Long anticipated and well worth the wait, Drums of Death is a supergroup recording if
ever there was one. DJ Spooky and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo initially conceived
the project as a duo which eventually morphed into a full band project.
Multi-instrumentalist producer Jack Dangers (aka: Meat Beat Manifesto) signed on
as did Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid along with a few vocal appearances
by Chuck D (Public Enemy) and Dälek.
Chuck D unleashes his trademarked delivery on three cuts which evokes Public Enemy’s
salad days, when the Bomb Squad had Rick Rubin’s support to sample and pillage
until pure waves of sound were at their disposal. Now those sound waves come
courtesy of DJ Spooky and Jack Dangers’ limitless arsenal of sound, with
additional shredding support courtesy of Vernon Reid. Considering
“Brother’s Gonna Work it Out” & “B-Side Wins Again” and “Public Enemy # 1”
are all old Public Enemy tunes, it’s interesting to hear how well these re-imagined
hip-hop classics fit into a more modern program and how, by their inclusion,
a historical continuum is created. Dälek even shows up to rap on
“Assisted Suicide” backed by a surprisingly effective vocal sample of avant garde
composer Meredith Monk.