Natas

Natas

Wicket World Wide.Com

Gothom/Overcore

My position as a metal critic at Ink 19 is so absurdly pre-determined that virtually any record with skulls, bloodshed and/or Satanic imagery on the cover is sent to me for review. The thing is, a good deal of the time the record in question isn’t heavy metal per se (or at all, for that matter). Thus, it’s with hushed resignation that I attempt to digest Wicket World Wide.Com by Detroit “horror-rap” practitioners Natas. After all, the cover is an un-credited detail of Hieronymous Bosch’s “Garden of Delights” — is that metal or what? (rhetorical question only)

Truth be told, Natas (headed by ultra-prolific MC Esham) isn’t any more horror-ridden than the average post-NWA gangsta group. But in an era of rap where just about every P-Funk record has been plundered beyond belief, it’s mildly refreshing to find Natas sticking some grit to its Midwestern thug stance. Much of WWW.Com is drenched in distorted bass and treble tones regardless of a particular song’s texture. Likewise, metal-guitar riffs receive a heavy-handed sampling-workout, but the treatments are deft enough to evade rap-rock cliché. And as far as the topics Esham and crew tackle, here’s a sample: “Football,” “Funeral Parlor,” “Telly Savales,” “Oriental Spas,” “Cancun,” “Party People,” and, um, “Virgin Mary.”

Gothom/Overcore, 47551 Iroquois Ct., Novi, MI 48374; http://www.overturemusic.com

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