Review Summary: Shinedown dares to expand their sound. In many ways, they succeed.
Even though Shinedown has been around almost a decade, they are one of those bands that no one really knew about until recent years. With their new album, Sound of Madness hitting the top of the charts, they finally started making a name for themselves a couple years ago. What many new fans don't realize is how excellent the bands music was before Sound of Madness was released. Every album from this band sounds noticeably different from the last. It's pretty clear that they don't intend on ever releasing the same album twice.
The newest album 'Amaryllis' is easily their heaviest record since 'Leave a Whisper', and still delivers the overwhelming power, vocally, that we've all come to love. As the album kicks off with "Adrenaline", you get the same vibe as when you hear "Devour" for the first time. Instrumentally, the track is filled with energy, and you can't help but get sucked into the catchy groove of the song. The next song "Bully" is the first single off the album, and although it's extremely viral, it has some of the worst lyrics on the album. "We're not gonna take this back against the wall" is a little poor for someone who knows what Shinedown is capable of lyrically. The first slow track on the album, "Amaryllis" is the first time you see the lyrics shine on the album, and it will probably end up being the next single on the radio. When listening to it, you can feel the emotion put into the song vocally, and it was very refreshing to hear.
The second half of the CD continues to hit hard with songs like "Enemies", "My Name", and "For My Sake". All of the songs are extremely catchy and fast, and lyrically are pretty decent, and you get to hear a couple good guitar solo's throughout as well, which is always nice to hear from a mainstream group. The album closes out with "Through the Ghost", which is probably the most haunting song the band has recorded so far. It's all acoustic and orchestra, with a very sad and very unique melody. What a perfect way to end the album.
The best way to describe this album is 'different'. When I first heard 'Amaryllis', I thought it sounded average, and a little boring. But like many other albums we've all experienced, it grows on you. Shinedown definitely took a chance making this album, because it's way different from their previous releases. For that, I can appreciate and enjoy it. I only hope Shinedown will continue to focus on being unique, and not let their mainstream success ruin them.