Staind
Staind


3.5
great

Review

by VJ90 USER (13 Reviews)
March 20th, 2012 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With Staind, Lewis is just as haunted as ever, but this time the pain feels real.

Cavities are rotten. Over a length of time, plaque accumulates only to become joined with bacteria inside the mouth. This bacterium produces acids that painstakingly eat away at the outermost layer of the tooth, called the enamel, resulting in contact with nerve endings and a potential outburst of anguish. Though Staind’s artwork hardly depicts an actual cavity, the cover could ultimately be viewed as an artistic representation of one because Staind’s seventh full length record, Staind, is a bleak, wearisome inspection of a group deteriorated and anguished by the strains of daily life.

General fans of Staind may be pleasantly surprised to discover that the outfit’s newest album is also easily the heaviest material recorded by the quartet to date. Not since the early days of Dysfunction, with its furious tracks like ”Spleen” and “Raw” have Staind been so eager to thrash and scream with little to no regard for chart-topping success. Middle–aged listeners who grew enamored with radio mainstays “It’s Been Awhile”, “So Far Away” and “Right Here” are guaranteed to feel alienated once Staind assaults their ears, as the sonic decay growing within the band was a subtle one. With releases Break the Cycle, 14 Shades of Grey, Chapter V and The Illusion of Progress, each album hinted at the heaviness of yesteryear, yet maintained a polished, airwaves-healthy shine. The conception of Staind, however, was almost unbearable, as levels of aggravation and hostility within each member became overwhelming. Simply put, the cavity was detected and the outburst of anguish had begun while the recording devices rolled.

A mere moment into “Eyes Wide Open” it is apparent that this record is a different monster altogether. Frontman Aaron Lewis unleashes a series of lyrics that catches him pressing, not only straining to address an unspoken recipient, but screaming outright. Lewis clearly comes across as incensed and paired with the downtuned riffing of Mike Mushok and Johnny April, this primal scream therapy is ultimately believable. “Not Again” follows a similar formula, giving ample time for Lewis to both croon and cry with fury, this time featuring a catchy chorus that might allow such a pained piece to infiltrate radio stations. Further within this dreary record are a couple other considerably merciless mashers. “The Bottom”, previewed earlier this year on the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack, opens with arguably the heaviest riff Mushok has transcribed to date. While the majority of the piece trudges along, Mushok’s playing emphasizes the chronic despair that this album highlight shares. Last, “Paper Wings” is about as chaotic as Staind has ever dared to be. Lewis’ vocal performance during the verses is suffocating; sure to leave listeners fixated on every last word he screams and moans. Once again, the emotions here crawl to the forefront and unlike most outfits, the throat-shredding here sounds authentic – the inspiration exists – and this is anything but a gimmick.

While Lewis and company’s songwriting has taken a turn towards the tortured, not everything here is blistering metal. Select pieces here feature that trademark ache of Staind’s quieter material. “When I’m Gone” serves as an epitaph of sorts, with a subdued backdrop of guitar and Lewis’ confessions that makes the song all the more effective, especially when compared to the blasting fare the majority of the record features. “Failing” could be the track that tugs on the heartstrings the most. Here, Staind sound eerily similar to Alice In Chains and with the depressing mood Staind carries, makes such parallels to the troubled Seattle-based group additionally uncomfortable. Yet, this is what Staind does – explore the uglier spectrum of human emotion with both a wounded scream and a hushed croon. Sunshine and rainbows are replaced with torrential downpours and saturated clouds.

As fascinating as this self-titled effort is based solely on Staind’s reemerged aggression, there are a couple blemishes that prevent such an album to reach elite levels of critical acclaim. First, “Wannabe”, while an undoubtedly entertaining rocker that assaults faceless critics and keyboard warriors, features a tragic rapping section complete with tongue-in-cheek lyrics that hit a little too close to the group’s nu-metal roots. On an album that is committed to being serious and scathing, the lighthearted “Wannabe”’s inclusion is a bit of a head scratcher and decreases the record’s heavyhearted aura. Last, “Take a Breath” is rather unmemorable. For most of Staind, the term ‘all killer, no filler’ applies, but “Take a Breath” comes across as a lesser version of tracks that appear earlier within the album.

Staind’s self-titled effort should be considered a success, there is little question. Like a cavity slowly sinking into the recesses of a tooth, Staind had been inadvertently compiling every day frustrations and a deep-seeded desire to toss the acoustic guitar aside and explode. While these ten tracks are not perfect, they represent another incarnation of the band – one willing to revisit the anguish and despair that allowed many to relate with them over the seventeen years their music has sounded. With Staind, Lewis is just as haunted as ever, but this time the pain feels real.



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user ratings (232)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Sevendave (4.5)
Progress is certainly not an illusion....


Comments:Add a Comment 
TooManyFriends
March 20th 2012


763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Are you from TheNewReview? Because this is the exact same review of this album that's on that site....

KjSwantko
March 20th 2012


9448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Life compared to a cavity

tarkus
March 20th 2012


5560 Comments


how the fuck would you know this review came from thenewreview that site sucks more cock than above the graves
































nah who am i kidding but close

TooManyFriends
March 20th 2012


763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Because I read that review and I thought this sounded similar, so I looked back, and it's the same review, word for word....

tarkus
March 20th 2012


5560 Comments


a likely story i think im gonna need to take you in for questioning

TooManyFriends
March 20th 2012


763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is alright with me.

tarkus
March 20th 2012


5560 Comments


its a good thing you came quietly i mightve had to whip it out

KjSwantko
March 20th 2012


9448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sounds like you guys are gettin ready to fuck

tarkus
March 20th 2012


5560 Comments


dont be shy

TooManyFriends
March 20th 2012


763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Happy times, Kj, happy times....

AsoTamaki
March 20th 2012


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

recommended by reviewer
Alice In Chains Jar of Flies
I'm all for recommending the greatest EP of all time, but I don't really see the connection here. Black Gives Way to Blue or the self-titled, maybe.

ThroneOfAgony
March 20th 2012


3485 Comments


how could anyone compare this to alice in chains wtf.

AsoTamaki
March 20th 2012


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's just the one song.

FearThyEvil
March 20th 2012


12758 Comments


Always had a soft-spot for these guys.

iambandersnatch
March 20th 2012


1496 Comments


if this is like their early stuff could be decent

Shuyin
March 21st 2012


12062 Comments


heard a song on ytube and it was great tbh


forgotten which one tho

The7thVermicide
March 21st 2012


925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was surpirsed when I hear that this was an improvement over the illusion of progress .

Is good but nothing outstanding



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