Godsmack - When Legends Rise
Godsmack returns with their first new record since 2014's "1000Hp" which for me was lackluster aside from a couple of songs. After touring to support 1000Hp, the band took a break as frontman Sully Erna recorded his second solo record, "Hometown Life" and toured to support making a stop in Atlantic City with an exclusive WMGM show.
Godsmack burst onto the scene with their self titled debut in 1998, which to date is my favorite Godsmack record. Since then, they've made plenty of good songs but never have impressed me with a full record since. Godsmack is another one of those bands that impress me live more than on records. Having talked with drummer Shannon Larkin in March to congratulate Godsmack on their 2018 WMGM Mayhem win and liking the first single "Bulletproof", I was interested to listen to "When Legends Rise".
I always compared Godsmack to AC/DC. Not in stature in the rock world, but you pretty much know what you're gonna get with their records. Consistant, but if at their best you're not a fan, then all their records will pretty much fall flat for you. What I liked about Bulletproof immediately is it didn't sound like a typical Godsmack song. Sully is singing and harmonizing. The music catchy and melodic. Strip the guitar and you almost have a pop song. The record kicks off with the title track, the first single, "Unforgettable", & "Every Part of Me". All 4 are very melodic, which could leave old school Godsmack fans unimpressed. For me, it's a welcomed change. I'm a sucker for a good, melodic rock song. Nice to see the band take some chances on this record. You can definitely hear elements from Sully's last solo record bleeding into When Legends Rise, but not to worry plenty of Godsmack throughout the record. "Take It To The Edge", "Say My Name", and the closer "Eye of the Storm" are tried and true Godsmack. Another track that stands out for me is "Just One Time". Starts out on the poppier side with a rock guitar and then takes a turn and just rocks the F out. Definitely a stand out track for me. Let It Out is not your typical sounding Godsmack song, again grabs my ear. A couple of tracks in the middle of the record fell flat. The ballad "Under Your Scars" just doesn't work for me. Neither does the track that follows "Someday". Aside from those 2 tracks, Godsmack has delivered a solid rock record. Probably my favorite from them since their debut. Half of the record I really, really like. They deliver a handful of songs that longtime Godsmack fans will be drawn to, but for me I could take or leave. Not bad songs, just tends to blend together for me. Only 2 tracks I would skip.
Good to see Godsmack take some chances 20 years into a pretty solid career. It's a welcomed change in my opinion. The tracks that I really like are in the A catagory. Overall, I'd give it a solid B, leaning towards a B+. Check them out this summer on the road with Shinedown, Red Sun Rising, and Like A Storm. BB&T Pavilion on August 26th, which WMGM will have more freebies for in the near future!