Sound — 10
They wanted to go over the top with this album, the largest sounding record they were capable of. I think they definitely succeeded with this goal on The Sound Of Madness. Every song has layers upon layers of voice tracks, guitar riffs and leads, there's over 100 tracks on some songs and a 20 piece orchestra used on 4 of em. Devour the first single opens the CD with a thundering political anthem, this thing really rocks, and rocks hard. it's the only political song on the album influenced by their trip to Iraq, an outstanding song to open the record. Everything on this CD stands out, every song is very good if not great the only weak spot was Breaking Inside which isn't overly bad it just seems more sell out then anything else on the album. Guitar work is top notch on The Crow and the Butterfly, Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide, Cry For Help, What a Shame, Sound Of Madness, all incorporate a great solo along with catchy riffing and solid backing tracks.
Lyrics — 10
Brent Smith the lead singer of Shinedown really does some of his best work on this album. As a singer Brent Smith is unparalleled in todays day in music, only person that comes anywhere close is Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge. Brent isn't all about hitting the high notes, he sings most songs differently, for instance Sound of Madness, Devour, and Cry for Help you can tell he sings with more grit, while songs like The Crow and the Butterfly and If You Only Knew he brings out the slow cleaner, more soulful side of him which really burns bright. I mean this guy has some pipes, it's not all studio work either, he does it live full band he does it at acoustic shows, just incredible. The Lyrics on this are a little more straight to the point, it's not all about the metaphors this time around. My favorite song lyrically is definitely What a Shame, " What a shame to have to beg you to, See we're not all the same, What a shame."
Overall Impression — 9
People say Devour is a Disturbed rip-off, and I see where those people are coming from, but it's definitely not a complete rip-off. It may have been influenced by them but that's about it, Sound Of Madness sounds kind of Metallica like, and Breaking Inside could be considered more on the Nickelback side of todays rock spectrum. they are all comparable to those artists but not a single song off this album makes you think gee, that sounds just like "insert song title here". So many songs are just so good on this record, the best would have to be: Sound of Madness, Cry for Help, The Crow and the Butterfly, If you only knew, What a Shame, Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide, and even the completely unique Call Me stands out, which is just Brent, an orchestra and Eric Bass on Piano. I pre ordered the special edition, so I can't wait for the 3 bonus tracks, if someone steals my copy I will immediately hunt that person down and hit them in the head with a baseball bat, tell them to get their own and take mine back.