Sound — 9
Shinedown is an ever evolving band that still manages to keep "their" sound. This album in particular is much more upbeat and happy than the previous three CD's which is nice, because with a band like Shinedown you have to ask "where can they go from 'Sound Of Madness'"? How can they outdo themselves again? But they did it with this CD. Honestly not a song I don't like on here, and I can see every one of these tracks being radio singles. In my opinion it is their best LP yet.
Lyrics — 10
The first time I heard "Bully", I was amazed at how much Brent Smith's voice had matured, its so powerful and emotional. The lyrics on "Amaryllis" are diversely different from other records, and you can really feel the emotion through them. While previous records dealt alot with getting over the drug addictions, and trouble in the band, this CD has lyrics that range from their children ("Miracle", "Nowhere Kids") to Standing up for yourself and others ("Bully", "Enemies") to standing together ("Unity"). The backup vocals really pull everything together too. While I'm not positive, it seems like Eric and Zach (the guitarists) have two very different voice styles and ranges, but they go so well together and with Brent's amazing voice.
Overall Impression — 9
I think this album will be one of the greats of our generation. Barry Kerch is one of the best drummers in rock right now, and Zach Myers is one of the more creative guitar players around right now, and if you've seen them live, you know he has the duty of bein a lead and rhythm guitar player all in one, which is very tough for a hard rock band. Every song on the album could be a hit single, the only thing that I hate about this album is that there are only twelve songs haha. I would definitely purchase this album again if it were lost.