on repeat since it came out. You get the unique Foo feel in the song, at first. That all changes. It almost sounds like something Godsmack would have released, and that’s not a dig. The song is melodic, heavy, and definitely the ear worm of the album.
Drums and guitar are the heaviest in the mix of the entire album, proving that musically, the members of Foo Fighters are some of the most talented people in music today. This album, only two songs in, proves that they’re the last true rock n roll band, in my opinion. Rock n roll shouldn’t be taken seriously, and by experimenting in this, it’s proof Grohl and the guys don’t take themselves seriously.
Some folks have called this a tribute album in the context of it being as if they are paying homage to metal bands that the band loves. I would agree to an extent. You definitely feel hints of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Testament, Slayer, and bands like that, especially in “March of the Insane”. I definitely get a heavy Iron Maiden meets Megadeth feel from this in the delivery, especially on that guitar solo.
I don’t want to give away the entire record. I want you to go and listen to it for yourself.
Closing it out is “Lacrimus Dei Ebrius”, from the Studio 666 film. I loved hearing them play it in the film. It hits you in the chest and pulls you in, and listening to it through my headphones is no damn different. It’s slow, bendy and groovy. There’s a lot happening if you want to pick it apart; guitar melodies, deep heavy bass, a slight hint of keyboard, and thunderous drums, which lead the song and pick up speed. Seven minutes in, it slows to a beautiful acoustic duet, reminiscent of the instrumentals off albums from the band Ghost. Then we’re pulled back in to the heavy and cradled gently; at first.
If you want to piss off the annoying neighbors next door, this is the song to do it with. I was really looking forward to potentially seeing it done live at some point.
I’m going to piss some people off, especially metal purists, and I really give 0 fucks, but Dream Widow from Foo Fighters has a very high chance of being Metal Album of the Year. Not only is it completely different form what the band has ever done, but it brings us back to roots of metal, which I think a lot of metal bands nowadays have forgotten. Sometimes, it’s good to just get back to grass roots.
It’s a fucking shame that aside from 2021’s Medicine at Midnight, this may be the last thing we get from the band. If it is though, then we will lose Foo on a musical high note. I highly suggest you give it a chance.
Long live Foo Fighters.
PHOTO CREDIT: Album Art used for promotional use only / Live photo of Foo Fighters by Stephy Hayward for ZRockR Magazine – All Rights Reserved