Most of us will be familiar with PODs two big hits “Alive” and “Youth of the Nation” which brought mass mainstream success to the band, getting huge amounts of airplay on the radio. Whether it be nu-metal being the fad at the time or the singles being released at “appropriate” times in relation to certain real life events, ‘Satellite’ still went triple platinum.
Most of us will also agree that ‘Satellite’ is easily their best album to date and they have struggled to get over a bar that was raised so high. Post-Satellite period, with a few bright spots such as the single “Goodbye For Now” and “Roots On Stereo” on their previous album, they sounded very uninspired.
Upon hearing POD were back in the studio working on a new album, my hopes were not very high. The band also welcomed back original guitarist Marcos Curiel at the expense of Jason Truby which was the right thing to do as you will see or hear for yourself. They would have to do something special to live up to a rather ambitious name for an album, ‘When Angels and Serpents Dance’.
Opener and lead single Addicted
greets you with a meaty opening riff before leading into a catchy chorus. The song also happens to be the heaviest on the album and you may form misconceptions at this point. Sonny alternates between singing and semi-rapping/preaching going on about various negative events in life. The breakdown is very good with an original solo leading up to it, something you rarely find on their previous albums. Nothing special and out of the ordinary still.
which they have already been playing during live shows prior to this album being released is one of the better tracks on this CD. A chunky heavily distorted starts things off before an extremely catch riff comes along any the vocals pour out. Sonny’s singing is nothing special but he gets the job done.
It Can’t Rain Everyday
deals with the aftermath of a miscarriage. From the start you can tell this song is going to be different from anything POD have attempted before.
“Even though you feel alone,
It can’t rain everyday, it don’t rain everyday
It don’t rain forever,
Your sunshine may be gone but I know
It can’t rain everyday, it don’t rain everyday”
Sonny gives an excellent vocal performance on this album showing he can actually sing “normally”. Often at times during the song he sounds very reminiscent to Anthony Kiedis during the Californication era. Despite the chorus sounding rather cheesy, it still delivers. Curiel delivers some excellent, laid back and cool lead guitar on this one which blends in perfectly. The drums and bass despite being simple as always are quite groovy and move well with the song. If you are going to listen to only one song from the album, this better be the one.
is a disaster. I had hopes for a good song upon when I saw that Mike Muir from Suicidal Tendencies lent his vocals. Sonny really does sound uninspired and bored here. They tried to combine elements of punk, rap and rock here and there which may sound interesting but you get a complete mess. The breakdown is terrible with some equally bad frantic vocals from Mike after. Avoid this one.
and the self-titled track, two of the more heavier songs on the CD are just more filler which ruin the flow considerably. Sonny again sounds uninspired and bored while Curiel plays some heavily recycled drop-D tuned riffs. He delivers another interesting solo on the latter but that alone cannot make a good track.
is a pointless 2:42 instrumental which left me a bit puzzled. Curiel did deliver an excellent Spanish sounding solo 1:45 minutes which could have brought a smile to Carlos Santana himself. The album does finish on a good note though. Tell My Why
has some relaxing acoustic guitars and string instruments in the background which are very well executed. Sonny gives some really good and meaningful vocals and lyrics here too which don’t sound forced at all.
“The hate in your eyes
The lies in your tongue
A hand that kills the innocence
So quick to do wrong
The belly is full while we fight for what remains
The rich become richer while
The poor become slaves”
Definitely a lot that can be related to with lines like that. Listen to this one. Curiel gets another chance to shine on the closing track Rise Against
playing some very original hooks and riffs. Traa’s bass is actually quite good here and he plays some interesting bass lines mid way through.
Overall? I have to give them credit for trying something different and exploring several other areas. Songs like “It Can’t Rain Everyday” and “Tell Me Why” definitely come off well while others like “Kaliforn-Eye-A” just don’t make it. Curiel has a huge part to play in this album. His Spanish influenced riffs and solos are extremely refreshing and a welcome break from the heavily recycled nu-metal riffs in their past 4 albums. You could say it’s a sign of them selling out but songs like “Addicted” and “Condescending” ensure they keep some of their identity intact.
Overall rating: 3.75/5
Comments & criticism most welcome. :)