Godsmack - 1000hp (2014)
Reviewed by Sebastian Kluth
Godsmack is one of the few hard rock-infused American nu metal bands that is still alive and well more than one and a half decades after its convincing self-titled debut release. While bands like Alter Bridge and Staind are long forgotten, formations like Limp Bizkit or Puddle of Mudd are only on the news for negative things, and groups like Korn and Linkin Park reinvent themselves in more or (usually) less convincing manners on every new album, Godsmack hasn’t changed its original approach, but sounds still fresh and regularly hits the charts. 1000hp is probably the band’s strongest offering since Faceless, eleven years earlier, which included anthems like “Straight Out Of Line”, “I Stand Alone”, “Re-Align”, and “Serenity”: a group of tunes that any rock and metal fan should know.
The record opens with a bang in the form of title track and first single “1000hp”. Motor sounds lead to an aggressive, dirty, and dry sound dominated by crunching riffs and Sully Erna’s charismatic vocals that effectively mix anger and melody in equal parts. The whole thing is crowned by a fist-pumping and liberating chorus. The record includes more anthemic mid- to up-tempo outbursts of energy such as the angry, grooving, and modern “FML”, which includes bad boy charisma, slice of life passages, and quite a lot of swear words.
Godsmack also offers a few darker and longer mid-tempo tracks with a few surprising elements. “Generation Day” is among the greatest songs on this release. It opens with weird sound effects before great riffs kick off and lead to an energizing song that still has a few calmer parts in the form of hypnotizing vocals and occasional acoustic guitar passages. “Nothing Comes Easy” also comes along as a slower and more depressing tune with depth and an intriguing story that goes back to the early atmospheric neo-grunge style of the band.
On the other side, Godsmack also shows from time to time that it can write more accessible tunes. “Something Different” should be the next single, as it convinces with simplistic but effective guitar lines and mantra-like verses that create an almost hypnotic atmosphere. This song got stuck in my head after the very first time I heard it. The bonus track “Life Is Good!” is a cool mid-tempo rocker with weird guitar tones that sound like somebody is puking, a short percussion fill in the middle, and occasional party sound samples. This track is just cool, and if you can grab the limited Best Buy edition of the album, you should definitely do so. If I was the band, I would have put this anthem on the regular editions and chosen it as a third single.
After all this time, Godsmack still sounds juvenile, yet fresh, without reinventing itself. The quartet doesn’t need to because its mixture of cool hard rock and heavy metal anthems, more experimental and longer tracks, and a few joyful rock tunes here and there still sounds authentic, catchy, and energizing in the year 2014. Faithful fans will grab this release anyway, but if you liked the band in the past but lost track of it, this is the perfect occasion to get back in touch with the band and to have some fun.
3.75 // 5