1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2012
i heard second chance about six months before purchasing this album but didn't really look into shinedown as a band as I thought they'd be a rubbish band with one good song, anyway I'm the kind of person who buys a whole album for just one song so after six months when I was sitting on amazon trying to think what to buy I decided to buy sound of madness for second chance. I started by watching the dvd which opens with the official devour lyric video, then there's a few music videos, a few songs live from atlanta and ends with an interview which I think runs for roughly fifteen minutes, anyway when the DVD ended I knew it was going to be an amazing album based on the songs included in the DVD.
It wasn't till later in the day I actually listened to the album in full which opens up with devour which was the perfect opening song, really builds up the album, then theres sound of madness which is pretty heavy but not completely headbanging and crazy (I hate headbanging music where the singers scream and stuff), then second chance which I'd known for quite a while and so on and I really enjoyd this album which shows you shouldn't assume a band would be good or bad based on their name.
After realising how good the band is I checked their tour dates and they were playing in Scotland in like a week and a half and got tickets, it's kinda cool to find a band and be at one of their shows in less than two weeks and now I can't wait for Amaryllis.
This album has alot of emotion and you can feel it throughout the whole thing, to me the main highlight is the interview on the DVD when you really see where all the emotion comes from.
Top five songs would have to be 'Second Chance', 'Diamond Eyes', 'What A Shame', 'Call Me' and 'Devour'
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2012
I first became a Shinedown fan about six years ago, when "I Dare You" was in heavy rotation, and even made it as a single for numerous soundtracks and events. All it took was one listen of "Us and Them", and I was hooked. That particular album is phenomenally produced, and the band really shines (no pun intended).
Later on, I took home a copy of Sound of Madness, and it came across not only as a sonically great album, but also a very lyrically-inspired and a socially/politically conscious one. Shinedown really took a ferocious byte at the war in Iraq and all that came with it.
I had also heard a previously released live album, going back to the "45" and "Fly From the Inside" hits and now to the more current "Diamond Eyes" and they're really a rock band to be reckoned with.
And so, my expectations were really high upon becoming aware of this release. And though both performances (both acoustic and electric) are solid, I do have some pet peeves to contend with.
I've been a music fan for my whole life and have been a musician for 17 years, and if there's a band that, in my opinion, defines what an "unplugged" live performance should be, is Nirvana. Yes, the balls-to-the-wall post-punk/grunge trio from Seattle, WA (extinct since 1994 with the untimely passing of singer Kurt Cobain). They really exemplified what a hard rock act can morph itself into, when you get to the nitty-gritty of song writing and when you find the song's soul. Nirvana's former drummer (and Foo Fighters singer/guitar player Dave Grohl) is likely one of the hardest hitting drummers to ever hit the skins on a rock band, and yet he approached the "Unplugged in New York" performance with such finesse and lightness, you could hear a pin drop. You'd be hard-pressed to say it was the same drummer, unless you actually watched the DVD. More than any other instrument, drums really establish the mood and the tone for the song, and "get you".
Many more bands approached their acoustic performances with a light touch, but truth be told, the same can not really be said about Shinedown.
Barry Kerch, as great of a rock drummer as he is, didn't really nail the softness required for the acoustic performance. He just brought his Shinedown a-game to an acoustic set. The result? It doesn't really work. When guitarist Zach Myers is softly strumming the strings, it doesn't really fly when the drummer seems completely oblivious to what's going on around him.
Mind you, I already mentioned Barry as being a great drummer, which he is. He's just out of context in this particular scenario. And when particularly the drummer is out of context, the whole band sounds out of context. And that's really the ultimate result which makes me enjoy the acoustic performance to a certain point, but not to its fullest extent.
Another thing that semi-bothered me was Brent Smith's "preaching" so to speak. An amazing singer, and a charismatic storyteller in his own right. But when he starts throwing Dr. Martin Luther King into a song intro - which drew its modest share of "boos" and yawns - the event stops being about music, and starts being about politics.
Granted, the band portrays itself as being politically-conscious in Sound of Madness, but it just strikes me as a horrible thing - and an unnecessary risk - to put music and politics into the same pot, when your band isn't REALLY about politics (unlike rock legends Rage Against a Machine, for instance) and when YOUR audience just wants to have a good time and be entertained.
As for the electric set, I really enjoyed it, but again, there's room to grow. I don't think Shinedown, as a band, has found its perfect comfort zone yet, and despite it being populated with great musicians, it occasionally slips into a "what was that?" moment, which sometimes interrupt the flow of the musical moment.
But if there's a BIG pet peeve that I have is the editing of the electric performance DVD, which, unlike its acoustic sibling, really seems to target Shinedown fans as being unsophisticated and unaware, which I would argue that the majority of those fans are easily into their twenties and sometimes older. You'd think this type of audience would be treated with a little more respect (as ANY audience should be, by the way).
Editing-wise, it makes NO sense to me that the band comes in with a HUGE bang, and you don't even see a spark of an explosion. While, at other times, it's quite the opposite.
And it makes even LESS sense to me that on "Sound of Madness" the crowd is jumping to the beat of the music, while a second later, they're just sitting there, pumping their fists. I mean, what gives?? With "Making Of" releases being increasingly popular as DVD extras, and just generally from a concert-goers perspective, are we supposed to believe that this is a natural way for a crowd to behave in a show? Jump around one moment, sit around the next? Are we that ignorant that we couldn't possibly be aware that there is someone who tweaks/edits the footage for a video release?
That I really consider to be an insult, and I don't blame it on Shinedown, but on the production team their label selected to put the video together. (Mind you I am commenting on the RELEASE, not just the performances).
I could also do without the Korn-like graphics constantly on screen to enhance the show, and somehow make up for perceived faults on stage. I believe a solid performance is only captured, not tainted with, but that's just me.
So, as the title for this review goes, I do believe it's a good release, though I do contend with these pet peeves (which are entirely mine, and hence, subjective).
If it I have to sum it up for the soon-to-be/current Shinedown fan? Yes, PLEASE do yourself a favor and buy this. Despite these little annoyances, it really is a couple of shows that you will be watching again and again.
I certainly have.
on 20 July 2014
The Sound of Madness (Deluxe)
In my opinion Shinedown is by far the most underrated band around at the moment. I fell in love with these guys from the moment I heard ‘Second Chance’ for the first time over the radio. And now four years later I count them as my favourite band of all time, with ‘The Sound of Madness’ as my favourite album of all time. I cannot recommend this album enough for anyone who loves real music with meaningful lyrics and astounding guitar riffs. The current band line up are one of the most professional bands I have come across, which you can hear in their music and see in their live shows. I have seen them twice already and will never tire of attending any event or show they hold.
Before I go on I would just like to also recommend that you get your hands on the deluxe version of this album. I bought this for around £10 but even at £15 it’s well worth the extra content. I will talk about the extra songs a little later.
The DVD is made up of music videos for ‘Devour’ (a lyric based video as well as the standard music video), ‘Second Chance’, ‘Sound of Madness’, ‘If You Only Knew’, ‘The Crow & The Butterfly’ and ‘What A Shame’. You also have live videos for ‘Save Me’, ‘Devour’, ‘Call Me’, ‘Second Chance’ and ‘Sound of Madness’. And finally a brief but very interesting 15 minute interview with the current band covering the album and also looking into why the previous members left. The interview is well worth a watch just to get an insight into the individuals as well as some brief stories about how the album and songs were created.
This is currently (at time of writing) Shinedowns fourth studio album, having owned each of them I can say that this is still by far their best work to date. I’ll talk a little about some of my favourites from the album, but as an initial point every song on this album (apart from one) are absolutely amazing.
The first song on the album is ‘Devour’ and from the beginning with its brief drum intro and into the simple guitar riff and teasing build up, ‘Devour’ gets you pumped and ready for the rest of the album. And this is what every album should do. The very first song is essential to set the mood and grab the listeners attention from the start, the strength of the first song is generally what makes or breaks an album and ‘Devour’ does not disappoint. The verse is fast paced with good guitar riffs leading into a simple yet very catchy chorus.
This is followed by ‘Sound of Madness’ one of the strongest songs on the album. The guitar and drums here are amazing at pulling you into the song. You can’t help but find yourself wanting to crank up the volume up as loud as you can and singing along every time it comes on.
Then we move on to ‘Second Chance’, there’s not much I can say about this one as I’m guessing if you’re here reading this review you’ve already heard it. One of their most famous songs, and the song that got me into the band. Powerful lyrics and musical delivery throughout. If you ever listen to one song by Shinedown this should probably be it.
‘The Crow & The Butterfly’ is more of a ballad with an upbeat musical delivery along with a sad undertone to the lyrics. It’s a beautiful song and definitely a must to listen to. Also the guitar solo here is very melodic and adds interesting tones to the emotion of the song.
‘If You Only Knew’ is a little more of a soft rock song like the previous. It is a very pretty and emotional song especially when you learn the meaning behind it (watch the interview on the DVD). Over time this has grown on me and become one of my favourite songs from the album.
Moving on to the deluxe extra songs. ‘I Own You’ ‘The Energy’, ‘Son of Sam’ and ‘Junkies for Fame’ are quite strong additions and possibly worth an extra £2-£3 of added value. I wouldn't say they are the strongest of Shinedowns songs but definitely worth a listen. The acoustic version of ‘Second Chance’ is a nice addition. Personally I’d have preferred it without the orchestra but it’s still enjoyable.
Here you also get a different take on two songs; ‘Breaking Inside’ here has the added vocals of Lzzy Hale from Halestorm which is now my preferred way of listening to this song. It’s a little reminiscent of Amy Lee and Seether with ‘Broken’. The other is a remix of ‘The Crow & The Butterfly’. Personally I find remixes of songs on albums unnecessary and this is no exception, it’s totally out of place and horrible to listen to. This track now gets skipped every single time I listen to the album.
‘Her Name is Alice’ is one of the highlights of the deluxe version. Written for the Tim Burton version of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ it’s a nice lyrical take on the story and adds an overall darker tone to it. The brief beginning and ending talking snippets always give me goose bumps.
Finally we get to my #1 all-time favourite song of all time. ‘Diamond Eyes’. By far this is the most amazing song on the album, the music is phenomenal the lyrics are solid and the delivery is flawless. It’s a great song for getting you up when you’re down and oozes energy and positivity. This was written for the film ‘The Expendables’ but was cut from the theatrical release. If you love the film definitely get your hands on the extended version where this is added into the escape scene near the end of the films and adds so much more energy to it.
I hope I haven’t taken up too much of your time and that this review has helped you in some way to make a decision on this album. Everyone has different tastes and it’s not for everyone but if you love some catchy riffs and solid, meaningful lyrics written and performed by some very talented people I cannot recommend these guys enough.