Tenacious D "Rize of the Fenix" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Fri, 18 May 2012 07:28:37
Tenacious D make metal with balls.
They don't need double bass, detuned guitars, or satanic artwork either. They're as metal as it gets. Their return, Rize of the Fenix, is wrapped in fire, brimstone, and good old-fashioned "fuck you". That's why it's not only the D's best album, but it's also one of the best of 2012.
Hilariously, the Rize begins with the title track addressing the critical perception of Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny—which if you don't like, it's only because you suck. The movie was hilarious, but that's beside the point. The title track starts with Jack Black and Kyle Gass talking about how the film "was a bomb" and that "the fuckin' D is back". Suddenly, after a brooding acoustic buildup, a ripping riff like "Pinball Wizard" on steroids lifts the song to the heavens as Black's vocals rapturously channel Meat Loaf and Ronnie James Dio all at once. It's that badass.
From there, Black and Gass explore the merits of a sexual "Low Hangin' Fruit". A raucously penetrating skit, "Classical Teacher", includes Black announcing "We gotta leave those fuckers in the dust" in reference to Arcade Fire. "Deth Starr" is a brooding ballad to everyone's favorite Star Wars planet killer that snaps into another high-energy rocker. The folk-i-fied acoustic "Roadie" describes how you really get backstage, while "They Fucked Our Asses" boasts a tingling classical arpeggio.
"To Be the Best" is an ass-shaker that clocks in at just over a minute, while the closing jam "39" pays homage to those women about to hit 40 who might be down to get freaky.
Rize of the Fenix remains uproariously funny and irreverent, but it also showcases just how damn god of songwriters Black and Gass are. These tunes will stay stuck in your head for a whole bevy of reasons.
The best one is they're way fucking better than Arcade Fire. The D is back.
Have you heard Rize of the Fenix?