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07/04/2012 Shinedown - Amaryllis review 21/06/2008 Shinedown The Sound of Madness on Myspace
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|Shinedown - Amaryllis review|
|07-04-2012 14:11 | 0 comment(s)|
| "Fly from the Inside", "Burning Bright", "45″, "Simple Man", "Heroes", "Save Me", I Dare You", "Devour", "Sound Of Madness", "Second Chance", "The Crow & The Butterfly", "If You Only Knew"; do any of these ring a bell? If not, I (and most everybody else) would like to know what rock you've been hiding under for nearly the past decade. For almost ten years, Shinedown has captured the very heart and soul of listeners all across the globe. In just three albums the band has spawned twelve hit singles, a slew of number ones and has sold over six million albums worldwide. So for fans, welcome back. If this is your first introduction to these guys, then crawl on out, dust yourself off, let the bright yellow orb in the sky hit your face and grab a pair of headphones because you're about to be introduced to one of the most complete and infectious rock bands on the planet.
Back in 2003, not long after they had released their dark and primitive debut Leave A Whisper, I got my first taste of Shinedown when a band I was in got the chance to play numerous shows with the Florida natives. Although I found the album to be a little rough around the edges, I saw a band with great promise and nothing but potential. Two years later, Shinedown dropped Us And Them. I have to be honest; minus maybe a handful of tracks, I hated this record. To me, it felt completely rushed and entirely thrown together. After countless spins I began to ask myself, "Could this be the last time we hear from these guys?". Thankfully in 2008, Shinedown answered that question and so many more with The Sound Of Madness. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, The Sound Of Madness featured eleven tracks of gritty awesomeness that spread around the globe like a harmonious plague. It has been four years since that atom bomb dropped and the band is here to clean up the leftovers with their latest endeavor Amaryllis.
Just like with TSOM, Shinedown chose to once again work with producer extraordinaire Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Kid Rock, Goo Goo Dolls, Paramore, etc.). In my opinion, this wasn't just good idea. No, it was a great idea. Having a solid producer in your corner is one thing, but having one you're comfortable and have had huge success with is a whole other set of circumstances. From top to bottom and front to back, Amaryllis sounds absolutely amazing. I did, however, find that this album doesn't seem to have quite the bite (especially guitar wise) found on their previous releases (most notably TSOM). So, for those who are just looking for the musical sequel to The Sound Of Madness, you may be slightly disappointed with the album's overall attacking nature. As for newcomers, this most likely won't be an issue at all.
Consisting of twelve new tracks, Amaryllis is easily digestible and very listenable from start to finish. Ranging from audacious, fiery and energy-filled fist pumpers, to big, bold and beautiful power ballads, every minuscule inch of the rock genre's stratosphere has been covered superbly and to great lengths. Tracks like "Adrenaline", "Bully", "Enemies", "Nowhere Kids", etc. bring the beef and brawn, while others such as "Amaryllis", "Unity", "Miracle", the Elton-John-on-steroids-eque "I'll Follow You Down" and "Through The Ghost" bring great elegance and beauty.
Another thing that Shinedown has mastered (especially over these last two albums) is the innate ability to take on heavy subject matter, yet still make the songs ridiculously contagious and enjoyable. The band's messages of encouragement, inspiration, determination, perseverance and empowerment are loud and overwhelmingly clear, especially this time around.
Picking right up where The Sound Of Madness left off, Amaryllis sees Shinedown open the next chapter in the their rather distinguished career. It's obvious that they have their sights firmly set on continuing their quest for total rock domination. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see and hear what's next.
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