Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Feeds
Is it a hit, *hit or miss?
Godsmack – Faceless
by antiGUY

Godsmack – Faceless
Label: Republic / Universal
Hit, *hit or Miss?:  Hit
Rating

Hearing “Faceless” for the first time was a little surprising and gave me cause to reexamine the group. Let me back up a bit so you understand that statement. Although some people found fault with the group’s debut album, I thought it was a pretty solid CD from start to finish. Most people who wanted to dislike this band went with the idea that they are too similar to Alice In Chains but I never really subscribed to that. Sure Sully sounds a bit like Layne at points and the music has some similar dynamics but overall it’s a bit heavier and once you give it an honest chance you see where Godsmack is coming from is a totally different place. The core of their sound isn’t steeped in grunge but more in metal. What confuses people perhaps is the fact that Godsmack draws from both alternative rock and metal to build their sound. Musically, they were miles ahead of most of their nu metal contemporaries. 

Here is the problem. A problem that many bands seem to have when they have a successful debut. When they recorded their first album they had the material they had written and played for quite a while in order to land their record deal (yes, most of the songs came from their indie debut, but this principle still holds).  

Once Universal released their debut album and it became a hit, the band spend the next couple of years on the road promoting it. The clock was ticking and the fans were hungry for a new album, so most of the music was apparently written on the road and the band rushed into the studio to record as soon as they came off tour. (yes I know it was a little more involved than that, but this works). As a result their second album, “Awake” seems a little off focus and in some ways rushed. You can’t really fault the band for this, since that was the cards they were dealt and that’s the way the game of rock n roll is sometime played. But the resulting album didn’t really live up to the group’s debut. 

When Godsmack got ready to record this third album, they decided to take a different approach. Maybe they were fueled by the addition of Shannon Larkin, an old time friend of Sully’s who brought to the table an impressive resume of playing various styles of music ranging from thrash with Wrathchild to the straight ahead rock of Ugly Kid Joe to the more somber hard rock of Amen. Whatever it was, it seemed to work for the group this time and they took the time to insure they wrote some solid tracks for the album.  

Shannon told us that they wrote the basic framework of the lead off single “Straight Out of Line” during one of their first sessions together and you can definitely feel a new energy coming from the group. On “Faceless” they hit a little harder, playing a little heavier but also branch out in new directions without forsaking their core sound. In other words, this is a true testament from a band that is evolving with time.  

One of Godsmack’s biggest strengths on their debut was the ability to be heavy yet very melodic. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it pop, but some of the same principals were at work here. They seemed to have lost that somewhere on their second album. Maybe they were trying to disprove their critics? No matter, this time around the magic formula that worked so well on their debut is back, just further down the road. 

The opening track and first single from this album, “Straight Out of Line” is the perfect example. They managed to capture the almost tribal rhythm that made “Voodoo” so popular but use it in a new context. While the song is pure Godsmack, those who like to compare the band to Alice In Chains will find that this track has more in common with Tool, especially the verses. This song is a strong wake up call to those who may have written Godsmack off that they aren’t going anywhere and have continued to evolve their sound.  

The second and title track from the album, “Faceless,” takes things a little heavier and makes you think that the band may have learned a thing or two from Pantera when they toured with them on Ozzfest a couple years ago. But they contrast that with the multiple shades and temperaments giving this track a very dynamic feel.  

They really go for the throat with “Changes” with layered power guitars and vocals. This is Godsmack finding their metal core but still keeping their alternative influences, especially with the vocals. “Make Me Believe” kicks off with chainsaw guitars and a rhythm that beats you over the head at full power and yet they still manage to deliver a convincing melody that drives the song.  

“Re-Align’ starts in with a wall of guitar and then Sully delivers his patented vocals. Although this isn't the most radio friendly track on the album, it’s probably one of the strongest songs here and shows us Godsmack at their raw core. The guitars at most times are unmerciful and at others multi-dimensional especially the solo (something we don’t hear from mainstream hard rock bands that much these days). The drums pound with a furious brutality and yet at moments show Shannon’s soft-touch. Lights and shades. 

They take things to the next level with “I f***ing Hate You” and like the title suggest this song is loaded with venom and is the closest the band comes to typical nu metal. “Releasing the Demons” is a soul searching song where Sully comes to grips with his personal demons and attempts to exorcise them through song. Thematically it’s the most potent song on the disc.  

The guitars on “Dead and Broken” again have a bit of a Tool vibe that contrast nicely against the vocals where Sully sings about what appears to be a women with major issues who likes to play head games. A theme that worked well for Nickelback and their breakthrough hit “How You Remind Me.” 

“I Am” is classic Godsmack where Sully walks the tightrope between power, intensity and melody. The minute and a half instrumental “The Awakening” pays homage to the group’s tribal influence with what appears to be an ancient Indian chant set against hypnotic percussion. 

They carry that tribal feel forward to the next song, “Serenity,” the album’s only ballad. A powerful song that shows a different side of the band. The vocal production is remarkable with layered vocals and the song captures a bit of the same feel as “Twilight Time” from Moody Blues and this track is the perfect swan song for this album. 

The good news for longtime fans is that Godsmack have returned with their strongest effort to date. “Faceless” is a bit more refined and mature than their debut and features far stronger songwriting and delivery than “Awake”.  This also might be a good time for those who never gave this band a fair chance to reexamine what they have to offer. One thing is sure, if this album doesn’t break the Alice in Chains stigma, nothing will. But in reality and contrary to this album’s title, Godsmack have forged their own musical identity and justified their position as one of the top selling bands in hard rock. There is a lot more substance here than their detractors give them credit for and it would be a shame to miss out on what Godsmack has to offer with “Faceless” simply because of a closed mind. But that’s their loss, now isn’t it? 
 



CD Info and Links


Tracks:
Straight Out Of Line 
Faceless 
Changes 
Make Me Believe 
I Stand Alone 
Re-Align 
I F****** Hate You 
Releasing The Demons 
Dead And Broken 
I Am 
The Awakening 
Serenity
 
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

 


advertisement
advertisement

.
News Reports
.
Day in Rock:
Guns N' Roses Announce New Reunion Concert- Steven Tyler Super Bowl Commercial Preview Goes Online- Former Judas Priest Star Victim Of Beer Heist- Five Finger Death Punch- more

Day In Pop: Earth, Wind & Fire Icon Maurice White Dead At 74- Asher Roth/Nottz/Travis Barker Collaboration EP Streaming Online- Adele Release New Single 'When We Were Young'- more

Weekend Report: Phish Announce 2016 Summer Tour Dates- 3 Doors Down Stream New Song 'The Broken'- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

advertisement
.
 
Reviews
.

Sites and Sounds: Spring Music Festival Preview

Made For Broadway - Life Lessons

Gloryhammer - Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

Javier Escovedo - Kicked Out of Eden

MorleyView: Dioni

Schammasch - Sic Lvceat Lvx

RAM - Svbversvm

Sunflower Dead - It's Time to Get Weird

Witchsorrow - No Light Only Fire

RockPile: Prog Edition

Rock Reads: The Bag I'm In: Underground Music and Fashion in Britain 1960-1990

Remembering David Bowie: Space Oddity 40th Anniversary Special Edition

Remembering David Bowie: Bowie in Berlin: A New Career in a New Town

We Are Infinite: Remembering David Bowie

Quick Flicks: The Charlie Daniels Band


. .
.
Today's Rock News
. Guns N' Roses Announce New Reunion Concert (top story)

Steven Tyler Super Bowl Commercial Preview Goes Online (top story)

Former Judas Priest Star Victim Of Beer Heist (top story)

Five Finger Death Punch Receive Army Award, Announce Tour Dates (top story)

Disturbed Plan Explosive Shows On Upcoming Tour (top story)

KISS Jam With 12-Year-Old (top story)

Redemption Stream New Song Featuring Former Megadeth Stars (top story)

Halestorm Release 'Mayhem' Video (top story)

Motley Crue The Subject Of New Comic Book (top story)

Rick Wakeman Releases Musical Tribute To David Bowie (top story)

X Japan Guitarist Recovering From Life Threatening Condition (top story)

David Gilmour Announce European Summer Tour (top story)

Panic! At The Disco Reveal Story Behind 'Death of a Bachelor' Art (top story)

Supersonic Blues Machine Stream New Song Featuring Walter Trout (top story)

The Ghost Inside's Tkaczyk Opens Up About Losing Leg In Bus Crash (top story)

Cult Of Luna Announce New Album 'Mariner' (top story)

Ginger Wildheart Release 'Don't Lose Your Tail, Girl' Video (top story)

Jeff Healey Lost Song 'Daze Of The Night' Streaming Online (top story)

King 810 Tease Fans From The Studio (top story)

Lonely The Brave Release 'Black Mire' Video (top story)

Further Seems Forever, Sense Field Singer Jon Bunch Dead At 45 (top story)

Alice Cooper's Hollywood Vampires Doing Lemmy Tribute (top story)

Future Of Down Is In Doubt Following Anselmo Controversy (top story)

Tom Delonge Plans Major Project 'Sekret Machines' (top story)

David Bowie Classic Featured In Super Bowl Ad (top story)

Rare Navarro Era Red Hot Chili Peppers Song Leaks Online (top story)

Reunited Santana Stream New Song 'Anywhere You Want To Go' (top story)

Deftones Stream New Song 'Prayers/Triangles' (top story)

Video Of Rolling Stones South American Tour Kick Off Goes Online (top story)

Jeff Lynne's ELO Announces U.S. Shows With Orchestra (top story)

Daevid Allen's Final Album Release Announced (top story)

Slipknot's Appearance On Artsnight TV Show Previewed (top story)

American Head Charge Stream New Song 'Let All The World Believe' (top story)

Paradise Lost Release Live 'Terminal' Video (top story)

Tesseract Streaming 'Phoenix' Lyric Video (top story)

Spiritual Beggars Stream 'Sunrise To Sundown' Title Song (top story)

Sex Pistols' Steve Jones Finds Unity In David Bowie's Passing (top story)

The Defiled Reveal Rescheduled UK Tour Dates (top story)

Guns N' Roses Reunion Is Really Lame Says Def Leppard Guitarist (top story)

Metallica Announce Free HD Stream Of Super Bowl Eve Concert (top story)

Black Sabbath Postponed Another Farewell Tour Date (top story)

Led Zeppelin Members Deposed In Stairway To Heaven Legal Battle (top story)

Slipknot's Corey Taylor Slams The Grammy Awards (top story)

Rush In The Studio For Moving Pictures 35th Anniversary (top story)

Last In Line To Continue In Honor Of Jimmy Bain (top story)

Eagles of Death Metal Returning To The Road (top story)

Mark Hoppus Shares Blink-182 Behind-The-Scenes Studio Video (top story)

Van Halen's David Lee Roth Making Online Return This Week (top story)

Obscura Streaming New Album 'Akroasis' Online (top story)

Dream Theater Release 'The Gift Of Music' Video (top story)

Brian Wilson Adds Date To Pet Sounds Anniversary Tour (top story)

The Search For Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze Telecaster In New Book (top story)

Black Stone Cherry Release 'In Our Dreams' Video (top story)

Lita Ford Plays Teacher In New Commercial (top story)

Scorpions Stream Classic 'Still Loving You' TV Performance (top story)

Mondo Drag Stream New Song 'Rising Omen' (top story)

Former Touchstone Singer Kim Seviour Inks Solo Deal (top story)

The Vintage Caravan Release 'Babylon' Video (top story)

Oli Sykes Shares Craig David Cover From His Wedding (top story)

Mike Portnoy and Ian Anderson Guest On New Tiles Album (top story)

Tygers Of Pan Tang Ink Deal For New Studio Album (top story)



Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
. Earth, Wind & Fire Icon Maurice White Dead At 74 (top story)

Asher Roth/Nottz/Travis Barker Collaboration EP Streaming Online (top story)

Adele Releases New Single 'When We Were Young' (top story)

Nicki Minaj Takes Aim At Miley Cyrus and Beyonce New Remix (top story)

Rihanna Addresses Drake Dating Rumors (top story)

Merle Haggard Cancels More Tour Dates Over Illness (top story)

Kanye West Has Not Yet Settled On New Album Title (top story)

Taylor Swift Launching Mobile Game (top story)

The Game Goes Online Rant About Sexual Assault Lawsuit (top story)

Loretta Lynn Streams First Single From New Album (top story)

Charles Kelley Answers Question: 'Who the F is Charles Kelley?' (top story)

ASAP Ferg Shares Previously Unreleased Track 'Spice Girls' (top story)

Elton John Does Surprise Performance At Train Station (top story)

Ellie Goulding And Martin Shkreli In Online Tweet War (top story)

Celine Dion's Moving Tribute to Late Husband Goes Online (top story)

Janelle Monae Featured In Pepsi Super Bowl Ad (top story)

Lil Wayne and Jeff Goldblum Star In Super Bowl Ad (top story)

Coldplay's Chris Martin In Latest Carpool Karaoke (top story)

Selena Gomez Plans To Eventually Quit Social Media (top story)

Tidal And Universal Differ On Rihanna's ANTI Leak (top story)

Kanye West Clarifies 'Waves' Greatest Album Claims (top story)

Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley Goes Solo With 'The Driver' (top story)

Zayn Malik Confirms Gigi Hadid Romance Rumors? (top story)

Skrillex and ASAP Rocky Make Cameo In New 'Zoolander 2' Trailer (top story)

DJ Big Kap Dead At 45 (top story)

Nina Dobrev Entices Tim Tebow with Sexy 'Lip Sync Battle' Performance (top story)

Bruce Springsteen Dances In The Dark With 89-Year-Old Grandma (top story)

Kesha's Mother Claims Legal Win Over Dr. Luke (top story)

Zendaya Streams 'Something New' Featuring Chris Brown (top story)



More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
Rock On the Rise Radio The Screen DoorA Journal of Musical ThingsLloyd Zeffler blogDemolish MagNightwatcher's House of RockCJ ChilversDeja VoodooThe 1st FiveHard Rock Memorabilia thecopycat.bizDay in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.


 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.