Ill Bill & Vinnie Paz - Heavy Metal Kings

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"Heavy Metal Kings works best when Bill and Paz reach outside of their comfort zones, both with regards to production and lyricism."

Back in 2006, underground heavyweights Ill Bill and Vinnie Paz joined forces on the explosive Jedi Mind Tricks track “Heavy Metal Kings.” Although it wasn’t the first time the two emcees’ paths had crossed, the record established Bill and Paz as a dynamic duo of hardcore Hip Hop, comparable to Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. Now, five years later, the two have turned their collaboration into a full length LP with Enemy Soil’s latest release Heavy Metal Kings.

Unfortunately, what could have been a stellar collaborative project from two of the underground’s top emcees falls short on arrival as the two heavyweights retread the same formula to which they been adhering for the better part of their respective careers.

Paz and Bill are by no means subpar spitters. On the contrary, the two emcees have established themselves as the foremost underground lyricists of the past decade, artfully blending street-hardened bravado with flashes of political discourse and introspection. On Heavy Metal Kings, however, the duo sticks to the formula of interweaving conspiracy theories with gutter talk, making much of the album sound one-note. Of course, Bill and Vinnie have their moments of pure lyrical brilliance. Paz in particular matches up quite well against his tongue twister Canarsie partner, with his verse of “Children of God” providing some of the best wordplay on the entire album. Ultimately, the Heavy Metal Kings simply don’t do enough as lyricists to distinguish this latest project from their pervious work with Jedi Mind Tricks and Non Phixion.

Heavy Metal Kings works best when Bill and Paz reach outside of their comfort zones, both with regards to production and lyricism. Tracks like the Reggae-inflected “Eye is King,” “Age of Quarrel,” “Blood Meridian” and DJ Muggs' dark “Leviathan (The Spell of Kingu)” find them at their best, balancing their stylistic flairs with expertly crafted and adventurous production. Paz and Bill also bring their AOTP/Non Phixion and La Coka Nostra brethren into the mix on bangers like “The Vice of Killing” with Reef the Lost Cauze and Sabac Red, “Devil’s Rebels” with Crypt the Warchild and “Metal in Your Mouth” with Q-Unique and Slaine. Yet perhaps the album’s most surprising moments are when Bill steps behind the boards with tracks like the previously mentioned “Children of God” and the RZA-esque “King Diamond.”

With that being said, much of the album’s 16 tracks tend to blend together. Bill and Paz rely too heavily on Army of the Pharoahs' standard fare to pad out the project. Songs like “Terror Network” and “Impaled Nazarene” mesh together amid the booming drums, Stoupe-derived grooves and paranoid angry raps, while cuts like “Keeper of the Seven Keys,” “Splatterfest” and “The Vice of Killing” employ the tired mix of murder raps and orchestral production. Other tracks, including “The Final Call” and “Oath of the Goat” simply fail to elicit excitement and do little more than buffer out the tracklist.

Ultimately, Bill and Paz shy away from their forceful and often left field personalities far too often on Heavy Metal Kings, instead settling for a subpar sound. While there’s worthwhile music to be heard on the album, fans must suffer through an interminable amount of filler to find it.

Purchase Heavy Metal Kings by Ill Bill and Vinnie Paz

47 Comments

  • Sonny Rene

    Not a very good job on the review. These underground legends get a three for one of the best albums of 2011 and spreading the knowledge? and you give Slaughterhouse a 4 and a half for selling out and releasing an album where they had no creative control in terms of beats and watered down lyrics. Disgraceful.

  • Sonny Rene

    This album is so underrated it sickens me.

  • Adam

    Most of you cant understand what these guys are even rapping about, a lot of it is very deep in regards to conspiracies, religion, cults. Id say half the songs are classic and half are filler. There is also many references to heavy metal music a lot of people wont get, basically the song titles are heavy metal songs or artists, also reference the chorus of age of quarrel "we be causing a mosh pit like cro-mags at l'amour". Probably better than 99 percent of mainstream rap coming out these days anyways... Id also have to agree that vinnies lyrics get repetitive and corny... how many times can you say four fifths and reference guns?

  • jaketheshape

    this review is sub-par at best. First off at least the lyrical content gives you something to think about, not just strait braggadocio. Ill bill is great as always, but he made vinnie Paz seem better than he usually is. My ears dont really like vinnie paz, but I like his work on this album. deserves at least a four.

  • Anonymous

    hhdx your officialy STUPID and MAINSTREAM SELLOUTS , this album was a great one , 4/5 , 3 ain't nuff

  • Anonymous

    Ill Bill > Vinnie Paz

  • G MON

    I think the reveiw was pretty fair, I'm huge Paz fan and Jedi Mind fan. There are a few sick tracks on this album, but kinda pisses me off that they only spit one verse on every track. Thats been my only beef with Paz is that his verses can be short as fuck. Not the biggest Ill Bill fan so thats another story. Although the track "Splatterfest" on this album is fucking beast.

  • juno

    same old lyrics, beats are sub-par. only members of AOTP that seems to grow and elevate at all is esoteric and apathy everyone else just recites the same old shit

  • Anonymous

    its good that Ill Bill and Vinnie Paz are spreadin the truth around with their lyrics, but it gets a lil borin after a while!

  • Ryan MacQueston

    let me guess you buttfuck's thought recovery was better? FAIL. Yes they usually rhyme about the same shit. At least they don't sound like they're on the verge of crying every time they "break it down" . Paz is on point & Bill is murderous. lemme say amothafuck you haters, & props to the "underground hip hop douche bags" who still like dope lyrics & aggression, you bitches are too soft, go listen to your favorite rapper collaborate with Bruno Mars faggots

  • Pablito.Escobar

    Vinnie paz really needs to stopp with that islamic anti-jesus killer gimmick...like he really talks about the same shit always. Other than that the album was pretty terrible.

  • iLL BILL>eminem

    album is sick one of the best this year right there with shaolin vs wu tang, 5/5

  • Brenda

    I would say this review is pretty spot on. I was hoping for more from this. I wish there had been more concepts to the songs instead of two verses and no chorus. I was hoping they would trade bars and stuff which they only did on one song on the chorus. Bill shined lyrically, and Paz fell back a bit. It is what it is though. Couple bangers scattered around, I would give this the same score.

  • CMOROCKS THE WINDY

    I M A TRUE FAN OF EVERYTHING THESE GUYS DO . THIS I BELEAVE WAS A LITTLE RUSHED. I EXPECTED MORE . BUT I'LL TAKE IT CONSIDERING EVERYTHING ELSE IS GARBAGE BUT FEELING THAT REKS ALBUM CHECK IT OUT

  • Larry Alvarez

    horrible review , one of the hottest albums out this year.

  • thug life

    dope album,we underground we dont need your shitty bitch ass support

  • og

    good album few weak Joints but most bangers hiphopdx is gay as fuck!

  • siccmade

    this is sum raw shit master pee wot rappers are good then?

  • Julio Aquino

    Horrible review. This site shouldn't be called HipHop DX it should be called mainstream bullshit.com Y'all slippin over here. HMK is the best shit out. From the production to Bill & Paz spittin their Lyrical flows this album got it all. The only flaw this album had is it should've had at least Necro on a track with his production. Everyone must own this album

    • blah

      yeah I listen to lil wayne and i'm dumb as fuck.

    • merk yo ass foo

      @blah UNDERGROUND REAL SHIT>>>>>lil wayne n drakes garbage all day, GTFO this page if you aint feeling this shit and go fuck wit your mainsteam bullshit, u a mark ass bitch!!!!

    • Blah

      :you are fuckin dumb as fuck and dont know shit about real hip hop your comment is a epic fail and do some research about shit and then say something, this shit is a classic, im a big fan of these dudes and im black, wtf is master p fake ass studio shit LMFAO!!!!!" You are the type of people he was talking about. Retarded underground hipsters who think anything underground is classic.

    • poor n black

      @master pee you are fuckin dumb as fuck and dont know shit about real hip hop your comment is a epic fail and do some research about shit and then say something, this shit is a classic, im a big fan of these dudes and im black, wtf is master p fake ass studio shit LMFAO!!!!!

    • Master Pee

      This is what I meant when I said "This is probably a classic to underground hip hop douche bags that overrate anything from white guys trying to act street on records."

  • Anonymous

    used to be a massive jedi mind tricks fan, but yo paz never changes his flow...never, its gettin a bit, and im over all this illuminati/freemason bullshit

  • BEANZ

    This review is like, a month late.

  • gutter man

    at least 3.5- just for the fact its a solid hard hitting no compromises album with crazy production and dope lyrics, but compares to most of the shit on this site that gets a 3.5- this album deserves a 4 at least. JUST CAUSE THEY RE-USE TRIED AND TESTED FORMULAS AND RYHME SCHEMES DOSNT PROVIDE ANY BASIS FOR A LESSER RATING! THAS A SHADY AND WEAK/TYPICAL EXCUSE FROM A SITE THAT OBVIOUSLY DOSNT RESPECT OR UNDERSTAND THAT REAL BOOM BAP GRIMEY CONSCIOUS STREET RAP. DX HAS SNAKES.

  • youngvito79

    Vinnie Paz's voice is just too fucking annoying!!!

  • YEA OK

    incredible album. my favorite of the year so far. hiphopdx is slipping. horrible review.

  • Anonymous

    3 stars=lol it deserves a 4 for that impaled nazarene track alone. its not a 5 star album tho! peace

  • Master Pee

    Everything that Vinnie Paz does solo is garbage. I've tried more than enough to give it a chance but his immature lyrics trying to act like an evil, tuff guy, thug are just way too corny. It's embarrassing to get caught listening to this in public. This is probably a classic to underground hip hop douche bags that overrate anything from white guys trying to act street on records.

  • Not impressed

    Mediocre. These guys rushed this one.

  • Erik Quinty

    fans must suffer? haha get real you chump. prepare to go give gorrila zoe a 5. you mustve lost hip hop over the years

  • travis

    HMK beats up Lord Lhus at toronto show http://prlog.org/11455659

  • Amsteldam

    That Ill Bill & DJ Muggs album was like 30 times better than this, so was Vinnie's solo album.