Southern Lord - 2004 - 45 minutes

Plenty of people have metal pasts, not so many will admit to them. Dave Grohl, however, is someone who wears his like a badge of honour and with his side project, Probot, will have even the most former fan doing the same.

Laying down 12 instrumentals, Grohl had singers in mind for each and then mailed the carefully selected tracks out to the greats of the underground metal and hardcore scenes. These are the frontmen or former frontmen of the icons (Motorhead, Sepultura), the innovators (Voivod, Celtic Frost), the trailblazers (DRI, Corrosion of Conformity) and the bands that should've been much bigger (all of them). The results are at best fantastic and at worst very good.

As far removed from a vanity project as anyone who grew up loving big drums and mad solos could ever hope for, here Grohl is the sideman who allows the legends to shine. And what's startling is his ability to adjust the mayhem and energy to each vocalist - it sounds as if Grohl has 12 bands on the go all at once and you'll want to hear full albums by each of them.

For some Foo Fighters fans the low-end and larynx damage Probot offers will be a bit too much to take, but it will make a generation of thirtysomethings so happy that they'll be flashing devil signs at their friends for months.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Centuries of Sin (w/Cronos) - Red War (w/Max Cavalera) - Shake Your Blood (w/Lemmy) - Access Babylon (w/Mike Dean) - Silent Spring (w/Kurt Brecht) - Ice Cold Man (w/Lee Dorrian) - The Emerald Law (w/Wino) - Big Sky (w/Tom G Warrior) - Dictatorsaurus (w/Snake) - My Tortured Soul (w/Eric Wagner) - Sweet Dreams (w/King Diamond) - Hidden Track