The Sound of Madness



by SowingSeason STAFF
July 9th, 2008 | 103 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "The Sound of Madness Is Beautiful"

Shinedown returns with their third studio album, "The Sound of Madness". The irony of the title is that the sound of the album is the opposite of madness; it is closer to a tightly crafted musical masterpiece. While Leave a Whisper has taken on the role of Shinedown's measuring stick, this album does not disappoint - in fact it proves to be the answer for fans who thought "Leave A Whisper" was too heavy and that "Us And Them" was too soft. The Sound of Madness finds a balance in the intensity of the songs, without sounding choppy or forced.

The album kicks off with a head-banging anthem in "Devour", which opens with an amazing drum/piano sequence and explodes into Brent Smith's energetic vocals. The title track follows suit, with a catchy guitar riff and almost dance-able beat. As you probably guessed, it was time to slow things down with the next track. Second Chance is something to is poetic, uplifting, and heartfelt -- and likely the best mid-tempo song Shinedown has ever created. Cry for Help gets stamped with the "filler song" tag...there is nothing terribly wrong with the song, but it serves mostly as a buffer between two amazing ballads, the next of which is The Crow and The Butterfly. Easily the most compelling song on the CD, The Crow and The Butterfly soars around the top of Shinedown's already accomplished list of ballads. If You Only Knew is an almost equally impressive follow up, but it is not quite as powerful as the aforementioned song. Instead, it seems to glide more smoothly and churns out the mellow, sure to be a radio-hit chorus "it's 4:03 and I can't sleep / without you next to me I toss and turn like the sea / if i drown tonight bring me back to life / the only thing that i still believe in is you / if you only knew".

With nary a misstep, Shinedown delivers a solid first half of an album. The second half is quite different from the first, taking more risks and failing almost as much as they succeed. Sin With a Grin is clearly an attempt to shift the album's momentum back to the fast rock-your-world type of pace with which it began. It rocks hard, but you are left with somewhat of an empty feeling by the time the song ends; like it should have (and could have) been so much more. What a Shame is a nice late-album find, as Smith's songwriting invokes a strong sense of meaning into the whole experience. Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide nearly suffers the same fate as Sin With a Grin, but it is far more catchy and seems to come more naturally. This earns it respect as one of the better heavy tracks on the CD. As we reach the final two tracks, we find a complete flop and an absolute masterpiece. Breaking Inside fails on a level of Nickelback proportions, following the same template from which nearly every song by that band is produced. Listeners receive a quick apology, however, in the form of Call Me. Call Me may very well be Shinedown's best album-closer, as it fills you with emotion and the overall sense that something worthwhile and rare just transpired. The piano ballad is slow and never breaks pace, setting a thoughtful mood that is strangely as uplifting as it is haunting. Put this up there with Shinedown's greatest work to date.

Overall, The Sound of Madness is an excellent album and could easily become Shinedown's most successful album. It rolls on all cylinders, combining memorable ballads and fast-tempo rockers without sacrificing album unity or flow. If it weren't for a few poor decisions in direction and influence in the latter half of the album, The Sound of Madness would be the perfect record. With that said, it still reigns as the best album of the summer. Shinedown has turned up the heat on other bands in this genre, and they may soon become the mark by which upcoming hard rock / post grunge bands are compared.

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user ratings (683)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Super Grover (2.5)
    Shinedown takes a hack at their magnum opus and goes down swinging....

    BrysonialTheBison (4.5)
    Madness? This is SHINEDOWN! (I know that joke is far overused, but I really DID have to do...

    d3bates (4)
    Overall, this is a truly terrific album only let down by some mediocre lyrics and song pla...

    Austin (4.5)
    The sound of success....

  • Attention Whore (4.5)
    "...Without a doubt, it's one hell of a hard rock album with plenty of emotion and a razor...

    Blswylde (5)
    Shinedown's best album....

Comments:Add a Comment 
Attention Whore
July 9th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

The title track is the best song on the album dude.

Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

Review is quite good for the first time although I don't agree with you loving the mellower songs on this cd. Some of them are pretty mediocre, rodio-friendly ballads. And yes, the title track is definitely the best here. If the whole album sounded like this song, this would be one of my faves of the year.This Message Edited On 07.09.08

Digging: The Black Queen - Fever Daydream

July 9th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

i heard devour and immeadiately was turned off by this, it sounded kinda juvenile for them, but i will still end up listening to this cause i loved their last two efforts

not a bad review, little short for my taste but still good nonetheless


July 9th 2008


welcome to sputnik!!!!


July 11th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

i heard the title track off this album and i didnt mind it, although i saw the new video they have for devour and i think their 'image' change was a little unnecessary

Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2008


I don't mind the image change - I don't think it really has any bearing on the music they put out with this album. Brent kind of looks like a younger-but-uninfluenced-by-drugs Ozzy.

July 13th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

i agree as well it has no bearing on the music itself, and im not judging this album by that at all (i actually enjoy what i've heard so far)

it was just suprising

edit: listening to it right now

leaning towards a 3 or 3.5 so far good stuffThis Message Edited On 07.13.08

July 13th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

sorry bout the double post

but this album is really good, a 3.5 is about right for me

the song call me is amazing btw

July 17th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

First and last songs are killer. Nice review!

November 17th 2008


I'm considering buying this just because of Second Chance....I like it that much. I have a feeling the rest gets fairly boring though.

January 4th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

This album was somewhat disappointing to me. Their first album is still the best imo. I did like the The Sound of Madness, Second Chance, The Crow and the Butterfly, and Call Me. I thought the rest of it was a little inconsistent at times.

Pastor of Muppets
February 18th 2009


Album Rating: 1.0

fucking terrible album. Second Chance is a pile of vomit fosho.

Lyrical disaster + musically generic = manistream rock hit.

February 18th 2009


Sadly they'll probably never top Leave A Whisper.

June 2nd 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

this whole album was kick ass and i agree the title track was outstanding

July 12th 2009


Second Chance is on like every time I turn the radio on. Surprisingly decent song though.

July 12th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

album rules face

July 16th 2009


I'm very close to giving this a listen. The songs i've heard are much better than most radio rock.

July 16th 2009


this > probably any radio rock today

August 7th 2009


Devour is the sex =].

August 7th 2009


if you like sex that's over in like 2 minutes and not pleasuring at all for either party, then sure. devour is definitely the sex.

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