Okay, so this may not be an, and I quote, “original” piece of work, but it’s still really cool. Sully Erna has a great voice, managing to growl somewhat like James Hetfield (like on “Keep Away”) and moan like Layne Staley (like on the enigmatic but catchy “Voodoo”). Yeah, this album’s good and heavy, but the lyrics could be more far-reaching. But hey, I don’t really mind. It’s a good “attitude” CD, and I just love to imagine screaming those words to the people I hate when listening to this CD. “Keep Away” is, by far, the best song on here, although “Whatever” and “Moon Baby” are probably the runners-up. My only complaint is that that little media thing at the beginning of “Moon Baby” is quite obviously a rip-off of White Zombie, but oh well, it’s still cool. Oh, and there really doesn’t need to be an explicit lyrics label, I have CD’s with worse language that don’t have it. Yeah, nothing bad here, so “do like I told you” and check out this CD. It really rocks.
In a post-Seattle Sound rock world, there’s still a hunger for music that’s dark, dirgelike, and heavy. And the void left by Soundgarden and company is being filled by a spate of bands, including Boston’s Godsmack, who even nicked their name from an Alice in Chains song. Like Creed and Days of the New, Godsmack are raging and disenfranchised, as singer Sully Erna’s lyrics illustrate: ”I am in a living hell / Makes me wonder if I’m alive” or ”You’re pathetic in your own way / I don’t like you anyway.” Though the territory being mined isn’t new, Godsmack’s grungy grooves, potent energy, and strong hooks are irresistible. With a dash of Tool and a smattering of Filter seeping through, Godsmack are on the money, especially on ”Whatever,” the tantalizing ”Get Up, Get Out!,” and the strident and syncopated ”Bad Religion,” on which Erna puts one in mind of James Hetfield. While Godsmack’s approach may not be fresh, the foursome’s strong songs and powerful energy are still intensely tasty–especially for those with a taste for songs on the sober–but never staid–side. –Katherine Turman
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Don’t get the 3-star rating wrong; I do like this album. But Ihave to criticize the simplicityand redundancy of the music and lyrics. The theme throughout is pretty much “I don’t like you–stay away from me,” and we hear it time and time again. A far cry from Alice In Chains, to be sure. But…That doesn’t mean this album isn’t worth your dime. The drum work is pretty good. As for the guitar handling, well, I can only advise that you don’t listen to Randy Rhoads within 12 hours of listening to this album. The guitar playing is simplistic, but it does at least move the songs along.If you like the in-your-face guitar sound, and you tend to get, well… disgusted with some of the people around you, you may very well enjoy this album.
Godsmack are an awesome band, but they somehow picked up a reputation of being Alice In Chains wannabes. I do detect an AIC influence, but there is an equal influence from bands like Metallica, Tool, and White Zombie in their sound. However, they have the ability to take their influences and create an aggressive, energetic sound all their own.Frontman Sully Erna’s vocals are often very intense and confrontational, which sets them apart from their influences. Many of the songs seem to express anger toward someone, possibly an ex-girlfriend, with the resolution often being telling them to “go away”. They do this in many of their songs, which might annoy some people, but I personally find it to be stress relieving. Tony’s innovative guitar work (he actually can play lead, which many popular rock bands nowadays are not capable of doing) and the well oiled rhythm machine compliment the vocals and awesome songwriting perfectly. The best songs on the album (good to crank up when you’re in a bad mood) are “Whatever”, “Keep Away”, “Time Bomb”, “Bad Religion”, and “Get Up, Get Out”. Highly recommended if you are tired of all the trendy rock that permeates the airwaves.
Yes it’s true that Godsmack’s influence spectrum is vast, but this foursome probably listened to these influential greats (Metallica, Alice in chains etc.) and created their own bigger and better sound to become gods of their own rage-energetic realm. This sound is alive. Not even to talk about Sully’s well balanced voice seamlessly integrating with Tony’s aggressive and rhythm-hungry six stringer. Their lyrics adds a further spark to the already rock solid sound. This CD has attitude written all over it. Sully, Robbie, Tony and Tommy…we salute you.
Godsmack’s self-titled debut album from 1998 packs an aggressive set of one dozen emotionally dark songs, whose mournful lyrics sung by the groups powerful vocalist Sully Erna are very expressive. Reminiscent of heavy metal favorite Metallica and grunge bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden and ‘Alice in Chains’, Godsmack has combined several styles to produce a very unique sound of their own. Formed in 1995 in Boston, Sully Erna (who is a practicing Wiccan) along with with guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill and drummer Tommy Stewart first received notice when people began listening to Godsmack’s single “Whatever”. Popularity grew with songs such as “Keep Away” and “Voodoo”. My ratings for each song (out of 5 stars) are listed below:1. “Moon Baby” (5+). Starts softly, but suddenly awakens to powerful guitar and bass, as well as Sully’s dark vocals. Guitar aggressiveness later grows, as well as harmonized vocals.2. “Whatever” (5+). Fast-paced, very aggresive guitar and potent percussion mix with powerful & melodic vocals.3. “Keep Away” (5). Intense guitar takes center stage with the lyrics about wanting an exlover to stay away and features a guitar solo.4. “Time Bomb” (5). Aggressive vocals backed by aggressive guitar and percussion take center stage in this song which also features occassional silent or near-silent breaks.5. “Bad Religion” (4.5). Grungy song marked by aggressively plucked guitar & bass, as well as strong pitch changes.6. “Immune” (4). Slower song that begins with a spoken sample before being swallowed by Sully’s very grungy voice. Aggressive guitar comes through in the middle followed by a brief instrumental interlude. Good guitar riffs towards the latter part of the song.7. “Someone in London” (3.5). Slow, but very dark instrumental marked by strong bass and base drum. Sound effects include lightly heard screams before leading into the next song.8. “Get Up, Get Out!” (4). Faster tempo and aggressively riffed guitar back Sully’s aggressive vocals. Somewhat repetivite.9. “Now or Never” (3). Song begins softly but quickly crescendos instrumentally with aggressive guitar and percussion before the dark vocals begin. Not a particularly engaging song as it is somewhat long and monotonic.10. “Stress” (4). Faster and less dark song than the previous track. More engaging guitar and lyrics including a lengthy scream from Sully.11. “Situation” (4.5). Song begins with sounds reminiscent of a squeaky wheel, but is quickly taken over by aggressive guitar and bass with Sully’s wailful vocals. Good guitar riffs and solo.12. “Voodoo” (5+). One of the best songs on the album, starting with Sully’s funereal melodic vocals followed by strong percussion and bass with guitar in the background. Though the song itself is 4:40 minutes long, the track continues for another 4+ minutes of silence and lightly played percussion.Overall, I rate Godsmack’s self-titled debut album with 4 out of 5 stars. It’s powerfully dark music can be listened to repeatedly without becoming tiresome. I highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys grunge or dark rock.