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Godsmack - When Legends Rise

Godsmack
When Legends Rise
by Martin Knap at 28 May 2018, 12:21 PM

When I was a teen Nu-Metal and Alternative Metal was kind of a big deal. I’ve actually listened to LIMP BIZKIT, the band that gave Nu-Metal a bad name,  when I was about 12, as well as a couple of the decent ones like KORN and SLIPKNOT. GODSMACK escaped at the time, not because I wouldn’t have been interested in listening to them, but because this was the era of cassettes and CDs and one simple listened to what he had. By the time downloads came around - fairly quickly after I taped the old LIMP BIZKIT cassette over with some other music that interested me at the time, probably some hip-hop - I wasn’t interested any more. Later my rediscovery of Metal music brought me back to 90s metal, but I don’t feel any nostalgia towards that era. But now I’m here, listening to the latest GODSMACK effort; I guess I couldn’t go on avoiding them forever. GODSMACK seemed always to be strongly influenced by Grunge, but since the nineties they transformed into a full-blown Post-Grunge Rock band. “When Legends Rise” is their seventh full length album, that is coming out four years after “1000ph”. Should we expect any surprises? To that I can answer with a resounding no.

GODSMACK are that kind of band that are perfecting their art of writing simple, direct, catchy rock songs with big, radio-friendly choruses. On the opening song “When Legends Rise” one gets a taste of exactly that. The song is a bit upbeat, the tone of the album is generally bit more moody. Speaking of big, radio-friendly choruses: the chorus on “Unforgettable” is one good example of that. It has those catchy “oooooh” backing harmonies and even a children’s choir as backing vocals. It is also a bit more up-beat song, but after that the album gets more melancholic and angry. “Just One Time” for example is a pretty aggressive song that features a palm muted riff that sounds like coming straight from PANTERA. The lyrics get on this song outright disturbing: the singer says “I need to hurt myself so I can feel”. Please talk to your shrink. The second to last song “Let It Out” also stands out thanks to its catchiness. In the chorus the singer doubles the vowels in the words he sings (“so let it ou-out, let it go-o”), which works as an instant earworm. Earworms are a double edged sword: they are cool, but also annoying.

GODSMACK does what GODSMACK does, it is respectable and of I think fans will be happy about this release - the individual songs and the album as a whole are good. I can’t speak too much about their progress as a band, but form the music that I’ve heard they seem like the kind of band who stick to their sound but are also getting more refined and mature. I feel like listening to them will always feel like a throwback to the 90s, but if you’re down for that you can’t really go wrong with this album.

Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. When Legends Rise
2. Bulletproof
3. Unforgettable
4. Every Part of Me
5. Take It to the Edge
6. Under Your Scars
7. Someday
8. Just One Time
9. Say My Name
10. Let It Out
11. Eye of the Storm
Lineup:
Sully Erna – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Robbie Merrill - Bass
Tony Rombola – Lead Guitar
Shannon Larkin – Drums
Record Label: Spinefarm Records
     


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