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Rize Of The Fenix (Vinyl LP) Import

4.2 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Vinyl, Import, May 15, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Rize of the Fenix is the third album from Tenacious D and is the follow-up to 2006's gold The Pick of Destiny and 2001's platinum debut album Tenacious D.

Produced by the brilliant John Kimbrough, Rize Of The Fenix was recorded in the garage behind his LA home and features Jack Black and Kyle Gass (Tenacious D's core duo), performing with Dave Grohl (drums), John Spiker (bass, piano, organ) and John Konesky (electric guitar). The album was engineered and mixed by John Spiker who has been touring with the band for years.

From their concentrated effort emerged thirteen profoundly evocative tracks, the making of which the band describes as a "journey similar to that of Gandolph in The Lord of the Rings". When the ill received Pick of Destiny movie failed to strike box office gold, it virtually stripped away the duos rock god stature overnight. "There we no more bouncers waving us through the velvet ropes, we were persona non gratta" said singer Jack Black. Kyle Gass added, "There we were- just like Gandolph the grey, down in the muck- but we never gave up, We defeated our own personal demons and began chipping away, slowly climbing back to the land of the living- when we emerged we were no longer the old Tenacious D, we were Gandolph the white, with new powers and wisdom and bravery and skills".

Rize of the Fenix was recorded over the past six years as Tenacious D went back to their roots. "We recorded down and dirty in a friend's garage with a shoestring budget of 600 dollars, much like Nirvana's first album "Bleach"-or the Beatles first album "Help". Rough and yet a masterpiece."

This album is pressed on 180 gram vinyl and includes a digital download redemption card and bonus 12 x24 poster.
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (May 15, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B007D7H47A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,512 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
IN SHORT: Buy this album -- it's tremendous! Listen to it a lot and it will grow on you (like the blurred out giant evil 'fenix' on the album cover ;)

LONGER REVIEW: I couldn't wait for this album to come out. I set aside the evening, prepared -- stereo cranked up, on my fourth or fifth drink, etc. -- and listened straight through paying close attention. My first impression wasn't great to be honest -- I thought it was a little "soft". I almost wrote a knee-jerk negative review saying the D had lost it etc. Instead I went to bed. The next day I listened to the album again but in the background at a lower volume. It started getting its hooks into me. That was last week, and I've now listened to the album a dozen times or so. I've also done a "comprehensive review" of the D recently -- I've listened to the other 2 albums a bunch of times and rewatched everything including the POD movie. My conclusion? "The Rize of the Fenix" is a very rich, multi-layered and creative album. Dare I say it's really "mature," in the sense that JB & KG's songwriting has evolved to encompass a wider variety of styles. Don't worry -- it's still really vulgar, profane and hilarious, but the scope is wider in my opinion. "39," and "The Ballad Of Hollywood Jack And The Rage Kage" stand out in this regard (anyone else hear Neil Diamond in there?) And I don't mean that they've half-assed tried to write songs in genres other than metal/rock in order to appear creative and diverse but ended up contriving some BS. Not at all. They've upped the ante and successfully produced a complex and advanced masterpiece. The impression I get is that they are far from complacent -- they've worked their asses off in the interim and pushed their own limits and it paid off.
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Format: Audio CD
This could be - and I'm still mulling this over as of yet - Tenacious D's best album to date. For me, it doesn't have the same addictive, "short but sweet" vibe as P.O.D, but it's certainly the strongest thing they've done. It branches out, it experiments, and each track has something new to add to the table. Don't worry though, it still has many traits of the classic D. It has that effortless, smooth rhythm that defines their sound.

1) Rize of the Fenix - A great opening song. Slow melodic start, and then the speed picks up and...The D is back! There's nothing amazingly different about it but it sure as hell reminds you just why you love the band. Reminds me of "City Hall", and that's certainly not a bad thing!

2) Low Hanging Fruit - This one is interesting. It's unusually fast for this band. It expands their talents and manages to be very addictive too. What's more, it has that balance of soft acoustic and distorted electric guitar which melds together for great effect.

3) Classical Teacher - The first skit of the album. You'll have to make up your own mind about this...humour is subjective. What the hell am I saying, you're a D fan! Funny stuff!

4) Senorita - Another new sound. I've just been reminded why I love Kyle's guitar-playing. At this point we're seeing some serious variety. The explosive ending is classic Tenacious D.

5) Deth Starr - Nice relaxing opening, then BANG! Addictive, fast-paced riffs and smooth flowing vocals from Mr Jack Black. You'll be singing along with this one, I guarantee.

6) Roadie - This one seems to be getting a lot of praise, but it doesn't do much for me. Objectively, I can see that it's a good song, but for me, there's nothing captivating about it.
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Like many fans, I eagerly awaited the D's triumphant return in 2012 and probably got a tad too excited for Rise of the Fenix. Excitement or not, though, I still tempered my expectations enough not to be disappointed if the album wasn't a masterpiece, but I was definitely expecting more than Rise of the Fenix offers. In short, it isn't awful, but it's a very mixed bag.

For starters, let me focus on the positive: I was pleasantly surprised by the musical direction JB and KG took on this record. I would even argue that Rise is the best the D has ever been from a song-writing perspective; the riffs are catchy, the album offers a variety of styles, and the production is tight but not overdone. If Tenacious D ever did a serious rock record and it sounded like this, I would buy it just to hear their guitarwork.

What's the problem, then?

The problem is the D doesn't make serious rock records, and the joke has worn thin. Of the 13 tracks on Rise of the Fenix, 2 are un-funny skits that feel awkwardly contrived, 3 clock in at under 2:00, and there are a number of others that don't crack the 3-minute mark. As a result, some songs are not given a chance to fully develop ("They F***** Our A***s" was building up to be the best song on the disc before it abruptly ended), but others just aren't funny. Apparently crude sexual innuendos and the F-word pass for top-tier comedy these days, because we're subjected to a boatload of both on Rise of the Fenix.

Just so we're clear, I'm no prude- the content of Rise of the Fenix doesn't offend me or anything dumb like that. I just don't chuckle every time I hear someone yell a cuss word anymore. Much of the humor on Rise is pretty juvenile, which is quite disappointing.
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