No Regrets, Dope’s fifth studio release, marks a decade since the band released their debut, Felons & Revolutionaries. They’re one of the few bands classified as “nu metal” that I’ve been proud to diligently follow all these years. While most bands of the genre are popular, mainstream, and full of teenage angst, Dope really aren’t any of these things. It’s a shame they aren’t as popular as they could be, for they haven’t strayed from the sound which makes them who they are… unlike a lot of other artists who have altered their’s in the same ten-year span. If you don’t want changes from album to album, Dope are your men.
Disclaimer: No Regrets may contradict aforementioned statement as it’s more intense than ever before.
I remember anxiously awaiting the release of this album, only to be frustrated with delay. Any potential release date may have strictly been rumored, but held my breath I did. Having a taste of the “Violence” snippet long ago had me itching for more. Now several months later, No Regrets has been unleashed. Excited bias aside, this is the most intensity I’ve heard from the Chicago rockers. If they’re looking for their dark side, they’ve certainly found it, and were actually on the right track with their last album, American Apathy. Upon its release four years ago, I wondered if the darkness and energy would heighten and carry over to the next album (and would later wonder if there would even be another), and here we are.
The first single is “Addiction” which features a guitar solo from legendary shredder Zakk Wylde. Dope and Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society performed together some time ago, so that likely led to the camaraderie. It’s actually a fairly cookie-cutter song for the band’s standards, but with Wylde’s solo in the mix the song is instantly better. “No Regrets” and “Violence” are more of the same – they exemplify the sound you’d expect. For a darker change of pace, “My Funeral” and “Dirty World” are mirthless about being alone, fading to black, addiction, and aren’t that full of adrenaline.
At an even more extreme change of pace, songs like “6 6 Sick,” “We Are,” and “Scorn” take the album up a notch with squealing guitars, pounding rhythm, and Edsel Dope’s relentless and vigorous vocals. This all comes as a welcomed gesture for those wanting Dope to get out of the “nu metal” rut and into the darker world of metal. Overall, No Regrets is like that unrestrained, vicious Doberman bearing its teeth. Don’t be afraid now.