Alongside Slipknot and Disturbed, Mudvayne brought a new element of sickness over the past decade, but they seem to have lost their firepower: The New Game is nothing more than 11 tracks of rushed material.
Following 2005's Lost and Found, Mudvayne took a brief hiatus that allowed vocalist Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett to form side project Hellyeah, along with drummer Vinnie Paul. Hellyeah proved to be a "hell no," as it seems to have sucked the creative juices out of Mudvayne.
Gone is the "fuck you" attitude that established Mudvayne's career with such angry hits as "Dig" and "Determined." The majority of The New Game comes off as a cheap attempt for Mudvayne to make it big on mainstream-rock radio. The leadoff single, "Do What You Do," sounds like an early demo of the Hellyeah track "Alcohaulin' Ass." Other tracks, such as "Scarlet Letters" and "Never Enough," continue the acoustic, Southern-rock feel that is spread throughout the album. Even the more aggro cuts, like "Have It Your Way" and "We the People," seem forced and unimaginative.
Most disappointing is the deterioration of craftsmanship displayed by each of Mudvayne's members. Gray's screams are hoarse, and his melodies don't serve the songs they accompany. Known for his complex drumming style, Matt McDonough's fills are generic and predictable.
If The New Game is a sign of things to come, then it is game over for Mudvayne.