Screaming Bloody Murder review by Sum 41

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  • Released: Mar 29, 2011
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (247 votes)
Sum 41: Screaming Bloody Murder
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Sound — 9
Sum 41 have brought their best with their latest effort, which is the first to feature their new guitarist, Tom Thacker of Gob. If I had to describe the sound of Screaming Bloody Murder in one word it would simply be "epic" because that's exactly what this record is. It's an epic, something the likes of which won't be found anywhere else. This was possibly the best album I've heard in years. If you turn Sum 41's career into some sort of movie, then this would be one hell of a climax. Every song has been packed with hard hitting guitars and are all contrasted by soft piano. Yes, sometimes you can do without the piano, such as in "Reason to Believe" where the chorus is so powerful that you'd just wish they continued down that road. "Screaming bloody Murder" the title track, is possibly the most conventional song you'll find on the album, which is a good thing, because this record aims to be something different, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't accomplish this quite successfully. Two tracks of interest, "Baby You Don't Wanna Know" and "Time For You To Go" seem a bit out of place, being quite upbeat and punky for such a dark, hard album, but they're good enough to prove they deserve to stay, as opposed to being relegated to B-sides. Some of my favorite tracks include "Jessica Kill" and "Back Where I Belong" are hard hitting heavy tracks which push singer Daryck Whibley's abilities to the limit, with choruses that stretch his voice high to help out their powerful sounds. One reason these may be some of my favorite are because they're short, sweet, and to the point. No piano, no breaks, just out-of-this-world, grade A music, better than most of the stuff I've ever heard not only out of Sum 41, but form any band. The masterpiece of the albuim however, is "Dark Road Out of Hell" a 12 minute song divided into 3 tracks, "Holy Image of Lies", "Sick of Everyone", and "Happiness Machine". These 3 tracks are the most diverse on the album, switching off seamlessly between the hard and soft sides that Screaming Bloody Murder conveys so well. One of my favorite switch offs on the album is in "Happiness Machine" as it goes from the mid-tempo grungy verse to a fast-paced, light chorus backed by acoustic guitar. Without rambling on about every track, I'll end by saying what Sum 41 brings in Screaming Bloody Murder takes what was their A game, and throws it out the window, trumping everything they've ever given us before.

Lyrics — 8
Lyrically, this album has to be the saddest of all. Singer Deryck Whibley said before he wrote the album in a dark time, and it definitely shows. Every track combines depression with the religious overtones prominently displayed in "Underclass Hero" their last album. The band has definitely made it work to their advantage though, as it's the lyrics that really drive home the unique sound of the album. If Whibley had simply sung about the generic mess seen in most artists' work, Screaming Bloody Murder wouldn't have been even half as impressive. In the breaks from depression found in the two punk songs mentioned above, Whibley shows it's not all gloom and doom, and he's still able to write the upbeat fist pumpers that helped launch Sum 41 in the first place. With the exception of the title track, all lyrics were written by Whibley, and it wouldn't be a stretch to call it his masterpiece.

Overall Impression — 10
This album is something you won't find from anyone else, anywhere else. With the Sums putting out some of their best material to date, the only worry should be how will they follow it up. The music is bolstering and in your face, something you can blast in your car and be proud of. There isn't a single weak track on the entire album, and none of it feels like filler. Whether you like Sum 41 or not, this album is definitely worth more than a listen. Showing it off to everyone I know, I have yet to see a single disappointed face, or even one that's been only mildly amused. Screaming Bloody Murder is a great example of how breaking the mold can work to your advantage, and create something so unique, so amazing, that it just blows everything else out of the water.

66 comments sorted by best / new / date

    blitzbeast
    Love the band, love the album, but I wouldn't call this 'epic'. That terms more reserved for post rock
    Drg23
    DJ2109 wrote: so this is an improvement on underclass hero i hope?
    damn straight it's an improvement.
    TheResults
    Lyrics are kinda cheesy and straightforward, but i do smell a rise in good heavy music again. If they can keep this up we might not have to put up with tight pants, em-over haircuts, and gorilla stomping dueschers for much longer(strictly speaking from the observations of my local music scene, dont get excited)
    Oyface
    Call me a fanboy if you want, but I find most of these comments stupid. I thought some songs on that album was their best work yet. And the only album by them that I like more than this, will have to be "DTLI?". @ That uy who said he wanted something more like "Chuck" and "DTLI?", this was close to both of those. That is all.
    Shabalaba
    ihaterap69 wrote: duncang wrote: I would call this a very immature record. Not because it isn't serious or different, but because it has no idea what it wants to be. It's messy and disjointed, and unlike Underclass Hero it isn't buoyed by a couple of big singles. Disappointed Sir, with all due respect, you are an imbecile. This album is by FAR better than UC. It's unfortunate that it's not, by your standards, radio-friendly . Whibley said he wasn't aiming to please the critics with this record. Good Day.
    He's probably referring to stand out songs which entice the listener in. Wouldn't call "We're all to Blame" radio friendly, yet it is catchy & entices the listener to buy the album. Think before you moronically defend the album.
    Mass_debator
    "Whibley is actually a quite engaging vocalist who has proven himself to be capable at both an abrasive and gentile delivery." lol
    duncang
    I would call this a very immature record. Not because it isn't serious or different, but because it has no idea what it wants to be. It's messy and disjointed, and unlike Underclass Hero it isn't buoyed by a couple of big singles. Disappointed
    SumFX
    dannydesktop wrote: Sum 41 ended when brownsound left.
    Uh huh, sure buddy whatever. I personally like all of their material and that includes this release. This is probably not their best release but hey, it's better than alot of other stuff today.
    tomrgane
    dannydesktop wrote: Sum 41 ended when brownsound left.
    I don't agree fully with this, but all their best music came with Dave
    Brendan.Clace
    How can this album get a 9.2?!!?? This album is honestly, in my opinion, a slight step-up over Underclass Hero, but nowhere NEAR what this band was with Dave. UG I am really disappointed with this review. You build this album up huge, but I was so let down.....
    Letterbomb11
    Haven't posted in years (surprised I remembered my password, actually), but I gotta say this record was a disappointment. 1. Reason to Believe - (I swear, all my other track reviews will be shorter than this one) This song's good...for the first 2 minutes out of 3 and a half. The piano outro was so pointless, or premature, I can't tell which. The "verse" (can you call it that if there's only one of them?) is more than decent (but did Deryck have to repeat it?). The "chorus" kicked ass though. They needed to continue the song in this vein for a few minutes and either cut the piano outro or shorten it. I hate to admit it like this, but I might steal the first half of the song for myself. Not because I have no ideas or I'm lazy, but because it was wasted potential. 2. Screaming Bloody Murder - Really, nothing special about this one. 3. Skumfuk - This one was kind of fun. Loved the intro. The unconventional structure actually worked for this one. 4. Time for You to Go - The hook was catchy, but got boring fast. Highly disposable. 5. Jessica Kill - Verses were okay, the chorus was a nice blending of DTLI and Chuck styles, but the bridge did absolutely nothing for me. 6. What am I to Say? - Despite it's clicheness and derivative nature, I like this song a lot more than a lot of the other songs it takes after. Still pales in comparison to With Me from Underclass Hero (another record I was disappointed with in retrospect). 7. Holy Image of Lies - Good Lord, this song was a mess. I liked one segment of it a lot (from 0:33 to 1:13), but the rest of it, bleh. It's not even that it's crappy, it's that the individual pieces flat out don't mesh with the rest of the song even. 8. Sick of Everyone - Similar sentiments to Jessica Kill. 9. Happiness Machine - Like Holy Image and Reason to Believe, it's a Frankenstein's monster that should have kept its numerous ideas as separate songs. 10. Crash - Awful. Need not say more. 11. Blood in My Eyes - I really like the main riff that leads into the verses, as well as the chorus. But the verse and bridge near-nullifies the good parts. 12. Baby You Don't Wanna Know - Sounds like it belongs on another record by another band. 13. Back Where I Belong - This one's growing on me, but I still can't get over the piano and acoustic guitar part in the middle. Should have been the closer. 14. Exit Song - What was the point to this one? Sounds like an Oasis reject that should have never seen the light of day. I read that a lot of riffs on the record were recycled from other demos. Maybe Sum should exercise more care with the practice. The record seems to have so many thoughts running through it that it doesn't know what it wants to be. There's stuff on it that shouldn't be, and there's stuff on it that should have been expanded upon. Like Underclass Hero, it seems like an exercise in self-indulgence. It shifts between soft parts and hard parts, and they usual come across as forced and unnatural. Both albums were self-produced by Deryck, who played all the guitar tracks despite having another full-time guitarist who's apparently only contribution to the record was coming up with the general idea for the title track. Does the band not practice democracy within their system? The difference between this and Sum's golden years was Dave Baksh. By all accounts, he didn't have much creative input due to different preferences, but at least Deryck tried to throw him a bone every now and then with songs like No Brains or 88. Maybe that's what's the matter with the record. A dangerous lack of a second opinion. Jeez, didn't realize I had this much to say. Maybe I should have done this as a review instead.
    good_blink_plan
    To the last one, read the interview with Cone. Cos unless I misunderstood, Deryck recorded all the guitars, so yeah...
    Bisonberg
    Gotta be honest, I really like the direction here. I also don't see the album being disjointed either. In fact, I find it to be fairly cohesive, especially compared with many other modern musical acts. Sum 41 was never my favorite band and this album won't change that, but to me its a step in the right direction.
    drhammertime
    jiminator182 wrote: it's deferent something new from sum 41 and "drhammertime" if sum 41 were doing the same always we wouldn't listening them
    Oh trust me man I'm not complaining, I said this is a great album, and I stand with that. I love it, just as I loved UH.
    bozomatt
    DiegoAngeles wrote: While Green Day or MCR delivered a bevy of thought-provoking, often politically charged lyrical content WTF DUDE WTF, MCR with political lyrics? I understand the green day part but MCR? Come on, get your facts straight. Also, this album is kinda good.
    they probably went more under "thought-provoking" than political. but if you knew anything about the bands you would see the similarities between the three.
    bbsbass
    Letterbomb11 wrote: Haven't posted in years (surprised I remembered my password, actually), but I gotta say this record was a disappointment. 1. Reason to Believe - (I swear, all my other track reviews will be shorter than this one) This song's good...for the first 2 minutes out of 3 and a half. The piano outro was so pointless, or premature, I can't tell which. The "verse" (can you call it that if there's only one of them?) is more than decent (but did Deryck have to repeat it?). The "chorus" kicked ass though. They needed to continue the song in this vein for a few minutes and either cut the piano outro or shorten it. I hate to admit it like this, but I might steal the first half of the song for myself. Not because I have no ideas or I'm lazy, but because it was wasted potential. 2. Screaming Bloody Murder - Really, nothing special about this one. 3. Skumfuk - This one was kind of fun. Loved the intro. The unconventional structure actually worked for this one. 4. Time for You to Go - The hook was catchy, but got boring fast. Highly disposable. 5. Jessica Kill - Verses were okay, the chorus was a nice blending of DTLI and Chuck styles, but the bridge did absolutely nothing for me. 6. What am I to Say? - Despite it's clicheness and derivative nature, I like this song a lot more than a lot of the other songs it takes after. Still pales in comparison to With Me from Underclass Hero (another record I was disappointed with in retrospect). 7. Holy Image of Lies - Good Lord, this song was a mess. I liked one segment of it a lot (from 0:33 to 1:13), but the rest of it, bleh. It's not even that it's crappy, it's that the individual pieces flat out don't mesh with the rest of the song even. 8. Sick of Everyone - Similar sentiments to Jessica Kill. 9. Happiness Machine - Like Holy Image and Reason to Believe, it's a Frankenstein's monster that should have kept its numerous ideas as separate songs. 10. Crash - Awful. Need not say more. 11. Blood in My Eyes - I really like the main riff that leads into the verses, as well as the chorus. But the verse and bridge near-nullifies the good parts. 12. Baby You Don't Wanna Know - Sounds like it belongs on another record by another band. 13. Back Where I Belong - This one's growing on me, but I still can't get over the piano and acoustic guitar part in the middle. Should have been the closer. 14. Exit Song - What was the point to this one? Sounds like an Oasis reject that should have never seen the light of day. I read that a lot of riffs on the record were recycled from other demos. Maybe Sum should exercise more care with the practice. The record seems to have so many thoughts running through it that it doesn't know what it wants to be. There's stuff on it that shouldn't be, and there's stuff on it that should have been expanded upon. Like Underclass Hero, it seems like an exercise in self-indulgence. It shifts between soft parts and hard parts, and they usual come across as forced and unnatural. Both albums were self-produced by Deryck, who played all the guitar tracks despite having another full-time guitarist who's apparently only contribution to the record was coming up with the general idea for the title track. Does the band not practice democracy within their system? The difference between this and Sum's golden years was Dave Baksh. By all accounts, he didn't have much creative input due to different preferences, but at least Deryck tried to throw him a bone every now and then with songs like No Brains or 88. Maybe that's what's the matter with the record. A dangerous lack of a second opinion. Jeez, didn't realize I had this much to say. Maybe I should have done this as a review instead.
    Wow, you and I are very very close on almost every thing you said, even to the point that I also haven't posted on here in forever and it took me 3 tries to get my password right. You're absolutely right about it seeming like an exercise in self indulgence, and about most of the songs having weird shifts that just make them almost impossible to get into (from my standpoint anyway.) This was the biggest problem with Underclass Hero as well. You're pretty much dead on in your assessments of most of the songs, although I do like the title track more than you seem to. I also think they messed up Skumfuk with the intro piece. I heard a leaked version of that song weeks ago that, although I didn't know it at the time, was just the last ~2:10 of the song. I liked that version much better. I think Skumfuk has the same problem you pointed out in so many of the songs. This one just seems better because each individual piece stands up on better on its own. But they don't form a cohesive song. I have to say I think the most egregious mistake was on Blood In My Eyes. The riff in that song is possibly the best part of the entire album, but the rest of the song sucks so terribly that if this song ever came up on shuffle I'd probably just let the first :50 play and change the song as fast as I could. In my opinion the best
    bbsbass
    Um ok so for some reason it cut off the last paragraph of my post. Anyway, I was just saying in my opinion the best song on the cd is definitely Screaming Bloody Murder, and it's the only song I could see myself actually wanting to listen to in the future. It's much like No Apologies off of Underclass Hero, which was probably the best song on that cd. Both of these songs are straight forward songs that I can really get into and enjoy, without all of the extra junk that makes it almost impossible to get into so many of the other songs.
    pyritmann
    Terrible album, such a disappointment Sum41 died when Brownsound left guys, time to move on. *tear*
    goskayourself
    hriday_hazarika wrote: Chuck is the only thing of theirs that I like, so maybe I'll try this.
    don't, youll be terribly disheartened.
    abattleofone
    This new album is one of my favorite albums now, and until Screaming Bloody Murder was released as a single, I barely liked these guys. But really UG? Baby You Don't Wanna Know is pretty obviously a "fun" song.
    ozzstriker
    The Album should have opened with "Blood in My eyes" and continued in that vain. That's the one song that did not require a tempo change! It's so frustrating
    ihaterap69
    duncang wrote: I would call this a very immature record. Not because it isn't serious or different, but because it has no idea what it wants to be. It's messy and disjointed, and unlike Underclass Hero it isn't buoyed by a couple of big singles. Disappointed
    Sir, with all due respect, you are an imbecile. This album is by FAR better than UC. It's unfortunate that it's not, by your standards, radio-friendly. Whibley said he wasn't aiming to please the critics with this record. Good Day.
    metallica-#1
    Shabalaba wrote: ihaterap69 wrote: duncang wrote: I would call this a very immature record. Not because it isn't serious or different, but because it has no idea what it wants to be. It's messy and disjointed, and unlike Underclass Hero it isn't buoyed by a couple of big singles. Disappointed Sir, with all due respect, you are an imbecile. This album is by FAR better than UC. It's unfortunate that it's not, by your standards, radio-friendly. Whibley said he wasn't aiming to please the critics with this record. Good Day. He's probably referring to stand out songs which entice the listener in. Wouldn't call "We're all to Blame" radio friendly, yet it is catchy & entices the listener to buy the album. Think before you moronically defend the album.
    "We're All to Blame" isnt off of Underclass Hero there bud, so your come-back isnt really valid. the guy you replied to was completely correct, and you are a moron. and to the UG'r i wouldnt judge an albums success on the day it came out, im sure there was only 1 or maybe 2 singles released off of this album, you cant foresee the impact later singles will have on the public. for all we know this album could be a lot more popular than Underclass Hero to the public
    chiefmegadeth
    another shytty album... Bring back the brown sound! Chuck was so good...it's a shame they sound awful now
    blinkSumNOFX
    [quote]bbsbass wrote: Letterbomb11 wrote: Haven't posted in years (surprised I remembered my password, actually), but I gotta say this record was a disappointment. 1. Reason to Believe - (I swear, all my other track reviews will be shorter than this one) This song's good...for the first 2 minutes out of 3 and a half. The piano outro was so pointless, or premature, I can't tell which. The "verse" (can you call it that if there's only one of them?) is more than decent (but did Deryck have to repeat it?). The "chorus" kicked ass though. They needed to continue the song in this vein for a few minutes and either cut the piano outro or shorten it. I hate to admit it like this, but I might steal the first half of the song for myself. Not because I have no ideas or I'm lazy, but because it was wasted potential. 2. Screaming Bloody Murder - Really, nothing special about this one. 3. Skumfuk - This one was kind of fun. Loved the intro. The unconventional structure actually worked for this one. 4. Time for You to Go - The hook was catchy, but got boring fast. Highly disposable. 5. Jessica Kill - Verses were okay, the chorus was a nice blending of DTLI and Chuck styles, but the bridge did absolutely nothing for me. 6. What am I to Say? - Despite it's clicheness and derivative nature, I like this song a lot more than a lot of the other songs it takes after. Still pales in comparison to With Me from Underclass Hero (another record I was disappointed with in retrospect). 7. Holy Image of Lies - Good Lord, this song was a mess. I liked one segment of it a lot (from 0:33 to 1:13), but the rest of it, bleh. It's not even that it's crappy, it's that the individual pieces flat out don't mesh with the rest of the song even. 8. Sick of Everyone - Similar sentiments to Jessica Kill. 9. Happiness Machine - Like Holy Image and Reason to Believe, it's a Frankenstein's monster that should have kept its numerous ideas as separate songs. 10. Crash - Awful. Need not say more. 11. Blood in My Eyes - I really like the main riff that leads into the verses, as well as the chorus. But the verse and bridge near-nullifies the good parts. 12. Baby You Don't Wanna Know - Sounds like it belongs on another record by another band. 13. Back Where I Belong - This one's growing on me, but I still can't get over the piano and acoustic guitar part in the middle. Should have been the closer. 14. Exit Song - What was the point to this one? Sounds like an Oasis reject that should have never seen the light of day. I read that a lot of riffs on the record were recycled from other demos. Maybe Sum should exercise more care with the practice. The record seems to have so many thoughts running through it that it doesn't know what it wants to be. There's stuff on it that shouldn't be, and there's stuff on it that should have been expanded upon. Like Underclass Hero, it seems like an exercise in self-indulgence. It shifts between soft parts and hard parts, and they usual come across as forced and unnatural. Both albums were self-produced by Deryck, who played all the guitar tracks despite having another full-time guitarist who's apparently only contribution to the record was coming up with the general idea for the title track. Does the band not practice democracy within their system? The difference between this and Sum's golden years was Dave Baksh. By all accounts, he didn't have much creative input due to different preferences, but at least Deryck tried to throw him a bone every now and then with songs like No Brains or 88. Maybe that's what's the matter with the record. A dangerous lack of a second opinion. Jeez, didn't realize I had this much to say. Maybe I should have done this as a review instead. Wow, you and I are very very close on almost every thing you said, even to the point that I also haven't posted on here in forever and it took me 3 tries to get my password right. You're absolutely right about it seeming like an exercise in self indulgence, and about most of the songs having weird shifts that just make them almost impossible to get into (from my standpoint anyway.) This was the biggest problem with Underclass Hero as well. You're pretty much dead on in your assessments of most of the songs, although I do like the title track more than you seem to. I also think they messed up Skumfuk with the intro piece. I heard a leaked version of that song weeks ago that, although I didn't know it at the time, was just the last ~2:10 of the song. I liked that version much better. I think Skumfuk has the same problem you pointed out in so many of the songs. This one just seems better because each individual piece stands up on better on its own. But they don't form a cohesive song. I have to say I think the most egregious mistake was on Blood In My Eyes. The riff in that song is possibly the best part of the entire album, but the rest of the song sucks so terribly that if this song ever came up on shuffle I'd probably just let the first :50 play and change the song as fast as I could. In my opinion
    blinkSumNOFX
    ^to bbass and letterbomb: I completely agree with everything you both had to say. The album definitely has its moments, as in certain riffs (blood in my eyes & screaming bloody murder intros, jessica kill chorus) but not a single song is organized exactly the way it should have been. too many mellow bridges that last for over a minute and have no place on the album. no cohesive songs as you put it. I really miss the old days of Half Hour of Power when they could actually be referred to as a fun punk band, although i know those days are long gone. still my favorite album though. I cant help but think how much better this album could have been with Dave's creative and instrumental input. This band is a fast sinking ship without him.
    noisewall11
    duncang m . POSTED: 03/29/2011 - 06:52 pm / quote | wrote: I would call this a very immature record. Not because it isn't serious or different, but because it has no idea what it wants to be. It's messy and disjointed, and unlike Underclass Hero it isn't buoyed by a couple of big singles. Disappointed
    so why exactly is that a problem to you?? i'd love to hear that. i've heard quite a few records where every song is totally different from the rest, which is refreshing IMO. what do you actually like "alternative" records where all songs bear a bit of resemblance to eachother and oddly all sound alike?? i'd hope not..
    rhn94
    the album was pretty okay .. would've done better with dave though, he would've definately known how to give it a dark tone .. i think he left coz of underclass hero and because he thought all of their new songs are going to be the same .. but there are a lot of good songs i liked .. anyways .. 7.5/10
    oncenfutureidio
    I really enjoyed this cd. I couldn't stand underclass Hero because of the pop punk, trying to be punk again sound. This is something different for Sum 41 and I think they did a good job and giving a good rock album to the world. Also everyone keeps saying they want All Killer No Filler back, but they moved on and grew up from the punk sound, which is sad to say, but through this album I feel that have a step in the right direction and they can keep tweaking this and making it better for future albums.
    miabass182
    This album is great. Prolly not better than Chuck, but its pretty close in my opinion. I like the sudden tempo changes from soft to heavy and heavy to soft and so forth. Lots of catchy songs, Screaming Bloody Murder, Blood in My Eyes, The 3 Dark Road Out of Hell songs, Reason to Believe, Jessica Kill, Skumfuk and Back Where I Belong are all prime examples. Crash is a very good slow song as well.
    Shabalaba
    Really poor review. Listened to it expecting it to be a lot better than it was, maybe going into it high expectations lead to the disappointment. It's like they tried to imitate Chuck but fell short. Riffs lack any potency & the songs are bland. Production is good but they just aren't that good.
    H4R1B0
    ihaterap69 wrote: duncang wrote: I would call this a very immature record. Not because it isn't serious or different, but because it has no idea what it wants to be. It's messy and disjointed, and unlike Underclass Hero it isn't buoyed by a couple of big singles. Disappointed Sir, with all due respect, you are an imbecile. This album is by FAR better than UC. It's unfortunate that it's not, by your standards, radio-friendly. Whibley said he wasn't aiming to please the critics with this record. Good Day.
    I agree.... Well said
    Kas99
    Great album!!! you can notice it's really just focused on what the band wants to say, and some nice rythms & riffs in it! nice!
    jtalep
    I don't get the high rating...it's ok but there's nothing original or special about it. It's kinda soulless actually, even the softer ballad types kind of try too hard.