Full Circle review by Drowning Pool

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Aug 7, 2007
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.2 (44 votes)
Drowning Pool: Full Circle
2

Sound — 9
After the death of original vocalist Dave Williams, Drowning Pool seemed to go through frontman after frontman in an attempt to recapture the same chemistry heard in songs like "Bodies." The guys in Drowning Pool are back with another new vocalist for their latest CD Full Circle, and here's a word to the wise: This one's a keeper. Vocalist Ryan McCombs undoubtedly will be able to do justice to the band's previous material, but he also has a range that at times has a striking similarity to Alice In Chains' Layne Staley. "Full Circle" was produced by Ben Schigel, DJ Ashba, and even Nikki Sixx, and there is definitely a sleeker and more thought-out sound to the record. The band actually even took the unplugged approach on many of it's songs like Alice In Chains, but Drowning Pool usually speeds things up before you can call any track on "Full Circle" entirely acoustic.

The album starts off with the high-energy title track Full Circle, although it doesn't feature as much riff work as you might hope an opening song might have. There is some very nice double bass pedal that pops up at the end of the song, which builds upon the song's energy. While Full Circle isn't the best representation of the CD, there are several songs that make up for it by the time you listen to the 13th track. When it comes down to it, the tracks that do incorporate the unplugged aspect into the mix are usually the ones that make the biggest impression.

Songs like "Reborn" and "Paralyzed" are just a couple of the tracks that start off with acoustic guitar work from C.J. Pierce, who does a phenomenal job and will hopefully consider recording a completely unplugged album in the future. Reborn is the standout, just by fact that it adds some unique instrumentation along the way. Besides Pierce's lead guitar lines being played between the verse and chorus, there is also a very cool breakdown that features tribal-like percussion from Mike Luce. Paralyzed takes it time in terms of building intensity, but it gradually becomes a full-on rock song by it's close.

Enough can't be said about Ryan McCombs' vocals on "Full Circle." While he never made a huge breakthrough with SOiL, it's obvious that he's found his niche with Drowning Pool. The man can sound eerily like original vocalist Dave Williams at times, but then at other times he morphs into a Layne Staley type of vocal. It makes for an interesting listen, particularly when his vocals are doubled. His voice is strong enough to stand on its own, but hearing it doubled (and perhaps even tripled) is extremely effective.

It should be mentioned that the band's single "Soldiers" has an interesting back story. There's a breakdown halfway through that features the snare prominently, and originally McCombs was going to make a patriotic speech over it. According to Pierce, the movie company responsible for the Patton thought it bared too close a resemblance to a certain scene in the film. Long story short, there is no longer a speech - McCombs only sings a very brief line before entering into the final section of the song. If you do catch Drowning Pool live, it's possible that you might be able to catch a bit of the original version, pro-American speech and all.

Lyrics — 8
The band wrote Soldiers for the men and women serving in the Middle East, and the quartet deserves credit for taking that risk. With all of the anti-war and anti-Bush sentiment out there, it's becoming rare to hear a generally positive message sent out to the soldiers. McCombs sings, "On your feet! Who's with me? Lock tide, hold steady, there it goes stand ready; There is no compromise; Your pain you're worth your sacrifice." The band has apparently been a source of inspiration for the troops, so to write a song about them (and work with the USO no less) is very cool on their part.

Overall Impression — 9
Along with the original songs on "Full Circle," listeners are also treated to Drowning Pool's rendition of "Rebel Yell." If you're a fan of the Billy Idol original, then you're not likely to think recording the track was necessary in all honesty. The band doesn't add a whole lot to the song, but at the same time they don't desecrate it, either. Drowning Pool saved "Rebel Yell" for it's closing track, and it does have the energy to hold that position down well.

The latest incarnation of Drowning Pool should likely be respected by old and new fans alike. There is a softened aspect to some of the songs, particularly with the amount of acoustic work done on "Full Circle," but that's one of the best things about the album. The band rarely lets a song go too far without adding in electric guitar and bass, although they didn't need to. It would have been nice to hear at least 1 song go all the way through without any rise in the tempo. In any case, Drowning Pool has a satisfying set of songs that prove they made the 100 percent correct decision in taking on frontman Ryan McCombs.

29 comments sorted by best / new / date

    .:!j.man!:.
    For anyone reading PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! could you tab these drowning pool songs onto the site. they are NO WHERE on the internet. * You Made Me * Soul * Less Than Zero * Care Not * Let Me Go * Mask * Drama * Walls There all from the demo appart from the track walls which is from the step up single (It has one kik ass solo that i NEED to learn). If you consider yourself a good musician that would be able to distinguish the right notes from an excessively used Wah then this would be a perfect challenge for you. Not to mention you would gain all of the drowning pool fans love If you are unable to obtain these songs due to there rarity please contact me.
    TheDisturbed78
    people should stop obsessing over sinner, it was amazing, but the newer stuff is way more metaly and awesome.
    themtalisgood
    I really miss Jason Jones and Dave Williams (R.I.P.). I think the sound quallity of this album is far worse than Desensiized and Sinner. But still its pretty good and i recognise it as dp.
    .:!j.man!:.
    The only bad thing about this album is the label change. It sounds too compressed and not as hard hitting as the prevous two
    MINI CHU ROCKS
    it pisses me off so much when people say "Oh just because the second singer sucks, then the Ryan Mccombs sucks, even though ive never heard him!" it makes me so mad that they think that just because one singer sucked. thats y they got rid of him Ryan McCombs rules as a singer, hes one of my favorites. plus its pretty lame to read a review, judge and riticule it even before youve heard it. i could do that to any band i want, but i dont. whats the point of it? anyway the cd rules.
    cooljew
    TheDisturbed78 wrote: people should stop obsessing over sinner, it was amazing, but the newer stuff is way more metaly and awesome.
    straight up ****ers, i can't say how much i love the title track, especially when the double bass drums come in at the end. i also love duet and shame...this is a quality ****ing album, nothing on sinner but this just rocks harder.
    Fuel Collector
    Awesome album, Ryan really suites their music well. Still like desensitized better, but this record isn't half bad. A great CD from a band blessed with bad luck.
    DP_SF_DTX_RATM
    You can go ahead and bash DP, but you need to understand how ignorant you sound when you say "WHAT A BOLLOCKS BAND" or whatever, when you haven't even given the bad a fair chance, let alone listened to anything on the cd that JUST CAME OUT. I bought the cd, and it rocks heavy, it's selling for cheap right now too like $9.99 I believe, so c'mon, go give it a try, or at least give the songs a listen to on Youtube.
    Arch1119
    Listening to previews of the cd and whatnot they sound a bit similar to Saliva on the Full Circle cd...personally i think they should have disbanded when the original singer died...kinda like Led Zepplin disbanded after the drummer was gone...you know..show some class because they wouldn't have beenthe same band without him and Drowning Pool Isn't the same band with out the original singer/frontman
    Something-Cool4
    people should stop obsessing over sinner, it was amazing, but the newer stuff is way more metaly and awesome.
    stitches31
    the new cd sounds pretty good. not much on sinner though. is the new lead singer the guy from soil? they sound very similiar if not.
    pariah452
    Word. Maybe this will finally be something good from them doubt it will touch sinner though.
    grungefan89
    You know, I have very little respect for this band and I'm not afraid to vocalize that. Sinner was a pretty decent album, I'll admit nonetheless, but when they put Jason Jones into the fold, I could take just one look at him and know the band was going to suck chode from that point forward, he had douchebag written on him that much. I heard "Step Up" on the radio and thought it was the most annoying, cliche-sounding song I had heard in quite a few months and I knew that there wasn't much hope for the band afterwards. It was radio-friendly garbage with little message and little to catch anyone's attention. I haven't heard any of the new material, but I have little hope for it. This band has got acres of baggage, and constantly are trying to top Sinner with little success, in my opinion, and it's going to take a lot to drop the baggage and manage to get back up to the level they were at when Dave Williams was fronting the band. I don't know much about McCombs, but if he can turn it around, more power to him. I personally think they should disband and focus on other projects.
    BriGuy7727
    DR_SH wrote: I liked sinner didn't get round to getting desensitised (well at least that's what i think the second albums called)
    Yeah Desensitized is the 2nd album, I think it's a really good one. I like the single Step Up, but I also think that it's got some other good tracks like Love & War (kind of ballad-like), Bringing Me Down, Forget
    Paroxysm
    noahray wrote: The latest incarnation of Drowning Pool should likely be respected by old and new fans alike. what fans?
    Fans that kept the band going. Listen to some songs on youtube. I like it.
    DR_SH
    I liked sinner didn't get round to getting desensitised (well at least that's what i think the second albums called)but I don't know....I still think that what McCombs did to Soil was really low.... quitting to spend more time with your family is alright I guess. Family is family, but using that as an excuse to switch bands is just really LOW in my mind
    noahray
    The latest incarnation of Drowning Pool should likely be respected by old and new fans alike.
    what fans?
    CapnKickass
    CapnKickass wrote: whats that song from them called that was out like 5 years ago or whatever "if you wanna get up you gonna get knocked down!" that was a cool song and the only one I know that they made.
    o never mind i think its step up lol
    CapnKickass
    whats that song from them called that was out like 5 years ago or whatever "if you wanna get up you gonna get knocked down!" that was a cool song and the only one I know that they made.
    RandyRIP
    Sounds cool, if they still had there original singer they would go very far.
    .:!j.man!:.
    P.S I am only willing to send you these songs if you are willing to try and work the parts out and then upload them for everyone else who uses this site.
    MetalUpYourRear
    I used to hate this band. I don't even listen to this kind of music. Then I saw them live this year. Twice. I instantly fell in love with them. They have so much energy and put on such a badass show!