This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
Just as every actor wants to direct, every guitarist dreams of stepping into the spotlight with their own solo album.
Hot on the heels of the Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante, here’s the solo debut from Wes Borland, the guitaro bizarro from Limp Bizkit. Emphasis on the word solo; Borland wrote, played, engineered, sang and produced nearly every second of this 50-minute disc. Naturally from a guy who likes to wear gorilla suits onstage, Duke Lion Fights the Terror!! is freakier than your average Jim Rose gig. Apparently some sort of a vague concept album about a holy swordsman named Duke Lion and evil villains Burgalveist and Organ Splitter, these 12 cuts alternate between demonic, pummeling industrial metal and quirky alien pop, with Borland’s voice synthesized to a Godzilla growl or a Venusian twang, depending on the situation. It reminds me of Steve Vai’s early albums, except that unlike Vai — and pretty much every other guitar player — Borland doesn’t indulge himself in much guitar-solo wankery. Ultimately, the weirdest thing about Duke Lion is how strangely appealing it is. Makes you wonder what he’s doing hanging around with those chumps in his other band.