Since releasing their debut Awake in 1998, Godsmack have made their way into the nu-metal scene effectively, staying afloat with successful release after release. It’s been four years since the New Englander’s released 1000hp but frontman, Sully Erna stayed prevalent on the airwaves with his live and studio solo albums released respectively.
As we approach mid-year, Erna and company want to start new— with their seventh studio album, When Legends Rise.
It’s not that they are starting completely new, per se but Godsmack are with a new label (BMG) and have approached a territory that a band with a 20 plus year career should adopt.
Erna has explained that this album was a chance to expand as songwriters and develop a new sound while still staying true to the Godsmack sound.
When Legends Rise starts off with the self-titled track. It’s a heavy ridden anthemic tune that features a deep percussion and sets the pace for what’s to come. “Bulletproof” which was released as the first single in February is presented with smooth verses appeasing to a more mainstream vibe. It still carries that metal grit but it’s a more vibrant tune than previous Godsmack singles—even the video is fun.
But they begin to transcend into heavier territories in ‘Unforgettable’ with the familiar chugging riffs and ‘Every Part of Me’ which still has the very memorable chorus like the songs prior. Erna really seems to soar vocally in the track that follows: ‘Take It to the Edge.’ The three-minute tune demonstrates Erna’s clean vocal range that follows the melody that supports it emotionally and technically.
The foursome found their ‘November Rain’ track with ‘Under Your Scars.’ The piano ballad is layered with strings that are kept alive with the glistening of the drums and guitars but the song rises as it resonates to the melodramatic theme.
Tony Rombola reigns as axeman in ‘Say My Name.’ From beginning to end, is hard to not really get into the groove that he provides. The melody is one of the catchiest in the album—a definite crowd pleaser.
Fans that are looking forward to some head banging will fall in love with ‘Let It Out.’ The intertwining riffs between the rhythm and lead guitars by Erna and Rombola are a treat. Shannon Larkin’s drums here are key—they lay out a foundation that will please old fans but capture new fan’s attention with its endearing beat.
Ending with ‘Eye of the Storm’ is important because it’s a song that will make a listener realize that Godsmack has entered new territory but isn’t afraid to bring back their old influences into new material. It sounds like a typical Godsmack song but in a modern way.
Godsmack reintroduced themselves with When Legends Rise. They brought their A-game and delivered a clean, heavy yet groovy album that we all should be rocking in our summer playlists.