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Shinedown - The Sound of Madness

Shinedown, The Sound of Madness

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

JACKSONVILLE Florida-based fivesome Shinedown have been generating a lot of States-side buzz based on the success of their latest LP, The Sound of Madness, which debuted on the Billboard 200 at No.8 last year.

It’s taken some time, but that album finally lands in the UK and it’s easy to see why this band is so hot right now.

The Sound of Madness is a rock monster that impresses from the outset. Yes, it’s similar in tone and style to everyone from Staind, Puddle of Mudd and Nickelback, but there’s something about the way in which Shinedown go about things that stands them ahead of that pack.

Whether pounding the drums, cranking up the guitars to frenzied levels, implementing orchestral string arrangements during ballad moments, or just letting rip with glorious abandon, Shinedown somehow sound more exciting when they’re doing it.

There are some album fillers, of course (Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide and Cry For Help won’t necessarily convert the sceptics), but more often than not once Shinedown grab your attention, they keep it.

Produced by Grammy Award winner Rob Cavallo, The Sound of Madness kicks up a storm from the outset, with the killer opening track Devour laying down some pretty impressive credentials. There’s a slow-build drum roll, a combo of swirling guitars and piano chords, before the inevitable unleashing of everything, including provocative lyrics such as “nobody wants to feel like this, nobody wants to live like this, nobody wants a war like this!”

Title track follows in similarly incendiary fashion, a pounding back-beat and some angry riffs complimenting Brent Smith’s emphatic vocals.

There’s the obligatory slow-burner in The Crow And The Butterfly – but it’s done well, complete with layered strings late on.

And then there’s radio pleasers such as If Only You Knew and What A Shame, which effortlessly combine power with melody and sharp, catchy choruses.

Call Me displays a Linkin Park-like ability to bed a pure rock track with some melancholy piano loops early on… before displaying some sensitivity over the vocals.

Shinedown may not be groundbreaking but they are shaping up to be a really great rock act. The Sound of Madness is a great entry point to what they have to offer.

Download picks: If Only You Knew, Devour, Sound of Madness, What A Shame

Track listing:

  1. Devour
  2. Sound of Madness
  3. Cry For Help
  4. The Crow & The Butterfly
  5. If Only You Knew
  6. Sin With A Grin
  7. What A Shame
  8. Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide
  9. Breaking Inside
  10. Call Me
  11. I Own You
  12. Energy
  13. Son of Sam