After 15 years, the legendary Massachusetts hard rockers Extreme has returned with a new album titled “Six.” After such a long wait (even longer than “Chinese Democracy”) and considering the reputation this band has in the world of rock music, it seemed like this album would be one of the most anticipated of the year, at least in my opinion. After the release of the first single, it seemed like we were on track to possibly get a strong contender for album of the year. However, an unexpected turn of events occurred. What actually happened?
In this review, which will be a bit different, we will also use a well-established formula for rating albums originally created by Michael Butler from the Rock n Roll Geek podcast. It is a simple yet effective way to evaluate albums.
The new album by Extreme, “Six,” contains 12 songs and can actually be divided into three parts. We will examine it in that way.
Hard rock songs
The first section consists of the first three songs on the album, which were also released as singles in the same order: “Rise,” “#Rebel,” and “Banshee.” We first had the opportunity to hear “Rise,” which immediately captured the hearts of fans, primarily because of the guitar solo performed by Nuno Bettencourt. It simply blew away the rock and metal community, setting the internet on fire. It can be freely said that Nuno, with his performance, created a mini guitar revolution, something that hasn’t been accomplished by anyone in a long time, as we also wrote about. “#Rebel” and “Banshee,” released as a double single, continued along the same path set by “Rise.” Masterfully played hard rock with catchy choruses and impressive guitar sections. We gave these songs high ratings at the time. It was a 3 out of 3, and it seemed like what I said at the beginning would come true: we are possibly going to have the album of the year. Little did I know…
Industrial rock songs
The next group of songs consists of “The Mask,” “Thicker Than Blood,” “Save Me,” and “X-Out,” which can collectively be referred to as Rammstein-style rock techno industrial songs because that’s exactly what they are. They have a much darker vibe, with heavier riffs and the infusion of techno and indsutrial elements. In the song “The Mask,” Nuno Bettencourt takes over the lead vocals from Gary Cherone. In “Thicker Than Blood” and “Save Me,” there are too many techno elements for a band like Extreme, which further surprised me and definitely diminished my connection to these songs. However, the worst among this group is “X-Out,” which even loses that rock guitar and the riffs that were the only reminder that it’s an Extreme song. It sounds more like a soundtrack for a space-oriented film from the ’90s. Overall, it’s a complete miss, and only the song “The Mask” receives a rating of 1. What can I say? It simply isn’t what it should be. Techno-industrial Extreme…
More than a words wannabe songs
If techno-industrial was too much for you, as it was for me, then what can I say about this next group of songs? On an album with 12 songs, we have a staggering 5 ballads or half-ballads, as you wish, all of which strive to sound like the band’s biggest hit. I mean, it’s okay for a band to try something new in that style. After all, it was their greatest hit, and that’s completely permissible to try to do something similar again. However, the question is why five times in a row? The first of these songs, “Other Side Of Rainbow,” is the best of the bunch because it at least has some liveliness. The others, like “Small Town Beautiful,” “Hurricane,” and “Here’s To Losers,” are simply pale and forgettable, already fading from memory after the first listen. I really don’t know who would enjoy all of this.
And finally, the song number 11 on the record, titled “Beautiful Girls,” and the last one in this group, is honestly one of the worst songs I’ve heard on a rock or hard rock album in recent times. Not only is the lyrics cringe to the maximum, but it is also a complete musical misfire. I truly don’t know what Extreme wanted to achieve with this song. To create a new summer hit? To make it onto some “Spotify Pop Summer Vibe Happy Life” playlist and rejuvenate their career or what? To make matters worse, where the guitar solo usually comes in, we got some rapping…
1. Rise 1
2. #Rebel 1
3. Banshee 1
4. Other Side of the Rainbow 1
5. Small Town Beautiful 0
6. The Mask 1
7. Thicker Than Blood 0
8. Save Me 0
9. Hurricane 0
10. X Out 0
11. Beautiful Girls 0
12. Here’s to the Losers 0
All in all, when we tally up the scores, we get a rating of 5 out of 12, which is, the lowest rating I have ever given to an album since I started writing reviews. I generally don’t like writing negative reviews, but here it simply had to happen. From the most anticipated album of the year, which I thought would be one of the contenders for the best album of the year, we received quite possibly the worst hard rock album in recent years. I’m truly sorry that it turned out this way. We waited so long, and from Gary, Nuno, and the gang, we got 5 acoustic ballads, one pop summer vibe cringe song, four twisted industrial rock songs, and only three real rockers. It’s just too much. From a guitar revolution to the cringy summer pop frutty song. I am so sorry Extreme, but I expected something else. And what’s up with those awful capital letters. We all know which artist does that…