Review: Insane Clown Posse – The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost

Artist: Insane Clown Posse
Album: The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost
Rating: 10/10

Love them or hate them, over 1 million fans worldwide can’t be wrong! Originally formed in 1989 under the moniker “Inner City Posse”, the Delray, Detroit, MI horrorcore legends known as the Insane Clown Posse have received more hate than any other band in the history of music. However, the band has continued to see a level of success that most can only sit and envy. The duo has 12 full-length albums, the annual Gathering of the Juggalos (originally beginning in 2000), the world-famous Juggalo Championship Wrestling (JCW), their own TV series, 2 full-length feature films and multiple other projects in their 26-year career. Relentless for their army of fans known as “Juggalos”, they have constantly released something to keep their fans insatiable appetite for these twisted webs they weave quenched. The most notable albums in the bands career are known as the “First Deck” of “The Joker’s Cards” series, where we were introduced into the world of the Dark Carnival. Starting with 1992’s Carnival of Carnage and ending with 2004’s Hell’s Pit, these albums take you through a vigilante lifestyle where the duo violently destroys each and every wrongdoer that crosses their path. Some say that these individuals preach nothing but “violence is the answer to the world’s problems”, others will argue that it is a very realistic depiction of what happens when you commit sins in the eyes of “God”.  In 2009, the duo decided to resurrect the Dark Carnival in the form of a second deck of Joker’s Cards and the release of Bang! Pow! Boom!… thus began the long-awaited return of the Dark Carnival. That particular card focused on a “continuous explosion that stomps its way through the crowd, blowing evil souls to Hell.” In 2012, the second Joker’s Card in the Second Deck was released… known as The Mighty Death Pop!, which focused on the concept of the evil going on in pop culture. It was fueled out of all of the hatred that the Juggalos and ICP have received over the years, channeled all into this “most dangerous Joker’s Card to date”. The Third Joker’s Card of the Second Deck, The Marvelous Missing Link was announced at the 20th anniversary Hallowicked show. This one would be split into two parts, Lost and Found, with Lost to be released on April 28th, 2015 and Found to be released on July 28th, 2015. This album was not produced by long-time ICP producer Mike E. Clark, so as to give others a chance to get in and create beats and produce an ICP album. The first of these was released last week, focusing on some incredibly dark themes, no comedy and is described by some Juggalos as to be “even scarier than Hell’s Pit“.

The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost focuses on a very real subject, loss of faith, loss of that link… the one thing that makes your life worth living. It almost feels like an extension of the “good vs evil”, “Heaven vs. Hell” concept that they tackled with The Wraith, the final Joker’s Card of the First Deck. From the beginning of the album, you immediately start to realize that this is not going to be for the faint of heart. As stated earlier, none of these songs are upbeat or comedic… stepping back into that dark frame of mind that we first experienced with Hell’s Pit. This album is 100% committed to conveying the feeling of hitting absolute rock bottom, putting you into a first-person view of the type of evil that can go through your mind. As we’re led into “Lost”, you get chills as you get pulled violently into Hell… thus begins the journey through a life without something to cling to. Many will argue that this is a “if you live without faith, you’re not living” but I believe it’s beyond that. While ICP is, admittedly, a faith-based group in morals… they are anything but judgemental. I believe the “Missing Link” in this instance is finding that one thing in life that you can cling to, the one thing that sets you free and brings you into a world of happiness and light. Not necessarily religion, although that is a strong theme throughout.

We’ve all heard the biblical story about the “Apocalypse”. Well, the four horsemen have arrived and the end is here.. as the duo takes you through the violent scene. Drug fiends killing innocents for nothing more than to get their fix, bullets flying, complete and total anarchy has overtaken the world… where is “God”? Where are “the gods”? Nowhere to be found, this is one example of where a life without that link is headed.

The next track I want to talk about is “Confederate Flag” and it’s going to spark some controversy… nothing that ICP isn’t used to. This track is one of MANY that the band uses to take a strong stance against bigotry. Yes, they reference “rednecks”, and have done so in the past, but this track is about those particular “rednecks” that continuously support the idea behind the Confederate flag, a flag that was created in the civil war out of a support for slavery, bigotry and overall ridiculous moral stances. It’s about those individuals who are incredibly judgemental, focusing on everything that is wrong with the country, citing that race, religion, sex and any other label that could be used to pigeon-hole a group. It’s against those who preach “White Pride”, meaning that white people are the “master race”… no race, religion, gender or status is better than another. ICP has done their best to make this theme very prevalent in each and every album… but, not since Carnival of Carnage’s “Your Rebel Flag” has the subject been tackled so directly.

The first single from the album, “Vomit” takes you through the lives of several evil individuals. Focusing first on “Erica”, who suffered from the sin of vanity. She used her looks to get everything she wanted, knowing that because she had beauty, that she would always be taken care of. Eventually, though, that beauty fades and she’s left with nothing… living a life without that missing link because she thought her beauty would be all she ever needed. Next, we have “John”, who suffers from the sin of greed… this time living by the motto “love can buy happiness”, because of this… when he had children, he was completely enveloped by his greed and was never proud of a single one of their accomplishments. Even after one of them committed suicide, he didn’t change… he died rich and alone because he didn’t embrace his family, his missing link.

This next track, “Falling Apart” caught me by surprise because the intro is acoustically-led. In fact, I remember turning to my wife and said “Wow…” the first time I heard it. This track is the first I’ve heard in quite some time that also includes Violent J singing, as in melodically singing. The last time I remember hearing him doing this, it wasn’t something I was turned off by… but it wasn’t something that was impressive either. Hearing his voice on “Falling Apart”, you can tell he’s definitely improved his singing voice. This track is about literally falling apart, piece by piece, limb by limb. What caused it? We may never know… but this serves as a halfway point for the album…

“How”… one of the most memorable, touching tracks on the album. After all of the things we’ve seen throughout this album, how do you turn your life around? How will you know if you’re doing the right thing? This track is fairly melodic as well and has a rock vibe to it, which is nice… because it feels a tiny bit upbeat. So, we may be in the clear from the evil things that this album warns of, right?

Wrong! The album continues to take us through this apocalyptic world of chaos and anarchy, beginning with “Explosions”. Taking us through the mind of an explosives expert who uses that knowledge to create ultimate obliteration. Going around, planting bombs wherever the most destruction will be caused, wherever the most casualties will be. This track is followed by “I’ll Keep My Hatchet”, an ode to the mighty ax that has been a symbol of the Juggalos since the beginning. The track is a stab at all the technological advances that weapons have made. It argues that the “hands-on” approach is the best method for getting the job done.

“The Neighbors are Fighting” seems like it could be slightly comedic because it focuses on the “feud” that Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have created between each other throughout all of their albums, on and off. There’s not much to be said about this track but there’s a good bit insight into the type of chaos that a situation like this could put you into.

“You Should Know” focuses on your conscience… the argument between what is good and bad, morally. It argues different issues that are presented in a serious relationship… trying to justify the reasons behind wrongdoings. It’s the ultimate confession in a relationship… before things start down that “forever” road. It’s J taking every single thing that he has done wrong while in this relationship and laying it all on the table… showing the perfect picture of imperfection and giving the opportunity for his would-be bride to run.

The last two tracks on the album are “Flamethrower” and “I See the Devil”. The vigilantism continues as J and Shaggz take a flamethrower to do their “good deeds”. Well-researched, they are setting out to clear the world of bigotry, racism and evil as much as they possibly can. The latter track focuses on the evil that goes through your mind when your committing any type of crime, sin or wrongdoing. Disrespect, drug use, murder… it’s all covered in this track. It speaks of the temptation that the devil can present, how you know it’s wrong but it feels too good to stop. It’s the final way to tell you that, without the “Missing Link” to keep you on the right path… your life means nothing. For a life without purpose is a life that isn’t worth it. At the end of “I See the Devil”, we’re met with what seems to be the beginning of Found which we will be met with in just under 3 months!

I won’t lie, The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost scared me… it’s definitely as dark, if not darker, than Hell’s Pit. It’s a wake-up call to those who are living without purpose. While many will argue that this is particularly a religion-based album, I urge you to take a look at the meaning of the word’s “missing link”, focus on the many things that could constitute a “missing link”. Focus on what your “missing link” is and find it… before it’s too late and your life has been enveloped by all things evil. Pick up ICP’s The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost out on Psychopathic Records now!

Buy The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost
iTunes | Hatchet Gear 

Catch ICP on The Marvelous Missing Link’s In-Store Insanity Tour

Tues., April 28
Berkley, MI
28297 Woodward Ave.
Weds., April 29
Chicago, IL
Reckless Records
1379 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Thurs., April 30
Golden Valley, MN
Down In the Valley
8020 Olson Memorial Hwy
Fri., May 1
Sioux Falls, SD
Last Stop
2121 E 10th St
Sun., May 3
Billings, MT
1603 Grand Ave B1
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Spokane, WA
15312 E Sprague Ave.
Weds., May 6
Silverdale, WA
Kitsap Mall, 3120 NW Randall Way
Thurs., May 7
Salem, OR
1420 Lancaster Dr NE
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Modesto, CA
2720 McHenry Ave # F
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Torrance, CA
22135 Hawthorne Blvd
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Sierra Vista, AZ
3758 E Fry Blvd.
Thurs., May 14
Farmington, NM
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Fri., May 15
Albuquerque, NM
4315 Wyoming NE
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Denver, CO
Second Spin
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Tues., May 19
Oklahoma City, OK
2300 W Main
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Waxahachie, TX
791 North Hwy 77 Suite 101
Fri., May 22
ST Louis, MO
3801 Hampton Ave.
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Richmond, IN
4601 National Road E.
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Magnolia Thunderpussy
1155 N High St

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