@planetmosh reviews 1000HP by .@Godsmack_Music out on .@SpinefarmUK Sept 1st
It’s felt like four long years for me waiting on the new Godsmack album to arrive. It’s even more painful living in the hope that one day they may well do more than just a one stop London gig (but that’s a rant for another time). Godsmack for the past ten plus years have been one of my favourite bands and a staple on every kind of medium I listen to music on. I remember listening to them for the very first time on winamp radio around 2001 and was blown away by Awake. Thirteen years on and they’re back with their sixth full studio album.
1000hp is Godsmack doing pretty damn much what Godsmack do best and picks up exactly where The Oracle left off too. The title track lays down a marker that the ‘Smack are indeed back! It’s a huge, driving track that has all the hallmarks of a classic Godsmack tune. It’s no wonder the fans loved it to bits when it was released as the first single a few weeks back. FML by contrast calls to mind Mama from IV and Love-Sex-Hate-Pain from The Oracle, but still has that inimitable Godsmack drive, while Something Different to me sounds like a nailed on follow up single in the way it soars from start to finish.
What’s Next and Generation Day call to mind some of heavier sounds from the likes of Awake and Faceless but still maintain a rockier edge, Generation Day in particular has a huge middle section that just keeps building and building before hitting us with its fist pumping chorus. I think these days Godsmack tend to sail closer to a heavy rock style than the more metal drive of those earlier albums right enough and I think that’s also one of the reasons they have grown in stature and success as the years go by.
But then again, you think you know the way an album is heading and right after writing the statement above about rock, Godsmack come back and kick me right in the stones with the Metallica-esque Locked & Loaded. In particular the point where Sully snarls, “you seem to underestimate who I am”, feels like they’ve just given me a huge two fingered rebuke to my listening expectations! This is more like the original Godsmack I fell in love with back in the early 2000s. I said Generation Day was huge? Screw that, this is fucking chin metal at its best. You know what I mean? The moment a song hits you and you stand arms folded, mouth downturned and nod from the chin in absolute appreciation. Favourite track on this album by a goddamn country mile. I always, always, ALWAYS have one particular song in a Godsmack album that stands out for me. Locked & Loaded is that one on 1000hp.
Anyway, enough waxing lyrical about how awesome that track was, the second half of the album does indeed find the band leaning more towards the style of the earlier albums. Livin’ in the Gray and I Don’t Belong have wicked staccato riffs underneath those wonderfully gruff and soaring vocals of Sully Erna, before Nothing Comes Easy hits you with its slow-burning, pounding drive married to snapping riffs.
For years I’ve loved the way Godsmack seem to effortlessly tread that line between metal and heavy rock. They’re accessible but still have that 100% metal, kick-ass attitude and heavy riffage that can be pulled out at the drop of a hat.
Turning To Stone shows this to great effect with a real nod to Alice in Chains and elements of Voodoo Too from IV. It’s a fine mix of acoustic coupled with a real dirty grind. The final track, Life is Good, has a swinging sway to it reminiscent of Devil’s Swing (my stand out favourite track of The Oracle) but perhaps without quite as much pace. It feels like the bartender has rung the bell, final orders have been taken and the bar is closing after another successful night. While this patron of Godsmack would love to put in another order, for the moment my thirst for some new tunes has been sated with yet another brilliant release.
Just one final thing guys. Will you please go on tour outside of the US?
1000hp will be available internationally under Spinefarm Records on September 1st. You lucky folk in the US can get it already.
3. Something Different
4. What’s Next
5. Generation Day
6. Locked & Loaded
7. Livin’ in the Gray
8. I Don’t Belong
9. Nothing Comes Easy
10. Turning to Stone
11. Life is Good
Sully Erna – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, harmonica, drums, percussion
Tony Rombola – lead guitar, backing vocals
Robbie Merrill – bass guitar
Shannon Larkin – drums, percussion