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(426 Reviews)

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  • 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.

    Posted on December 14, 2009