This wraps up the Godsmack trilogy, at least until they release their next disc, in which case, it won't be a trilogy anymore. (Incidentally, "The Other Side" is due out on the 16th of next month...an all acoustic record, should be interesting). Faceless came out a little ways into April or so last year, much awaited by people like me. Alas, though, there was a bit of a shake-up in the lineup when Tommy Stewart left the band. He was replaced by Shannon Larkin, formerly of the group Amen.
Sully - Vocals
Tony - Guitar
Robbie - Bass
Shannon - Drums/Percussion
Straight Out of Line (4:19)
The first single. Shannon immediatly gets a chance to show off, somewhat, opening the album with a nice percussive assault. Deep bassline and some sustained guitar breaks into one of the main riffs. Verse actually has some higher-register playing from Tony, complimenting the main riff, kept in the bass by Robbie. Shannon shows his ability to add lightning-fast fills here and there, definetly adds to the music. This song definetly follows the tried-and-true Godsmack song structure...Intro/Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/Bridge...the solo here starts off seemingly unimpressive at all, but towards the end Tony goes somewhat crazy, adding his trademark flourishes at the end. One more chorus, and a repeat of the intro section ends this high-energy track
The title track opens up with some cool sounding work with the wah pedal. Intro riff is kinda simple, but not bad. Verse riff actually has some machine-gun element to it, and utilizes the wah pedal as well, gives the verse a slow, headbanging sort of pulse to it. Chorus riff is a repeat of the intro riff, modified slightly. Repeat the cycle, except the main riff gets changed up slightly with some triplets thrown in once...bridge section comes up...guitar solo doesn't waste any time getting into your face unlike the SooL solo. Two more choruses, plus a repeat of the main riff a few times to end it
Intro riff is somewhat repetitive, but not too annoying or anything. Verse riff is kind of stretched out, and the chorus riff is the intro riff. There's a little break inbetween the chorus and verse, and it almost sounds like a screw-up, sounded awkward. Sully utilizes some vocal harmony behind him in this one, gives it a fuller effect. Bridge comes up, with the bass leading the charge for once...some higher register playing that isn't seen too often in this kind of music...guitar solo comes in, Shannon adds some quick rolls, everyone's generally going somewhat nuts...I love it...a Sully growl leads into the next two choruses...a second, mini guitar solo comes up, and the bass goes back to that riff that opened up the bridge to end the song. Very cool.
Make Me Believe (4:08)
My first favorite song on this album. Intro riff is right in your face, as is the verse riff...Sully's singing is particularly strong on this song...in fact, I swear at him every time I hear this, for having such a great range, whereas mine sucks. This one is definetly a headbanger as well, but faster than the first few tracks....after the usual cycle, bridge comes up, tempo slows down a bit...this is an extended bridge, as there are some lyrics in this slower section, punctuated by some good snare rolls and other fills...tempo picks back up, guitar solo comes in...but it's significantly shorter than most other solos...and that sucks, cause it had the potential to kick major butt...another chorus or so ends this one...
I Stand Alone (4:06)
The song that helped propel The Scorpion King...either you love or hate this one, I think. Did it get played alot? Probably, but it's so good...I shouldn't really have to go into this one, but for those who've lived under a rock...opens with a decently hard riff which alternates between low C and G/G#...the G# is especially evil sounding. Main riff is kinda slow, and it's really not that special, but it's not bad. The strongest point of this song might actually be Sully's singing...loads of emotion, power, in this one...and the lyrics tie in perfectly to the movie, which incidentally, was pretty good...bridge section comes up...more singing, slower tempo, I like it...gives an eerie mood to the song...tempo picks back up somewhat...guitar solo...which is alot like the last one, in that it's not much of a solo at all...*sad*. Another chorus or two, plus that weird draining effect ends this one...
My second favorite song, which is actually my first favorite. Yeah. Anyway. Kicks right off with a nice intro riff, and blends right into the main riff...the way they structured this is really nice I think...guitars play, break, Sully sings, drums have a little fill...it's hard to describe, so, if you listen to no other Godsmack song ever, go listen to this one. Chorus shows off Sully's higher range quite nicely here, with a steady riff to back him up...repeat the cycle, of course, except add another chorus onto it....up ahead we see the bridge...again, a chance for Shannon to add some nice rolls and fills, and here comes the solo...now I see why the last two solos sucked, because Tony rips into this solo...from 2:21 till almost the 3 minute mark we have solo..beautiful, powerful, wailing guitar solo...this totally makes up for the last two songs...add a few more choruses, end with some nice percussion and guitar sustain that fades out.
cking Hate You (4:07)
Probably the hardest track on here, gets right in your face and doesn't back down, with some pretty heavy riffs for a band that's not really "heavy metal". I like this, but at the same time, I don't...I love the riffs, and the drumming, but the way Sully sings this one...at least the chorus...is awkward to me...and it's not the pinnacle of lyrical genius either. Oh well...repeat the cycle...bridge comes up...some nice Flange in the guitar...hm...no guitar solo, and not even a different riff for the bridge...wow...two more choruses, plus Sully screams at you for a bit before it fades into the next song.
Releasing the Demons (4:12)
Starts out remeniscent of Vampires...main riff is pretty heavy...verse riff is interesting...Guitar does some higher playing, some sustained notes, the bassline is pretty cool...if it's not a walking bassline it's pretty close to it...this chorus is particularly evil sounding I think, as far as Godsmack goes...just the way the riff is, and how it coincides with the way Sully sings...love it, love it. Verse/Chorus again...bridge comes up...reminds me of how "Awake" sounded...nice double bassing from Shannon happens a few times...but...but...where's the solo? There wasn't one...:upset:...two more choruses end this one..
Dead and Broken (4:11)
I love the opening/chorus riff that opens up this song...it's just...catchy...somehow...verse riff is some chugging along with a few different notes from Tony...chorus riff goes back to that killer intro riff...if my ears aren't deceiving me, this song might be in drop B, as opposed to the C that they normally play in...I'll have to check the tab later, but I could've sworn I heard some low B...hm..more verse/chorus going...here comes a bridge section, or more like a couple of bridge sections...second one involves some pickscrapes and whatnot...and there's the solo...some minor shredding, as Tony likes to do, but it doesn't last long...shame on him...couple more choruses ends this one
I Am (3:59)
Opens up with a chugging sort of riff, which serves as the base for the song...the higher sustained notes make this song sound somewhat evil too, but not as much as a few of their other songs. Chorus is kind of an extended, two-part chorus...first part isn't too special, second part's not bad to hear. Another lap around the tracks...bridge comes up, some slightly faster riffing coming into play...and some more singing...dammit, I hope that doesn't mean no solo, like it has before...and it does...bleah...nother chorus or two, then back to the faster riffing to end it.
The Awakening (1:29)
A segue track, much like The Journey was on Awake...it's just a percussive instrumental...if that's Shannon playing it, which I assume it is, it's quite nice...but it's not a track I listen to often...however.
In what is apparantly trademark Godsmack style, they end with a softer, more melodic piece. This one is an acoustic guitar, acoustic bass (I believe) and some tabla playing for the percussion...there are some strings that play in the background too, I love it. This is a mellow piece, and stands out compared to VooDoo and Spiral...I think this one is the superior piece...there really isn't anything bad about this one, unless it's been overplayed in your area and you've developed some sort of hatred for it.
In-your face riffing
Predictable song structure
Lack of guitar solos?!
This is my favorite from them...alot of good hard-rocking riffs, some great guitar solos, and Shannon Larkin proves the band didn't make any mistakes in picking him to be Tommy's replacement...the lack of guitar solos on a few songs bothered me though...I hope they aren't going to take a route away from the solos, because when Tony does solo..and I mean real effort, such as Make Me Believe, or Re-Align, or hell, even the older stuff like Awake...it's a good freakin solo...more mainstream guitarists should take lessons from this guy, because it is possible to be a successful, mainstream, hard-rock band, and kick major ass
Sorry Tony...lack of guitar solos in a few songs make me not want to give this a four...even though I really want to
Maybe this review will get me some sort of comments...I noticed my other two went blank...:p