First things first....if you're not a fan of balls-to-wall metal music, then Motograter is definitely NOT your bag of tea. However, for the rest of us....Motograter is the shining example of what angry, heavy metal music should be. Motograter is not a chaotic musical mess like Slipknot, but straightforward HEAVY music, much in the vein of Mushroomhead. The name Motograter comes from the instrument that the band invented to replace the normal bass guitar...because the bass guitar wasn't low enough in tone and heavy enough. The motograter instrument is made of guitar parts and thick industrial cable, and struck with a metal stick. Talk about redefining "metal" in music. The resulting sound is similar to a bass guitar, but with a much more powerful low tone.
The band themselves, when on tour and when recording music videos, painted themselves up in intricate full body paintjobs to convey just how extreme the music is.
Motograter released just one album, and it was a gem. Although lead singer Ivan Moody has moved on to be the frontman of the band Five Finger Death Punch, most Motograter fans like me wish the band would get back together and record another album.
So let's have a look at their one and only album. The album has 22 tracks...but don't get too surprised, half of them are short into's into the full length songs on the CD.
The album opener...titled "Suffocate" is an appropriately titled song...because if the music was a living being, it would surely try to suffocate you till you begged for air. The opening track opens with a all-out sonic assault as the motograter instrument blares along with the guitars and drums. Singer Ivan Moody's first vocals are a roaring "RISE!!!!," somewhat of a trademark of Moody's. The vocals are not family friendly...this is raging metal music. "SUFFOCATE! You're nothing to no one/ That's how you'll die!" screams Moody during the chorus. Definitely music that gets your blood pumping and music that you can scream along with. Featured on a horror movie soundtrack, Suffocate quickly tells us what kind of band Motograter is.
The next musical assault is named "Down", the most successful charting track in Motograter's career. One of the kinder, less angry songs on the album, this track was featured on the soundtrack of EA Sports' Nascar Thunder 2004 video game. "When it's down to you and me...WILL YOU STILL STAY ON YOUR KNEES????" shouts Moody. Even though it's the most friendly track, it still is nasty lyrically, reminding me of Nickleback's song "Figured You Out."
The third track, the album's weakest moment, is just a filler track. Never rising above the others, "Prophecies (Almost Over)" is a forgettable track.
However, Motograter jumps right back into your face on the next track, titled "Wrong." Featuring one of the most unique opening sounds in the history of rock music, a coyote howl wails away before giving in to a crushing wave of heavy guitars. "Wrong/got it WRONG/always WRONG/something's WRONG/infectious, a scab unto the world/seems like my whole life's been a farce/wishing on the stars/I'm just a poster for what we shouldn't be/I've put your whole world in a noose" goes the chorus. Definitely not a uplifting song to say the least. But Motograter isn't an uplifting band musically, its as down and ugly lyrically as you can get.
The fifth song, "No Name" is one of the lighter offerings on the album. Not featuring much growling or screaming vocals, this song highlights Ivan Moody's vocal range. He has not only a dark haunting voice for the album's darker moments, but actually a very good "normal" singing voice. Sounding more mainstream that anything else on the album, "No Name" is a good song for fans of less chilling metal music.
However, just like before, the song following is an assault on the ears. Featuring the best drumwork in modern metal music, "Collapse" is a fast paced tune that is automatically catchy. "Collapse, collapse, break it down and take it back/oppose the pose/give em something to think about/no warning/no sympathy/a million mutherfuckers all built for catastrophe" goes part of the first lyrics of the song.
The next song is perhaps the most "un"-Motograter song on the entire album. Opening to a sound that only reminds me of the sounds of seagulls along the shore, "New Design (Start Over" is a great song musically and lyrically. "I'd like to change the hands of time/start over/someone hit rewind/break ground and build a new design/start over/leave this all behind" runs the chorus...one which is actually thought-provoking and not a balls-to-the-wall "kill yourself and take everyone with you" lyrical message that we are used to in a Motograter song.
The song "Red" sounds simple enough, but really takes the term "metal" to a new level. While the opening guitars blast away at your sanity, there's the sound of clanging metal thrown in. A song that to me at least, depicts mankind's final moments, the chorus blares "The engines' turning/and salvation's going down/and all I see, all I see/is red/my stomach's burning and the venom's soaking in/and its all I feel, all I feel/is red." Yet another heavy song, Red is a good song that would make any headbanger feel right at home.
The next song..."Mutiny," is a smashup of several distinct genres of music. Sounding almost like rock/rap during the opening verses, it quickly elevates to metal during the chorus. Brooding between straight-up groove metal and punk, it shows Motograter's musical diversity.
"Get Back" is a in your face, ass whipping of a song...starting off with the lyrics "GET BACK/Never gonna corner me/ Fuck that/So tired of everybody/you got that/never gonna give an inch/your opinions' absolutely shit." Talk about a kick in the nuts.
The last song...'Fight,' is another "Get Back"-type song. Alot of screaming, alot of biting lyrics, and alot of metal music.
Overall, it's a shame that Motograter has only done one album. For hardcore metal fans, Motograter is what it's all about. For now, we'll have to settle for Ivan Moody's new project "Five Finger Death Punch," which although not as heavy musically as Motograter, has the same vicious lyrics, especially on the 5FDP song 'The Way of the Fist.'
Oh well....maybe one day Motograter will grace us with a new album.