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  GODSMACK
'1000HP'
(Universal)
Release Date: 1st September 2014


Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland



godsmack

American hard rockers Godsmack are an example of a very successful band who somehow manage to fly under the radar, certainly in Europe at least.

Despite several tours here they have never managed to raise their profile to the level of contemporaries like Disturbed but if you look at their stateside success it's astonishing. Twenty million album sales since the release of their debut in 1998, some of the albums hitting no1 in the Billboard overall charts and able to headline their own arena tours for fifteen years.

'1000HP' is their sixth studio release and it may be their most consistent yet. They are known for a kind of grunge Metal sound and are often compared to 'Dirt' era Alice In Chains which is kind of appropriate although I think their style is closer to AIC's 'Facelift' debut myself. They take the groovy, grungy metal sound and ally it to some memorable commercial sounding songs and when they get the songs right they are really impressive.

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The album opens with the title track and the inevitable sound of a high powered car engine before in the riff kicks in and a frantic metal number follows. With lyrics about hearing themselves on a car radio for the first time this is a catchy, powerful opener maybe reminiscent of Metallica's 'Fuel' in style. Who won't be singing along with the line "Turn that shit up louder" at any gig they play?

Vocalist Sully Erna is often compared to James Hetfield in his more musical moments and the comparison is there to be made. 'FML' tries a twin voice effect with half the vocals smothered in effects but overall it's a really strong song and any Hetfield similarities are coincidental.

'Something Different' is a really successful attempt to add some more melody to their usual sound and the addition of some violin means they have succeeded in meeting the aim of the title. However 'What's Next' shows them back to chunky riffs and galloping rhythms and sounding strong but typically Godsmack.

godsmack

'Generation Day' has a nice riff and is full of atmosphere but is really more of the same and 'Locked & Loaded could really be described the same way. 'Livin' In The Gray' just slows down the same formula but all all these songs are saved by the fact that they are really well crafted.

'I Don't Belong' is melodic but muscular and lyrically is surely going to appeal to disaffected teens right across the mid west while 'Nothing Comes Easy' has some similar sentiments but is a little more disjointed than most of the previous songs.

'Turning To Stone' is where they turn it right down and do the Godsmack equivalent of the ballad so it starts quietly with almost eastern flavours and nice harmony vocals before the inevitable crushing riff kicks in on the chorus.

'Life Is Good' is left to close the album in positive mood and is obviously meant as a rabble rousing concert anthem but it comes over a bit forced and is not as strong as much that has gone before.

Godsmack are who they are and make no apology for it. They have added a few extra tricks to the songs on this album but overall it follows the pattern of their signature sound, commercial grunge metal with well crafted songs and there are many enjoyable moments on this album. If you haven't checked them out before, give this a listen, the quality of what is on offer may surprise you.

Line up:
Sully Erna – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, harmonica, drums, percussion
Robbie Merrill – bass guitar
Tony Rombola – lead guitar, backing vocals
Shannon Larkin – drums, percussion

Online:
http://www.godsmack.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Godsmack
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkmZz-nrlyg


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