Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Tour Dates/Tix | 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:
Dave Grohl and Corey Taylor Lead Teenage Time Killers Album Lineup- Guns N' Roses Guitarist Addresses Break Up Speculation- Scott Weiland Calls Supergroup 'A Scam'- more

Day in Pop: Blink-182's Travis Barker Joins Yelawolf's Band- Burger Chain Sparks Controversy With Madonna Tweet- Amy Schumer Pranks Kanye West- Lana Del Rey Debuts New Song- more

Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts Reveal New Guitarist- Metallica's James Hetfield Unusual Inspiration Revealed- Def Leppard and Stone Temple Pilots Stars Launch New Project- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

advertisement
.
 
Reviews
.

Ladies Only: Jennie Abrahamson- Rachel Garlin- Nneka- More

Album of the Week: Led Zeppelin's When The West Was Won

Karyn Crisis' Gospel Of The Witches - Salem's Wounds

The Blues: John Mayall's Bluesbreakers- Arlen Roth, Mike Henderson Band- Slam Allen

Trauma Interview

December in Red - The Way Out

Battleaxe - Power From the Universe Reissue

SOKO Interview

The Compulsions - Dirty Fun

Rock Reads: Morbid Tales! A Tribute to Celtic Frost

Death Penalty - Death Penalty

On The Record: The Wild Beyond

RockPile: Minutian- Odin's Court- THEO

Michael Ubaldini Interview

Root 66: Cameron Mitchell- Stacy Jones- Greg Shirley


. .
.
Today's Rock News
.

Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts Reveal New Guitarist (top story)

Metallica's James Hetfield Unusual Inspiration Revealed (top story)

Def Leppard and Stone Temple Pilots Members Launch New Project (top story)

Megadeth Gig Turned Down By Another Guitarist (top story)

Slayer Brought Closer Together By Jeff Hanneman's Death (top story)

Jack White Makes Large Donation To National Blues Museum (top story)

Vince Neil Performs Motley Crue Classics At Long Beach Grand Prix (top story)

Slash Already Working On Next Album (top story)

Anthrax's Charlie Benante Sitting Out Upcoming Shows (top story)

Rival Sons Member Rejects New Led Zeppelin Label (top story)

Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda Guest Hosting Nikki Sixx's Radio Show (top story)

Classic Faith No More Albums Getting Reissued (top story)

Shineback's To Deliver 'Epic Slabs Of Sound' (top story)

Iced Earth Back In Action Following Jon Schaffer's Surgery (top story)

The Gentle Storm Release Live Video For 'The Storm' (top story)

SikTh's Mikee W Goodman Forced To Change Outpatients Name (top story)

Mike Vennart (Oceansize/Biffy Clyro) Streaming Song From Solo Album (top story)

The Darkness Release 'Open Fire' Video (top story)

Byzantine Release 'You Sleep, We Wake' Lyric Video (top story)

Scott Weiland In War Of Words With Filter's Richard Patrick (top story)

Jack Bruce's Final Recording Part Of Acoustic Beatles Tribute (top story)

Tool Poke Fun At U2's Record Store Day Mixup (top story)

Creed Saw Scott Stapp Meltdown Coming Says Tremonti (top story)

The White Stripes and Metallica Dominate Record Store Day (top story)

The Grateful Dead's Final Shows To Be Broadcast On Pay-Per-View (top story)

Original Santana Returning For 'World Domination' Says Schon (top story)

Slash Aims To Deliver Authentic Rock Show In Age Of Trickery (top story)

Slayer's Kerry King Reflects On His Time With Megadeth (top story)

Hard Rock Supergroup Dead Daisies Streaming New Song (top story)

Moody Blues' Justin Hayward Announces Solo Tour Dates (top story)

Bret Michaels Previews 'Girls On Bars' Video (top story)

Funeral For A Friend Announce 'Hours: Live At Islington Academy' (top story)

Ancient VVisdom Release 'We Are Damnation' Video (top story)

Spock's Beard Releasing New Album 'The Oblivion Particle' In Aug (top story)

Kingcrow Finish New Album Eidos and Release Teaser Video (top story)

R.E.M. Documentary Coming To Movie Theaters For One Night (top story)

Trent Reznor Selling His Multi-Million Dollar Home (top story)

Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires Streaming New Song (top story)

Dave Grohl And Corey Taylor Lead Teenage Time Killers Album Lineup (top story)

Guns N' Roses Guitarist Addresses Break Up Speculation (top story)

Scott Weiland Calls Art Of Anarchy Supergroup 'A Scam' (top story)

AC/DC's Brian Johnson, Dave Grohl On Alice Cooper's New Album (top story)

Jack White Plays First Surprise $3 Acoustic Show (top story)

Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx Gun Shy About Final Club Show Idea (top story)

Blur's New Album 'The Magic Whip' Streaming Online (top story)

Social Distortion Announce Self-Titled Album 25th Anniversary Tour (top story)

Tom DeLonge Releases 'Circle-Jerk-Pit' Video (top story)

Mike Portnoy Addresses Mystery Metal Project Rumors (top story)

Dave Mustaine Says New Megadeth Guitarist Is Their Best Ever (top story)

John Lennon Albums Remastered For New Box Set (top story)

Moody Blues Hope For Days Of Future Passed 50th Anniversary Reunion (top story)

Joe Cocker's Iconic Debut Album Getting Hi-Def Reissue (top story)

Smashing Pumpkins Announce Acoustic Tour (top story)

Brian Johnson Looks Back At 'Traumatic' First Show With AC/DC (top story)

The Darkness Lose Another Member (top story)

James LaBrie To Lead Ayreon's The Human Equation Theatre Show (top story)

Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt Thinks About Quitting Music Every Day (top story)

Former Evile Guitarist Ol Drake Returns With Guest Filled New Music (top story)

Anthrax's Charlie Benante Releases Two Coffee Blends (top story)




Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
.

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian Suing YouTube Co-Founder Over Leak (top story)

The Chemical Brothers Returning With New Album, Reveal First Single (top story)

50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather Apparently End Longtime Feud (top story)

Lady Gaga To Be Honored By Songwriters Hall Of Fame (top story)

Adam Lambert Compares His Ghost Town Song To Madonna's (top story)

Sia Recruits Heidi Klum and 'Game of Thrones' Star For New Video (top story)

Hilary Duff Releases 'Sparks' Lyric Video (top story)

Ed Sheeran Cooks Up 'Sing' Cover In New Online Video (top story)

OG Maco Streaming New 'OGZay' Mixtape with Zaytoven (top story)

Nick Jonas Covers Rihanna and Outkast (top story)

Miranda Lambert Goes Without Makeup For 'People' Most Beautiful (top story)

Kris Kristofferson Covers Tom Petty's 'I Won't Back Down' (top story)

Lady Gaga Now A Chicken Farmer (top story)

Rihanna, Florence and the Machine, Wiz Khalifa To Play SNL (top story)

'Fifty Shades of Grey' Author's Husband Will Screenwrite Sequel (top story)

Pitch Perfect's Barden Bellas Nail 'Run the World (Girls)' In Preview (top story)

Vin Diesel Reveals 'Furious 8' Release Date (top story)

Kanye West Appears To Still Be Good with TIDAL (top story)

Common Joins the Cast of 'Suicide Squad' (top story)

Tidal is a Cautionary Tale About Transparency (Opinion) (top story)

Blink-182's Travis Barker Joins Yelawolf's Band (top story)

Burger Chain Sparks Controversy With Madonna Tweet (top story)

Amy Schumer Tries To Prank Kanye West (top story)

Drake Says He 'Took An L For The First Time' At Coachella (top story)

Lana Del Rey Debuts New Song 'Life Is Beautiful' In Movie Trailer (top story)

Justin Moore Covers 'What a Wonderful World' for New Ad (top story)

Katy Perry Denied Left Shark Trademark (top story)

Zac Brown Band Release Fan Video for 'Homegrown' (top story)

Billy Currington Announces New Album 'Summer Forever' (top story)

Reba McEntire Explains Why She Turned Down 'Titanic' Movie Role (top story)

Kelly Rowland and Brandy Land TV Shows On BET (top story)

Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen Were Not Told About Full House Reboot (top story)

Chewbacca and J.J. Abrams Take the Twizzler Challenge (top story)

Elton John's Famed Heart-Shaped Glasses Stolen From Museum (top story)

Terry Crews Answers Mike Tyson With 'Sucka MC's' on 'Lip Sync Battle' (top story)

Mirk Streaming New Single 'Marathon' Online (top story)

Sandra Bullock Named People's Most Beautiful Woman (top story)

Kanye West Reportedly Deleted His Tidal Tweets (top story)

The Weeknd and Jack U Headlining HARD Summer Festival (top story)

More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
AudioNationRadio.comRock Show Radio (4 streaming stations)The Screen DoorA Journal of Musical ThingsLloyd Zeffler blogDemolish MagNightwatcher's House of RockCJ ChilversDeja VoodooThe 1st Fivethecopycat.bizHard Rock Memorabilia Day in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!



 

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

Copyright© 1998 - 2015 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.