That opening quote of the LP comes from Vinnie Paz, who sounds throughout the record as if he’s gained some superpowers of his own. While the former Ikon the Verbal Hologram has always had a robust mic presence and steady dose of lyrical juice, the Monsignor swears he hasn’t heard this much ferocious energy from Paz on a record since Visions of Gandhi. He’s surely out to prove something this year — and who’s to blame the heavyweight for that when it comes to pairing up with his other, undoubtedly profound, rappers-in-crime.
Not letting go of the opening “Curse of the Pharoahs”, the chimey, grungy-buzzing sounds see all the emcees get down at their very best, and Esoteric even fires off a Boba Fett reference in there for good measure. This leads to the only track on the album that will take you where AOTP was previously known for: high-octane, over-the-top Game of Gladiators-type horn loops that gave you no choice but to destroy your neighbors night of sleep and deeply apologize for all of the havoc much, much fucking later. The difference with the Reef the Lost Cauze-led “Midnight Burial” and those jawns of christmas past, however, is that the tempo is pulled back a bit. The synths here should please the most diehard of John Carpenter fans, as the track just screams of thrilling 80s conspiracy cheese. Picture reapers, flying saucers and snake venom (all lyrics from track) proceeding to smother the audience.
The slow burn of “Broken Safeties” watches CT’s finest, Apathy, revert back to his Alien Tongue, speaking on topics not to distant from extraterrestrial animal-slaves, hive-minds and warships. It’s the second of many versatile performances from Ap, who nonetheless appears to have a lot of fun with this album. Lawrence Arnell also appears on the cut, and, while I don’t know much about him, his sort of Alchemist vocal presence plays off well with the more familiar troupe.
Ever want to hear Vinnie double-time flow? Well, you’ve got it on the first official video above, a heat-seaker that also sees Eso turn lyrical Comic-CON: “Playtime is over, daytime is over, the finest soldiers / Take nines from holsters, my only weapons: canines and cobras / We diamond poachers, we take your shine, we some mine/mind controllers / My rhyme is solar-flaring, airing out the kind below us / You know Lois Lane know my name, I’m throwing flames at your brain / Like Ghost Rider, my flow’s tighter I’m Blakey Griffin with an open lane / My foe is Bane, my flow is Betsy Ross off the Zoloft: so/sew insane…”
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