Review Summary: Not as good as their last effort, but still an overall solid album to add to their discography.
It's been 4 long years since Godsmack's last release, 'The Oracle'. With that album, the band was starting to break some new ground. It didn't feel rushed, and the band didn't seem afraid to step out of their comfort zone. With songs like 'What If' and 'Devils Swing', the album felt inspired and refreshing. The lyrics took a massive step in the right direction, and didn't feel cheesy at all. It also featured an epic at the end where the members had their chance to write a more progressive instrumental, which ended up being a pretty fun track. After an album like The Oracle, I think we've all been expecting to see Godsmack evolve and mature with their next record. The question is, have they continued to grow since 'The Oracle'? The answer is both yes and no.
The first track and single, '1000HP' is almost laughable for multiple reasons (actually I think I literally laughed out loud during the first listen). The lyrics are incredibly cheesy "turn that *** up louder, make it all go faster, playing through the witching hour, take it to 1000 horsepowaaa". Instrumentally, it sounds no different from what they've played on two dozen other tracks. Drop D open chugs, 4/4 timing beginning to end, etc. The second track, FML is also incredibly forgettable as it follows the same formula as the first song.
'Something Different' caught my attention, as it doesn't sound quite like anything they've ever done before. It follows a more radio friendly line and features a lot less of the harsh vocals Sully likes to use. 'Locked and Loaded' is a stand out track as well. Even though everyone knows it's about Nikki Sixx, it's easily the heaviest track on the whole album and has some nice stand out parts from Shannon on the drums. Unfortunately, after 'Living in the Grey', which is yet another solid but safe hard rocker, the album starts to drop off until the final track 'Turning to Stone', which is the albums highlight in my opinion. It gives off an old school vibe with the Voodoo style drum sections, the clean guitars, and some audible bass. It's by far, the albums most progressive track as well.
So how does 1000HP compare with older albums? Lyrically, there are some weak moments in the beginning of the album. However, the overall album isn't weighed down with poor songwriting and probably won't be a deal breaker for most people. Instrumentally, the guitar really doesn't do anything to stand out, and the bass is barely heard in the mix at all except for in the last track. The drums are still the most talented thing in this band, and sound great as usual. Sully's vocal range has improved and sounds as strong as ever. Overall, this album holds 'up pretty well with Godsmack's older discography, although it isn't as good as The Oracle. Fans of the band won't be disappointed with the album as a whole as there are a few standout tracks worth checking out.
'Locked and Loaded'
'Living in the Grey'
'Turned to Stone