Released: May 8, 2001
Tones: Hostile, Angry, Volatile, Bleak, Urgent, Brooding, Aggressive, Cathartic, Visceral, Confrontational, Menacing, Harsh
Styles: Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal
Number Of Tracks: 13
Break The Cycle
Emenius Sleepus, on january 30, 2004 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Staind, as a band, is in a field of its own. The main reason I bought this album was because of the rock version of "Outside", and I wasn't disappointed. Staind is one of the few bands that combine heavy, heavy and moody music with melody - putting them closer to alternative/heavy rock field than new metal. The guitarist Mike Mushok helps achieve an individual sound, along with Aaron Lewis's distinctive vocals, by downtuning his electric baritone guitar in a fashin of a seven-string without the top string (high-e). This allows for a very distinctive kind of sound, making your usual distorted chords sound like they've went through several gain channels in sequence and then were loaded with lead. The guys in Staind are also a master of contrast and dynamics. The songs on the record are well-varied with heavy songs relieved by the more easy-listening ones. Some songs contain light, melodic, clean verses, turned into musical mayhem at the choruses. Mike doesn't use solos. But he doesn't need to, as the band's sound is more reliant on rhythm guitar techniques. Still, the melody is present and in great force on this gret record. // 10
Lyrics: The thing that struck me most on Break The Cycle was the darkness of the lyrics. Aaron Lewis paints a real dark, sad and moody picture, complemented very well by the music - sadness in the verses, anger and frustration, pain and revenge in the choruses. Apart from being a good singer, Aaron is also gifted with a unique voice that makes the band sound unique - I can always recognize Staind when I hear something new. Lyrics very well written and have a strong emotional quality. // 10
Overall Impression: Although people nowadays like to lump most up-and-coming (or, in fact any bands with sound heavier than alternative-rock) acts into nu-metal category, it is evident that Staind is in a category all of its own. It doesn't sound like anything else I've heard (although I've heard some compare them to Creed and similar - that's if you only listened to It's Been Awhile), the sound is fresh and mean and heavy - but at the same time melodic. I'm a proud owner of all three Staind albums, and if any were lost, I'd definitely get all three again. And so should you. Some songs that you won't like at the start just grow on you - catchy, heavy, melodic, just plain good. Just go and buy it, dammit! // 10
Break The Cycle
Spl!nTeRgu!tAr, on june 17, 2004 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: When I burned this CD off my mom, I was blown away by the 1st 4 songs. Just in those 4 songs, like in "Open Your Eyes" for example, the beginning strikes you as a slower song, but about 10 seconds into the song it just blows up in your face, pow! full-on distortion and heavy riffs. The whole CD varys with the song, though. I'd have to say the most oragnized and best sounding song would have to be "Epiphany", because they use a whole bunch of different kinds of guitar and studio effects. The only down sid eot this is that the bass player is hearly ever heard, but thats alright, Johnny April is still a great bass player! Staind in this album combine emotion, mind blowing lyrics and guitar playing, and energetic and spunky drums and bass. // 10
Lyrics: When I heard the lyrics to Epiphany. I was blown away, the chorus alone gives u a picture of what this man has been through. When I heard that song I was almost knocked off my feet. The words "Cause its always raining in my head. Forget all the things I should have said..." just lets you reach out and touch Aaron Lewis' pain. The lyrrics on the whole CD are great, though. Many heart felt and painful lyrics, each song can be related to by people who have gone through similar situations, or if you are just all around pissed off. Mike Mushok's guitar playing also goes perfectly with Aaron Lewis' voice. // 10
Overall Impression: This album. Wow. Words can not describe the greatness of this album. The best songs on this CD are Fade,It's Been Awhile, Can't Believe, Epiphnay, and Waste. With Epiphany being my personal favorite. If I lost this album I'd just copy it onto a blank CD(all the CDs I like are loaded I not my computer hehe), but I'd have to say this is definatly worth buying. If I could only say one word to describe what I think about this CD it would have to be. // 10
Break The Cycle
E~Rock, on august 17, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I am a huge Staind fan. Mike Mushok is one of top 3 favorite guitar players sitting alongside Mike Tremonti and Jerry Cantrell. He delivers sounds you have never heard before - he is able to take rumbling riffs and driving choruses and make them resonate like no one else. Paired with the melodic bass lines of Johnny April, the hip-hop-esque beats of Jon Wysocki, and of course the angst-driven words and voice of Aaron Lewis, you have an amazing band with all of the right features in all of the right places.
I have listened to Tormented and Dysfunction, Staind's previous two albums, and would deem Break the Cycle as a brilliant step forward from their previous work. Rather than grinding Korn-like riffs coupled with screaming vocals, Staind seems to have taken a small yet significant step back allowing room for some heartfelt ballads and very emotional lyrics that dig deeper than hate and anger.
This album has songs for everyone (as can be seen at any Staind concert turnout). From the Top 40 songs "Outside" and "It's Been Awhile" to the indecipherable screaming of "Can't Believe," Staind has an ability to appeal to all strains of people from our youth to their parents with their honest lyrics and raw energy. // 10
Lyrics: Aaron Lewis is a very good lyricist. He is unafraid to share the pains of life with his audience and delivers his emotions flawlessly. Aaron is cited as saying, "All I did was be extremely honest with myself and put it in songs, and here I am... I've always been very candid and straightforward with what I had to say." [Rolling Stone] He lives up to his claim with a haunting vocal performance. Aaron Lewis is at his best singing ballads and ethereal verses rather than screaming metal rants, and the oftentimes punishing lyrics just roll off the tongue like punches to the face. You will shiver and tingle after listening to these songs. // 9
Overall Impression: The album is a masterpiece. It is my favorite of all of Staind's work. Even the softest ballads will twist your gut with their sheer emotion.
The unsung hero of this album is Waste. The song was written as a tribute to 2 young people who committed suicide shortly before the album's release. The bridge of the song, which quite literally attacks you as you listen, sums up a great life lesson in the words:
I've had doubts, I've had fears
I've f***ed up, I've had plan
Doesn't mean I should take my life with my own hands
The song is more a scolding "how could you be so selfish?" berating than a tribute, but its message is one that deserves to be heard.
I know several people who praise this album as a rock of strength through the tough times of their lives. It is a cornerstone of alternative metal and the highlight of the Staind discography. // 10