Sum 41
Screaming Bloody Murder


4.0
excellent

Review

by ispeakzenglishgood USER (8 Reviews)
December 3rd, 2011 | 13 replies | 4,028 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sum 41 return to form with their darkest, most layered and one of their best albums to date.

It’s hard to believe that Sum 41 have been around for no less than 15 years now. Rising to post-new millennium fame with classic pop-punk anthems such as Fat Lip and In Too Deep, the band embraced their metal influences and moved in a heavier direction with arguably their best releases Does This Look Infected? and Chuck before regressing with the comparatively disappointing Underclass Hero which marked a return to their pop-punk roots. Following such an anti-climax, it was out of obligation more than anything else that I bought their new album on the day of its release.

How refreshing it was, then, to discover that in Screaming Bloody Murder the band has produced arguably their most mature, dark and layered album to date. The first few tracks are indicative of their progression, composed of intricate song structures where unexpected tempo and mood changes see classic energetic Sum 41 choruses combined with slower, softer piano or acoustic sections. This works particularly well in Skumfuk, where a soft acoustic sing-along introduction gives way to a frantic, fast-paced section and a ridiculously bouncy chorus.

Indeed, perhaps the most striking feature of this album is its diversity. Alongside fast-paced energetic tracks bearing all the hallmarks of classic Sum 41 (Jessica Kill and Back Where I Belong) there are soft, part-acoustic or piano-led ballads (What Am I To Say and Crash) and, somewhere in between, relatively mellow tracks where Deryck’s voice lacks its characteristic raw edge (Time For You To Go and Baby You Don’t Wanna Know). There really is something for everyone here.

While this diversity ensures the songs are memorable in their own right, one of the most impressive features of the album is the way in which it builds up a distinct mood from the middle section to the end. Starting with the epic build-up in Holy Images of Lies, complete with wailing guitars and Deryck’s passionate vocals, through a section of spine-tingling repeated crashes and piano-flourishes to the stunning, moving ballad Crash alongside the brilliantly dark rawness of Blood In My Eyes, the album encapsulates the emotion which obviously was a big part of its making. This mood remains prominent towards the end as the album closes very strongly with the powerhouse Back Where I Belong closing with repeated crashes before Deryck sings softly, “there’s nothing left to say”, winding the album down to a satisfying conclusion.

One criticism levied at the band is that in this album they can be heard to rip off other bands and rehash old ideas. Sure, parts of Time For You To Go and Blood In My Eyes sound like they’re lifted straight from Green Day’s American Idiot or 21st Century Breakdown, while the chorus of Jessica Kill screams of Still Waiting from Does This Look Infected? nearly a decade ago…but these moments are outweighed by the evolution and diversity displayed throughout the album.

Overall, a very impressive return to form for Sum 41 – they’ve shown they still have what it takes to produce killer songs after all these years while branching out with their sound. Highly recommended.



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user ratings (398)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Hovercun7 (1.5)
    Sum 41 fail to pick up the pieces of the mess they made of Underclass Hero, and instead ki...

    ConsiderPhlebas (1.5)
    A lifeless shadow of what they once were...

    SowingSeason STAFF (1)
    Screaming Bloody Murder is like a steaming pile of garbage: anyone with a brain larger tha...

    Jordan Speare (3)
    Whibley and the gang return with their most complete, mature album to date…but is that a...

  • Richard Coffey (2.5)
    Sum 41 return with an album that, while better than its predecessor, is still underwhelmin...

    J. Ponton EMERITUS (1.5)
    So who did Sum 41 steal from to make their new album this time?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Valerius
December 3rd 2011


1137 Comments


They seem to be fans of Chuck Schuldiner?

KjSwantko
December 3rd 2011


9277 Comments


Review was decent, but I'm sure this album sucks.

Sconza
December 3rd 2011


259 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Decent review.
Terrible album.

TheSpirit
December 3rd 2011


17808 Comments


review is actually pretty good, these kids are all just fags

Digging: Emarosa - Versus

Storm In A Teacup
December 3rd 2011


12780 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I think they stole lyrics I posted on here years ago for tracks 7-9. = (

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 3rd 2011


7264 Comments


Oh man I remember when Observer and SS both reviewed this one...

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

dimsim3478
December 4th 2011


5004 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Oh man I remember when Observer and SS both reviewed this one...

Jeez, those threads SHOT UP.

Digging: Little Big League - These Are Good People

toxin.
December 4th 2011


12396 Comments


god I hate this band

dimsim3478
December 4th 2011


5004 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

..but..but...abortions...

sublimefan1991
December 11th 2011


757 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

great review, it's a shame the laughably bad staff review deterred so many people from giving this
album a shot. it really is not only their best album, but one of the most unfairly trashed albums (at
least on this site) that i can think of.

BrentF
January 11th 2012


36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^completely agree with everything you said

voidoffate719
May 8th 2012


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review, and an amazing album, better than Underclass Hero

Pauloadm
August 17th 2012


18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

For Sure the Best Album of The Band, good Review.



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