May 3, 2006
Entertainment Weekly (online)
With Godsmack IV Boston’s finest are back with a scorching return to the hard charge that made them so wildly popular. Instantly recognizable diamond-in-the-rough harmonies and throaty vocals melted over heavy guitars and tribal drums thrust the songs on Godsmack IV out of the stereo and into your face.
“Speak,” the first song released off Godsmack IV is already the band’s 5th #1 Active Rock single. The fourth studio album from the hardworking multi-platinum rock band, Godsmack IV is poised to captivate listeners on the merit of the Godsmack sound its fans have come to cherish and the evolution of the band as it explores a more roots-driven hard rock. The first full-length album in three years, Godsmack IV is a muscular collection of songs which showcase the power and vision of the band.
Recorded at Spiral Recording Studio in Los Angeles, Godsmack IV was produced by vocalist Sully Erna and engineered with the legendary Andy Johns (who also engineered Led Zeppelin IV and such classics as the Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street). The diversity of the richly textured songs, both electric and acoustic demonstrates the strength of the songwriting and the depth of the performances: hallmark of Godsmack which has earned the band four Grammy nominations and 13 Top Ten rock hits.
Vocalist Sully Erna puts it this way: “I believe our songwriting has matured to where we’re creating as a whole, we’re more defined. I let go of the steering wheel a bit, allowing the band control over the writing. With me stepping away to get an outside view, I came up with lyrics for what I viewed as almost another group entirely. It’s a lot more rootsy than the metal edge we’re used to playing.”
Songs like the first single, “Speak,” “Shine Down” and “Hollow” cleverly capture Erna’s attitude and maturity as a lyricist. Exploring themes of loneliness, alienation, hope and spirituality amidst the density of the group’s music, Erna emerges resolute in his passionate vocals while offering occasional glimpses into his psyche. “Living In Sin” and “The Enemy” explores the theme of infidelity. The paths to truth, says Erna, “(is) what this record was about.”
The performances on Godsmack IV are as strong as they have ever been because of the epic rhythm section of Shannon Larkin and Robbie Merrill and the smoldering guitar of Tony Rombola. Rombola’s riffs are heavy and contagious while Larkin seems hell-bent on destroying his kit, as evidenced by his awesome power throughout and notably on songs like “Speak” and “Temptation.”
Among the many highlights on Godsmack IV is the haunting ballad “Hollow.” Instantly unforgettable and a complete departure for Godsmack. It doesn’t take the golden ears of a disc jockey to know that with “Hollow” Godsmack is sitting on a monster. Featuring backing vocals from Lisa Guyer, (a friend of the band), and a beautiful orchestration of acoustic guitars, mandolin strings and cello, the band is at its most poignant and Erna, especially, his most evocative. “It’s simple, with feeling and emotion,” says Sully. “It’s the piece that was necessary to make the record feel whole, to give it both sides of the Godsmack ying and yang.”
With Godsmack IV, Godsmack is at its apex and seemingly without peer, though the members remain humble and straightforward in their devotion to their music. As Sully Erna sums it up, “We’re a basic hard-rock outfit that takes a lot of pride in the grooves we create.”
Godsmack IV is deftly woven tapestry which features the band at is best: elegant, angry, melodic and aggressive. Given this gift for such diversity and songwriting excellence it is no wonder that Godsmack remains the preeminent force in hard rock today.
Boston based rockers, GODSMACK, debuted on the music scene in 1998 and hasn’t stopped since. Truly a touring band, GODSMACK has been a regular at Ozzfest, was part of the Woodstock ’99 concert, and in addition to headlining their own stadium tours, most recently shared the stage with Metallica.
Rolling Stone Magazine
describes GODSMACK as “hard as nails and cranked to eleven,”
while Alternative Press praised the band for its “churning,
riff-driven hybrid of all that is heavy, past and present.”
Four #1 Active Rock singles
And, a record-breaking 13
Top 10 Active Rock singles. More than any other Active Rock artist!
THE SCORPIAN KING