Sound: "Murdered Love" was produced by long-time producer Howard Benson was also produced "The Fundamental Elements Of Southtown" and "Satellite". As such "Murdered Love" offers a sounds very reminiscent of the two aforementioned albums (actually being something of a combination of the two) and it does it very well. The album offers a decent range of sounds (albeit all within the nu-metal/alternative metal/rap-metal genres). Songs such as "Eyez" and "Murdered Love" offering offer a grungy rap-metal sound with heavy guitar rips and raw vocals while songs like "Higher" and "Beautiful" offer a significant shift in mood; being softer and offering the more spiritually uplifting lyrics that P.O.D.
I have always enjoyed the guitar style of Marcos Curiel, particularly in "The Fundamental Elements Of Southtown" and "Satellite". This album is no different. While Curiel might not bring anything particularly new to the table he makes very effective use of power chords and half bars in choruses as well as offering decent riffs throughout the verses. A particular example of this can be seen in "On Fire" in which Curiel where a simple but very effective use of wah in the verse and power chords in the chorus make this one of my favourite songs. // 9
Lyrics: Being a Christian band there is of course a lot of spirituality involved in the lyrics. The lyrics convey a fierce passion without becoming too angst-ridden particularly in the song "i Am" in which the heavy guitar riff and bass line complement the intensity of the lyrics. I find that even as an Atheist I am able appreciate the apparent depth and honesty in their spirituality and I believe this says a lot about their lyrics.
Having said that the album has one stumbling point (so to speak) when it comes to lyrics and that is the song "Bad Boy". While I appreciate the sentiment in the line "You know I'm a bad boy\But I like good girls" I just find it hard to see Sonny; a devote Christian as a "Bad Boy". That is not to say I don't like this song (I particularly enjoy the bridge) but it just doesn't seem like a "true" P.O.D. song to me.
Sonny's voice lends itself very well to this brand of alternative metal/rap metal. As well as being a very apt rapper he is able to deliver powerful, raw vocals in the heavier songs such as "On Fire" and "Murdered Love" as well as a softer more melodic tone in the "softer" (relatively speaking of course) alternative metal songs such as "Lost In Forever". His voice also lends itself particularly well to songs with strong reggae elements such as "Babylon The Murderer" and "Panic And Run". // 8
Overall Impression: This is easily my favourite P.O.D. album since "Satellite". In terms of nu-metal/rap-metal you can't go wrong with P.O.D. The most standout songs of the album for me would be "Murdered Love", "Babylon The Murderer" and "On Fire".
Overall this is a great album; it feels like the band really put a lot of heart and effort into it. If you enjoyed "The Fundamental Elements Of Southtown" and "Satellite" then you need to go out and buy this album. With the dwindling album sales that the band has seen in past years it seems like an unfortunate reality that this album will get significantly less attention than it deserves. // 9