TDP Review: Godsmack “1000hp”

godsmack_1000-hpGodsmack is an alternative metal band formed in 1995 in Boston, Massachusetts. The band recently released its sixth album, 1000hp. This is their first album after a four year break. Even though the members of the band changed frequently since they formed, Godsmack was able to become popular on the alternative rock and metal scene, winning several Grammy nominations and selling millions of records. While their popularity has  been at a steady decline  as a result of numerous hiatuses and side projects, they have never sounded better.  

 

Though the band may dodge the comparison, Godsmack’s “sound” is most similar to the music of 90’s alt-rock band Alice in Chains—a group they cite as a major influence. Other influences include classic metal and rock bands Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and Rush. Godsmack’s newer albums have deviated from the grunge sound that permeated 90’s alternative rock, but the band continues to incorporate elements of classic heavy metal and strong, aggressive lyrics.

 

Godsmack has retained their fame primarily due to a flurry of iconic songs. “Keep Away” (1999) was one of the first Godsmack songs to propel the band’s fame. The song’s lyrics addressed the issues of deception and adolescence by implementing aggressive diction coupled with the singer’s empathetic tone. It is considered by many – fans and critics – alike to be one of the greatest rock songs ever released, due to its impressive guitar riffs and solos that sets the band apart from other artists in the alternative rock/metal genre. “Voodoo” (1999) is another one of Godsmack’s popular songs. It employs soft percussion and soothing guitar arrangements and references spirituality. The music video depicts sinister and mysterious scenes, which are reflective of the lead singer, Sully Erna’s, Wiccan faith. “I Stand Alone” (2002) is considered to be the song that brought Godsmack global popularity due to its iconic instrumental and lyrical qualities. The guitar riff begins slowly and eerily , but quickly transitions into a Metallica-style ‘chugging’ — when the guitar sounds like a percussion instrument. By the end of the song, they transition back into the slower, uncanny rift from the beginning of the song. Instead of being somber, the singer delivers the emotional and hard-hitting lyrics with confident and straightforward deliveries, which makes the song effective in conveying its message.

 

The album 1000hp highlights components of the songs which make Godsmack the band it is, but it also deepens the scope of the band’s music with the addition of other elements. The title track, “1000hp” has the booming guitar riffs characteristic of Godsmack, but it also includes narrative lyrics instead of abstract ones. It tells the story of the formation of the band, but its booming chorus is reminiscent of tracks from the band’s influences, such as Nirvana. Both “1000hp” and songs such as “FML” contain punk elements in the choruses and in the guitar riffs, which is new. Some of the songs, like “Generation Day” are more unique, and, to quote Erna, are “artsy.” Others are more straightforward, like “Locked and Loaded.” While the album introduces new elements and styles to the band’s sound, it still retains the raw and aggressive qualities that made Godsmack the well-known band it is today. I would recommend this to someone who likes alternative and metal styles, but does not mind some deviation from the traditional metal experience.

 

I would rate 1000hp 4 out of 5 stars. The album contains many of the elements that make Godsmack Godsmack, but it does venture from their typical style into pop-punk and glam-metal/rock sounds. While the music itself was not bad, the album did not feel cohesive.

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