Near the end of the millenium, Godsmack busted through the mainstream with their self-titled album, which had overwhelming success and was one of the great albums to put a close to the '90s, with such hits as the truly intimidating masterpiece, Keep Away, and the eerie and tribal Voodoo. Around two or three years later on Halloween, the sophomore album Awake is dropped as Godsmack delivers one of the biggest hits and most memorable songs from the band: that being the wonderful five-minute masterpiece with some of Tony's greatest guitar work in the intro and solo to none other than: Awake.
Godsmack in 2003 is literally on top of the world, riding high with the major success of Awake and their self titled album, while they look to continue their success with their third project, Faceless. The band's former drummer, Tommy, leaves the band and former drummer of Amen and other bands, Shannon Larkin, jumps along the bandwagon to join Godsmack and assist the band to record Faceless. While it is indeed a great move with the addition of Shannon Larkin to Godsmack, Faceless succeeds and yet it fails.
1. Straight Out Of Line- Now this is a perfect way to open the album, as we get to see what kind of drumming Shannon brings to the table with this in-your-face, monster opening known simply as Straight Out Of Line, which was featured on the ending credits to Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within. Tony, as usual, gives a wonderful guitar opening while Shannon gives us some excellent percussion and up tempo drumming with Sully starting quietly, building up the anger before exploding with rage in the chorus, and gives off the strongest in-your-face vocals that I have ever heard from him. You want an awesome song that highlights Godsmack's ability, look no further than Straight Out Of Line.
2. Faceless- The band keeps the tempo up with Faceless. This is a great follow up from the monster hit, Straight Out Of Line. Nothing more to say except the same as I said in Straight Out Of Line, so I won't bother explaining.
3. Changes- Like before, I won't bother explaining why this is a damn good song, and that's for the very same reasons I like Straight Out Of Line.
4. Make Me Believe- Now I don't like this song. Sure, it might be in your face, but in this song, Sully sounds whiny in this, and that just really kills the song for me, and the solo in this extremely short, with Tony barely changing the tabs played. This is a track that you might wanna skip.
5. I Stand Alone- Here we go, with Godsmack's most in-your-face, monstrous, hell of a kickass song, I Stand Alone. Featured on the Scorpion King soundtrack, and the theme song for Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, I Stand Alone has some of Shannon's best drumming that I've heard, but in terms of comparison to Straight Out Of Line, I Stand Alone is nothing compared to that. But one thing that Straight Out Of Line definitely does not have on this track is the fact that Sully's strongest singing occurs right here.
6. Re-Align- This is an excellent follow up from I Stand Alone. One thing I must say about this song is that it pales in comparision to Straight Out Of Line, as is truly highlights the band at their best. Sully has some very strong vocals in this song, while Robbie and Tony keep up the pace with the thundering bass and excellent guitar playing, and Shannon shows the best drumming I've seen from him out of the time he's spent with the band. Like Straight Out Of Line, if you want a song that truly highlights the band at their peak, don't look any further than Re-Align, which I personally find better than Straight Out Of Line.
7. I ***ing Hate You- Oh, come on now. A perfectly awesome album, ruined for me with the horrible I ***ing Hate You. In this one very song, Godsmack sounds way too familiar to KoRn, with the repeating chords and teenage angst used in this song. The only thing different is that Shannon does better than poor David Silveria from KoRn(if you're talking about after FTL, that is), and it's kinda depressing to hear Sully use lyrics that look like they were written by Jonathan Davis himself.
8. Releasing the Demons- Damn you, Godsmack. Sully continues the same KoRn-like antics with the lyrics that appear to have been written by Jon, and Tony uses the same chords over and over again. This is definitely a horrible follow up from I ***ing Hate You. Damn...What had appeared to be a classic album for me was ruined by those two songs.
9. Dead and Broken- Wait, what's this? Godsmack's turning it around! YES! It's a good thing to see too, as Godsmack is able to rebound from the KoRn-like antics and jump into their own stuff again, with a wonderful guitar intro and excellent vocals. Nice to see that the band was able to turn around their sound and stray away from the KoRn-similarities.
10. I Am- Great! Here we go again with the KoRn-similarities, as Godsmack does not keep me entertained with the Jonathan Davis-like lyrics and repeating chords over and over again, so I'm not even going to waste my time here trying to convince myself that this is even worth a second of my time.
11. The Awakening/Serenity- This song is a wonderful closer to Faceless. The Awakening sets the mood for Serenity perfectly, as Sully shows the best vocals I have indeed heard from him. Nothing more to say except that it was good to hear that Godsmack didn't try to be like KoRn yet again and end the album similarly as they would. You want highlights of Sully's singing? It's right here, in Serenity.
Final Thoughts: While Faceless does indeed succeed and widen Godsmack's musical plateau even more, with the excellent guitar work on some songs, the wonderful production, and the addition of Shannon Larkin, it fails too, as Faceless does not stray away from the same type of songs that Sully can't seem to stop using, the major repetitiveness of Faceless, and the fact that around I ***ing Hate You, the album starts making a downward spiral that could have potentially cost the band in Faceless, along with the fact that Godsmack sounds too familiar to KoRn in some songs except for two after Re-Align. Nonetheless, I recommend that you get Faceless if you haven't already, because you don't run into a lot of excellent pieces of work everyday, you know.
-The production is at its best
-Sully's vocals on some songs
-The first half of the album
-Tony seems to be getting better with his guitar work
-Godsmack hasn't tried different songs
-The second half of Faceless
-Sully's whiny vocals in Make Me Believe
-Similarities to KoRn with the lyric choice and repeating chords
1. Straight Out Of Line- 5/5
2. Faceless- 4/5
3. Changes- 4/5
4. Make Me Believe- 2/5
5. I Stand Alone- 4.5/5
6. Re-Align- 5/5
7. I ***ing Hate You- 1/5
8. Releasing The Demons- 1/5
9. Dead and Broken- 4/5
10. I Am- 1.5/5
11. The Awakening-Serenity: 5/5
Godsmack in Faceless is:
Shannon Larkin-Drums and Percussion