Sound — 6
Sum 41 is a band, which was searching for their genre gap all over their career. After fantastic and diversified "Chuck," which also unlabled "punk" from bands specification, they made a strange (however, not so bad) turn over to their pop-punk roots in "Underclass Hero." During production of "Screaming Bloody Murder" Sum 41 not only take a chance to stray from (or maybe delute would be more correct) punk stereotypes again.
This time band make a significant dush into metal, also keeping place for other experiments and even things, which reminds that Sum 41 are still Sum 41.
Talking about sound "dirty" and "loud" are the words to describe album. "Dirty" do not means bad or uncompleted, it means an idea to make album more live-like-sounding. And it makes sense. This thing works... leaving some good ideas, which were mixed too hard to hear. But on live sessions tracks receives back every note muted during mixing. "Loud" is for being more metal-alike and it worked. But played a bad joke wth band leaving all their ability to make each part interesting (even when they were punks they were able to show much more) wasted. However, all these things not about drums, drumming of Steve Jocz is exactly the thing, which never disappoint during listening.
There are also some tracks which cannot be referred to written above. While "Crash" is an excellent in some ways (but sometimes really boring and long) piano ballad. "Baby You Don't Wanna Know" and "Time for You to Go" are at least interesting songs written under slogan "we can make it like in '80s" and it worked out. "What Am I to Say" is not so successful follower of "Pieces" from "Chuck."
Album also has one of the best intro song I've ever heard. "Reason to Believe" includes all album includes: precision drum hits turning into hard metal verse, turning in another more pop alike verse and ending with sensible piano outro.
Lyrics — 6
"SBM" is an album with dark mood. It looks and feels like the long road out of hell, which not only caged into song trilogy of the same name, but also follows you all way through. While "Time for You to Go" and "Baby You Don't Wana Know" are pretty funny and "Jessika Kill" is a strange "love" song, other tracks keep you in the dark shadows of human being after bloodcurdling event. Some of them leaves no hopes, some shows the way to solve problem, but in the end all of them are realy dark. Album honestly keeps one dark idea. But shouldn't it be more varied in this way?
Metaphors and symbols are all around lyrics. But while in some songs they are really interesting, in some they are completely unclear. The same could be mentioned about lyrics itself. Deryck Whibley didn't show something really interesting in his vocal. We here well-known Deryck Whibley. As whole album he is darker and whiner than ever. He makes Sum 41 trademark. Even after such "rebranding."
Overall Impression — 8
"Screaming Bloody Murder" isn't a acme of Sum 41's work. It's just a reminding, that Sum 41 are open for experiments and exactly don't want to be just a punk band, as many want them to be. They are still not in their box, but it's clear, that they enjoy searching of it. "SBM" is definitely sounds and feels like this search brings enough pleasure, than, maybe, even finding the right genre and other things to sound great. But band exactly needs to remember all their already reached things to keep all good about their music and do not waste all their instrumental abilities and skills trying to follow genre stereotypes to not become another band playing power chords on each eights note and become too simple to repeat as they almost do this time.