Review Summary: Progress is certainly not an illusion.
Four years ago staind were hard at work on their 6th effort 'The illusion of progress', at the time of the album Aaron Lewis was quoted saying that this will be there 'Heaviest' record to date, needless to say when it came out it was the complete opposite, not the worst album in the world but certainly not what they had said it would be. It was more like an Aaron solo effort but with a backing band behind him. So this time around when he was again quoted saying 'This is the heaviest record' - forgive us Aaron if a few people turned there heads at this comment. That was of course until they released 'Not again'. Ok we believe you now!
'Eyes wide open' kicks the album off with a heavy effort which tests Lewis's vocal chords to the max - this song is certainly a sign of things to come. 'Eyes wide open' almost makes you feel that staind are a rejuvenated band, full of ideas and creativity again. The theme continues with the aforementioned and lead single 'Not again'.
Next up is the slow starting and longest song on the album, 'Failing', this one bursts into life a couple of minutes in and pretty much doesn't let up until the song has finished, this song almost has an alice in chains feel to it. After this we are treated with a special guest.. Snoop dogg for the song 'Wannabe'.. now don't press that back button just yet, hear me out. This is a very odd collaboration, however I must say that it does work well Snoop almost talking through the verses and Aaron going full throttle on the chorus, blasting into people who do nothing but expect something for nothing, such as downloading music for free, furthermore tearing into his vocal range again with screams of 'Poser' 'Pussy' & 'Pornstar'.
The next tracks, 'Throw it all away', 'Take a breathe' & 'The bottom' include very catchy hooks, melody and riff-age. the latter has been featured on the new transformers soundtrack and it has a bit of an odd intro, then flows into a melodic chorus from Mr Lewis, then the last quarter of the song goes off into another dimension as it explodes into a heavy breakdown. 'Take a breathe' could and still might even be a single release from this album.
'Now' is not as heavy as the previous song's, however it sounds like a more upbeat song that could have been included on 2003's '14 shades of grey'.
The closing tracks are 'Paper wings' & 'Something to remind you', the former could have easily been the track to kick off this album, the song has a similar start as 'Eyes wide open' in the way that it starts with the bass then kicks in with a humongous crunching riff.
'Something to remind you' has been played live at recent Aaron Lewis acoustic shows, and is nothing like the rest of the album, no drums, just Aaron and an electric guitar, a pleasant finish to a great album. (Similar to the finish on 'Dysfunction' with 'Spleen' blasting out of your speakers only to be followed by soft, mellow 'Excess baggage'.
This album is the polar opposite to the last, if you want 'Dysfunction' with a modern day twist or a similar style to some of the heavier tracks presented on 2005's Chapter V ('Paper jesus', 'King of all excuses') then this album will be for you.
Staind promised a return to there roots and this time they certainly delivered, well done boys!.
'Take a breathe'
'Eyes wide open'
This is my first review, I have been a browser of this site for many years, I finally decided to sign up just to review this album!.