In 1998 White Zombie was riding high after the success of Astro-Creep 2000. When frontman and main creative force Rob Zombie picked that moment to go solo, he surprised a lot of people, not least of all his own bandmates. But go solo he did with Hellbilly Deluxe, an album that went three times platinum and from that point on White Zombie was no more.
There wasn't a bad song on the album, and anthems like "Dragula", "Superbeast," and "Living Dead Girl" have become modern metal classics. Now, twelve years and four albums into his solo career, six if you count a live, Zombie Live, and greatest hits album, Past, Present & Future, both of which usually signal an artist running out of ideas, Zombie went back to the studio and gave us a successor to his debut, Hellbilly Deluxe 2. A shame then that it not only fails to live up to its famous predecessor, but to Zombie's other solo efforts as well.
The album starter "Jesus Frankenstein" feels dreary and repetitious, suffering from the same issues that plagued the opening tracks on his previous album, Educated Horses. After what seems like an eternity of hearing "All hail Jesus Frankenstein" you pine for an undead Pontius Pilate to nail him up and be done with it. No one expects Zombie to be a wordsmith, read the lyric sheet to any of his albums and you could laugh yourself into a coma, but shouting "Rock, motherfucker!" into your ear 78 times is a bit much even for him and all but sinks "Sick Bubblegum". Some great guitar work by John 5 buoys things towards the end but by then it's too little too late. The next song, "What?" has the album's best riff and explores the "ghoulish beach party" sound Zombie began experimenting with on "The Scorpion Sleeps", from Educated Horses. It's the most fun you'll have on the album and ends all too quickly.