“Whatcha gonna do man? Don’t you get it; don’t you get my message yet?”
Concept albums can be a tricky endeavor. When pulled off correctly you get classics like Tommy or The Wall. Hell, Coheed and Cambria have made a career out of concept albums, which actually require a little homework. With that said, Swedish Rap-Rock artist Marty McKay hasn’t exactly made a classic concept album as much as he’s managed to release a cool framework that’s about a decade late to the party. Sin’s Disciple is a musical play on the seven deadly sins, and actually has a graphic novel to accompany it that further explores the characters, and provide backstory. Thing is, you don’t need it. The best part of any concept album is being lost in the story and understanding what happens through song and metaphor, Sin’s Disciple is painfully on the nose in the worst way possible.
I don’t want to make excuses to Sins Disciple but while there may not be a language barrier (McKay raps in English), there is a certain lack of nuance in his lyrics that may account for how bland they are. At one point during “Untouchable” McKay screams “I was too proud to recognize or apologize, for ruining a perfect dinner!” The first time that line came around I laughed. A complete gut reaction, the line just came off as comical. There are many examples of situations like that throughout Sin’s Disciple, mostly because the lyrical stylings akin to the early days of rap where someone would proclaim what their name was and then go on to tell us what they’re here to say.
Musically, Sin’s Disciple is a call back to the nu-metal era. Crunchy guitar sounds and the occasional DJ scratch. His European style is also prevalent as there is a clear industrial influence in almost every track. The music itself is well produced IF the sound is already one that you like and there lies the rub of creating a Nu-Metal album in 2014; you’re not catching any new fans with it. Whenever Limp Bizkit puts out a new album, they’re not exactly going for a new demographic, they’re hoping that those who liked them before will like them again. Maybe Marty McKay isn’t going for “mass appeal” and is fully aware that a small niche audience will accept his music, and by extension his message.
Sin’s Disciple barely works as a standalone project, so the added layer of concepts and tie-in books only exacerbate matters. While listening to McKay plainly tell you that he is a glutton on the song about gluttony, or when the song about lust is titled “Turn Up My Sex” you wonder if he’d just learned about the seven deadly sins last year while playing the Dante’s Inferno video game, or on a late night viewing of Se7en. McKay clearly has talent, but this was not the proper showcase of it and may turn more people away than bring them in.
Stream available on SoundCloud
Worth a Listen: Emptiness Returns, Illusion of Power, Unleashed Rage