Creating a new sound is the most difficult thing for any band to do, especially in an era where much of the music sounds very similar. Godsmack’s approach has been somewhat different. They take their influences and throw them right at you with a barrage of thick riffs and varied vocals that sound like many other bands out there; unfortunately for those other bands, they can’t pull a groove together like Godsmack can. The first single, “Whatever”, is an anthem for the broken-hearted as leadman Sully soulfully sings about time lost because of a former love. The rest of the album follows in that sort of manner, with Sully singing about wasted time and anger over the past. “Time Bomb” and “Get Up, Get Out” hold strong grooves, but offer more than just heaviness. The choruses are toned down instead of wailing as heavily as possible.
With the latest trend being in heavy music, Godsmack still stands out among the worthy. They produce an aura around their music that is angry, but it doesn’t rely on that feeling to maintain continuity throughout. The instrumental segue “Someone in London” is smooth and somewhat trippy, leaning toward a psychedelic sound that is present in most of the songs, usually layered under the toning riffs that envelope the disc. The last track, “Voodoo”, has Sully singing about the cult film classic “The Serpent and the Rainbow”, a movie based on the Wiccan practice. It may be a form of witchcraft, but it is far from the clich. Sully believes that this practice is what keeps him in line with the earth, as well as with himself. Regardless, Godsmack is a talented bunch with great ideas, but only the future will say whether or not these guys are for real. Right now they’re heading for stardom. We’ll just have to wait and see how they take it.
+ rick hinkson