Shinedown
The Sound of Madness


4.5
superb

Review

by Attention Whore USER (6 Reviews)
June 30th, 2008 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "...Without a doubt, it's one hell of a hard rock album with plenty of emotion and a razor-sharp edge."

Hard Rock can be done very well, or very badly. Bands like AC/DC, Alter Bridge, System of a Down, Rise Against, etc all do a very good job of crafting well-made hard rock albums. You can also fail miserably at making a good Hard Rock album-3 Doors Down miserably fail consistently, Nickelback well, just suck, Hinder rip-off trends, and Three Days Grace are mind-numbingly repetitive. But as of recently, a Florida-based Hard Rock band named Shinedown have considerably raised the bar for mainstream rock albums. With one foot planted towards Lynyrd Skynyrd-styled Southern Rock and one foot planted towards aggressive Hard Rock, Shinedown are a nice hybrid of the best of the best. “Leave a Whisper” spawned a massive hit with the emotional “45” but had some bad-ass rockers like “Fly From the Inside”, but the album felt disjointed. “Us and Them” fixed the issues with their debut, but the songwriting fell flat. “The Sound of Madness” effectively takes the best of their two first albums, and increases the aggressive tone of their music.

Lead vocalist Brent Smith’s vocals only get better. The southern twang and the powerful notes are all found on their third album, however, his vocals have gotten faster and more aggressive, less formulaic. So naturally, in the vocal performance area, the album is much improved. Shinedown has effectively gotten the hard rock guitar formulas down to a science-the main riff to the title track is damn near amazing. Catchy, rhythmic, and crafty-all that Shinedown has missed from their past few albums-unoriginal guitar work has burdened the band. But now, the riffs are catchy and classic, and the chorus guitar chords always seem to change at the right moment, providing the right amount of emotion at the perfect time. “Devour” is a good indication of the band’s much improved guitar playing, the low-tuned, gritty verse riff crunches along before the guitars take over the lead and make the song all that more memorable.

Shinedown has made strides to improve their album’s flow in the past, and despite it working together better than it's debut, there’s a few disjointed songs and a little drag towards the middle. However, the main problem may just be the album’s inability to live up to the massively high standards the title track sets. Possibly one of the best tracks I've heard by a Hard Rock band in the mainstream as of recent. “I created the sound of madness/Wrote the book on pain/Somehow I’m still here/To explain,” Smith sings powerfully in the chorus, but the chorus isn’t the best part, the aggressive, kick-ass opening section as Smith barks out his vocals at a choppy, powerful pace. The album peaks with the beautiful ballad “Second Chance”, where the vocals envoke lots of emotion and keeps the song as memorable as past classics like ‘45’, and somehow the ballad isn’t fake at all, and the album keeps it’s aggressive, hard edge going full-fledged, even with the ballad.

The other high-point "Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide" pulls the string out from under you. Endlessly angry and fast, it’s a pounding hard rock anthem. “Digging deeper than a six foot hole/She’s snorting/Cocaine through a/Suicide note,” Brent Smith sings. The album continues the band’s pace of strong, catchy, and melodic songwriting hidden by crunchy riffs; however by the end, the songs seem a little formulaic, but it's only a minor scratch on the album's beauty. But, hell, it’s still a fun album, and easily the best Hard Rock album in the mainstream in recent years. A nice collection of the band’s strong points makes it an ass-kicking album, but a few minor mis-steps keep it from being perfect. But without a doubt, it’s one hell of a hard rock album with plenty of emotion and a razor-sharp edge.



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user ratings (800)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
foreverendeared
June 30th 2008


14677 Comments


i'm not much of a Shinedown person. don't really like them, but a good review. i didn't even here about this coming out

Smileyface
June 30th 2008


309 Comments


Who negged?

This is a good review, a monsterous step up from your Zeitgeist reviewThis Message Edited On 06.30.08

foreverendeared
June 30th 2008


14677 Comments


wasn't me. i liked the review well enough to pos it

Attention Whore
June 30th 2008


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Zeitgeist review was a joke...

shortz
June 30th 2008


201 Comments


Haven't heard the CD but I did enjoy that "Fly from the Inside" Song back "in the day" and like the current single whenever I listen to the radio which isn't much so I will most likely check this bad boy out. I'm needing some decent hard rock music.

In regards to your review, I thought it was good, a little short for me, I think you could have put a tad bit more descriptions, but a job well done otherwise. I shall give it a thumbs up.

---

Now that I'm listening to a few tracks, I'm not really diggin' this...This Message Edited On 06.30.08

Vanwarp
June 30th 2008


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yes...this is a kickass hard rocking album with plenty of top 40 hits spread throughout the album.

ilikemusicnicerdicer
July 1st 2008


5 Comments


HEY YOU GUYS AREN'T ALLOWED LIKING THIS STUFF, IT'S NOT FUCKING "GREAT" ENOUGH. YOU'RE THE WORST THING SINCE PITCHFORK/ROLLING STONE.

greg84
Emeritus
July 1st 2008


7598 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't think I agree with this review. This isn't really their heaviest record. The mellow songs seem generic and repetitive in most cases and they are basically half of the album. The title track is easily the best here. Their first cd was a lot better than this one and Us and Them. This Message Edited On 07.03.08

Digging: Robyn - Honey

Smileyface
July 1st 2008


309 Comments


HEY YOU GUYS AREN'T ALLOWED LIKING THIS STUFF, IT'S NOT FUCKING "GREAT" ENOUGH. YOU'RE THE WORST THING SINCE PITCHFORK/ROLLING STONE.


Quoted for excellence.

yacker
July 2nd 2008


5 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Not impressed thus far. I only like 2 songs: "the crow and the butterfly" and "if you only knew". In case you were wondering, this isn't even the same band essentially. The only original members are the singer and the drummer. The guitarist and bassist were booted by the label which essentially owns this band, and replaced by some nobodies.



I'm very disappointed by this album.

Attention Whore
July 4th 2008


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh, shit, you're one of those people.



The same people who cry that Smashing Pumpkins aren't the same band, the same people who cry that DEP aren't the same band, the same people who cry that QOTSA aren't the same band.



Every band isn't U2, dumbass.

yacker
July 5th 2008


5 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Heaven forbid I not like the album you did a review of.



Never mind that when a band loses one or more of it's primary songwriters it isn't the same band anymore. Which is precisely why smashing pumpkins essentially is the same band. Same song writers, same band. In this instance it's very hard to make that argument because a vocalist and a drummer hardly make up the core of the band. If the guitarist was still there I could buy it.



I apologize for having not liked an album you praised, and took the time to write a review for.



I also apologize for having indirectly corrected the parts of your review where you state that shinedown has improved in this area or that, by alerting you to the fact that the band doesn't even have the same musicians as on the past albums, so it's hard to improve on shit you didn't write in the first place.



Every comment doesn't have to be taken personally, dumbass.This Message Edited On 07.05.08

Attention Whore
July 6th 2008


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Dillinger Escape Plan.



End of discussion.





thesystemisdown
July 9th 2008


416 Comments


Idk why everybody likes the title track so much... his vocal delivery embarrasses me and the riff/lead in the verses gets annoying REALLY quickly. Devour is the best song followed by Cry For Help, The Crow and the Butterfly and CSTS.

Also is it just me or do the songs on this album come in pairs? Second Chance and If You Only Knew are pretty much the exact same song. What A Shame and Breaking Inside are the same tempo and have the same Nickelback-y polish to them. CSTS and SWAG are a little too similar as well. Devour and Cry For Help aren't that close but they both take on the fast aggressive rocker role. The only tracks that don't remind me of another song on the CD are Call Me (which is not actually good), the title track and Crow and the Butterfly.

core2extremist
July 14th 2008


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I completely agree with you about the title track. I didn't like it the first time I listened to it, but now I can't get it out of my head. Kinda sucks because now I keep walking around singing "I created the sound of madness..." and people look at me weird. Finally, a song that is 100% good lyrics



I was pretty neutral towards most of the album, giving it average, but this album's highlights raise it up to a 4. Wasn't a fan of Cyanide, Sin with a Grin, or Cry for Help - fluff tracks compared to what Shinedown has now proved itself capable of. I love the three ballads, Devour and Sound of Madness.



I hereby command you all to buy this album.

foreverendeared
July 14th 2008


14677 Comments


I hereby command you all to buy this album.

how bout..... no

CreamCrazy
July 28th 2008


731 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This album is a contender for my Album of 2008, & a strong one. There is nothing wrong with this album, musically & lyrically it's perfect. It's on par with their previous album Us & Them for me, but it's the heaviness of this that gives it the edge over their previous effort. The Crow & The Butterfly is an epic ballad, better than my favourite Shinedown song I Dare You, a song which I always thought was their ultimate ballady song. This is one of the best Hard Rock albums I've heard, & this band can only get better



beans
July 29th 2008


2328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is definitely not a 5



but Call Me is an amazing song

jingledeath
April 21st 2009


7101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

had to bump this, all the songs are so damn goood



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