Shinedown
Amaryllis

2012, Roadrunner Records
Hard Rock

Review by Eleonora Muzzi - Publish on: 05/05/12

Four years since the release of "The Sound Of Madness", the album that shoot them straight to the international audience, here comes a new Shinedown album, the fourth to be precise. Described by  frontman Brent Smith as the culmination of the artistic and musical journey of the band up to now, the consecration of their sound, and probably their best album, "Amaryllis" is actually a concrete and passionate effort, one which really enables the listener to enjoy the music and think a little, thanks to the skillful blending of a rock-solid heavy sound and lyrics that carry a very precise message. But let's find this out together.

"Amaryllis" is a classic grunge-soaked hard rock album – even though we might say that a bunch of US bands have been exporting this genre for the past twenty years, that does not simply make it a recycle of old sounds; indeed, Shinedown got possession of the very same sound and customized it over the years. The result is an album that drops pure adrenaline on the pentagram: since the opener, carefully named "Adrenaline", the twelve songs on the album unleash pure energy – all of them, if performed live, might cause more than a stiff neck and bruises here and there among the crowd. Even songs like the aforementioned "Adrenaline", "Bully" or "Enemies” invite you to move somehow, most of all the latter, with one of the heaviest riffs of the whole thing that transmits energy with every second that passes. A song a bit different from the rest is "Unity", which acquires a completely different dimension thanks to an excellent arrangement of strings in the background, and expands into a unique mix that makes it a very emotional track. On the same waves we can find "Through The Ghost", which closes the album in a more than egregious way with its calm pace, the guitar arpeggio and percussion reduced to the sound of the timpani drum: thus, the listener is led to relax just enough so that he can rewind the CD and start again from the beginning with adrenaline running like a river.

For sure, "Amaryllis” is a well-made album, it has its canonical and usual ups&downs just like songs as "Miracle” and "I'll Follow You" that, while not exactly weak or bad songs, are two slow-paced tracks placed right after a long list of heavier and followed by two more than energic songs (the difference is so clear that it may be perceived as annoying, because the different sound can confuse a little). A different position in the tracklist would have definitely avoided this problem , but it us such a tiny flaw that it means little to nothing for the overall success of the album.

In conclusion, Shinedown makes a homerun and wins the game with a definitely above average album, with a lot of aces to play live and all the energy of rock 'n roll. We don't have much else to say except that we're eager to see them on stage!



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