Every great band releases an album at some point in their career that solidifies themselves as one of the greatest in the history of rock music. For the band Shinedown, consisting of lead singer Brent Smith, lead guitarist Zach Myers, bassist Eric Bass and drummer Barry Kerch, it was their 2008 album “The Sound of Madness.” The album was an instant success selling 50,000 copies in its first week of being released. From there the album helped the band’s success grow with the song “Second Chance” becoming a multi-platinum single as well as “If You Only Knew” which became a Gold single. Then what proved the album to be the band’s greatest was in 2010 when it became Platinum certified by RIAA for selling over a million copies.
With the success of “The Sound of Madness” there was a lot of pressure on Shinedown to return with an album that could continue its success. They took a couple years off from releasing and performing any music, but the wait was well worth it. Their newest album “Amaryllis” not only matches the kind of music produced on “The Sound of Madness” but exceeds it.
“Amaryllis,” produced by Rob Cavallo (who signed and produced Green Day), provides the traditional Shinedown sound, but with a new sense of style. The band has improved lyrically and instrumentally creating a wider range of style that will leave their traditional fans satisfied and instantly grab the attention of the people just finding out about Shinedown.
The album provides the same range of songs on “The Sound of Madness.” There are the fast-tempo, hard rock songs with “Adrenaline” and “Enemies,” as well as the slower paced and lighthearted songs with “Amaryllis,” “I’ll Follow You” and “Through the Ghost.” “Bully” and “Unity,” like every song on the album, were written with a meaning behind it, as well as the song “Second Chance,” provide powerful lyrics that many people will be able to relate to.
Smith, who wrote all of the songs on the album, has matured in his lyric writing since the band’s first album “Leave a Whisper.” In earlier years, Smith battled a drug addiction which was reflected in songs like “45” and “Save Me.” But after being sober since 2008, Shinedown’s musical tone has been produced less somber and more upbeat, which is prominent on “Amaryllis.” Songs like “Bully,” “Enemies,” “I’m Not Alright” and “Through the Ghost” might sound like songs with a mellow tone and mood, but have the same upbeat sound as the album’s strongest song “Unity.” “I’m Not Alright” is also the album’s most upbeat song with cheerful vocals and the addition of trumpets.
Guitarist Myers and drummer Kerch have admitted that they still take lessons for their instruments to continue to improve their skills. So with “Amaryllis” only being the band’s fourth album goes to show the level of potential Shinedown has and is able to grow upon with future. The compilation’s first single “Bully” has already peaked at No. 1 on the “U.S. Mainstream Rock Songs Billboard” and with “Unity” being the second single released, should prove to match that. With a one-hit-album and “Amaryllis” on the tracks to surpass the last one, Shinedown is well on their way to becoming a household name.
-Published in The Oswegonian