Album Rank: Godsmack

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Over the last couple weeks I’ve been in a nostalgic mood. I’ve gone back and listened to a lot of albums from the early 2000’s. One of the bands that I went back to is Godsmack. They seem to always get the shaft from people. Sure their name is from an Alice In Chains song and yes the lyrics are silly at times, but you can’t neglect the pure hard rock that they put out. So with all that in mind here is an album rank of their catalog from not the best to their best. On a side note, when they got Shannon Larkin in the band behind the drums, it changed them for the best!!

 

The Oracle:

 

The Other Side:

 

Faceless:

 

1000 HP:

 

IV:

Godsmack:

 
Awake:

4 comments

    1. IV and 1000HP are stellar in their catalog. The Oracle was so meh at best. The Other Side has a couple moments but it tries too hard to be an Alice In Chains acoustic EP

      1. Here’s my discography ranking/retrospective that I posted on Facebook and Instagram:

        August 6, 2014 was when Boston mayor Marty Walsh declared it Godsmack Day, which also commemorated the band’s sixth studio sizing ‘1000hp’. While not in the top 1% of eternally iconic bands of the same genre; they’ve made quite a name for themselves with their blending of Post-Grunge, classic Metal, Hard Rock and sporadic Blues sympathies; plus there’s Sully Erna’s distinctive dragon esque vocals. How do their albums fare?

        8. The Other Side (2004): Their acoustic EP which came off the heels of ‘Faceless’ offers splendidly restrained versions of ‘Keep Away’, and ‘Awake’ in the form of Asleep- with its effectively creepy sound effects and haunted house atmosphere. One of two new tracks is ‘Touche’, which sports a terrific Middle-Eastern vibe and co-lead vocals from John Kosco even if a bit shallow on the lyrics. What’s aforementioned here helps to compensate for ‘Running Blind’, their worst track to date with its cringey dime store lyrics. All in all, a listenable companion to their discography though not much of overt importance.

        7. The Oracle (2010): Similar to ‘Awake’, one of their more synonymous releases kicked off a new decade. There’s legitimate reasons as to why, with its harder than ever instrumentation and promoted-as hell single ‘Cryin’ Like a Bitch’- a potent diss track at both Nikki Sixx of the overwrought Motley Crue and Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers. Even better are the standouts- War and Peace, Saints and Sinners plus Love-Hate-Sex-Pain. While they’re certainly true to their roots, The Oracle is also a less cohesive, more meatheaded collage that has better individual tracks than replayability as a whole.

        6. When Legends Rise (2018): Many music fans who have open minds are no stranger to radical reinvention as the industry is forced to change with their times, and or when an artist/outfit seeks to branch out. Godsmack have done that before, but took a step further with their 2018 outing to somewhat mixed but effective results. There’s certainly a more friendly and at times poppy atmosphere to most tracks that can be off-kilter if compared to a lot of their past efforts, but that’s somewhat irrelevant. What can be endorsed though is the production value behind tracks like ‘Unforgettable’ and its subsequent music video, ‘Let It Out’, ‘Every Part of Me’, ‘Bulletproof’ and the best of them all- ‘Under Your Scars’. Its evocation of Queen, truthful surface and hard-hitting guitar solo are all riveting. We’ll see if they keep their word of wanting to steer away from their “vintage classic Godsmack”, but ‘When Legends Rise’ is truly a commendable march in the right direction.

        5. Awake (2000): Their second album that was released at the right time during or close to the heyday of Nu Metal, effectively avoided the sophomore slump with it pushing harder with and varying up the instrumentation from their debut. The title track deservedly sits among their best singles of all.

        4. Faceless (2003): What’s often considered to be in their numero uno has some going for it, even with it already being stapled with ‘I Stand Alone’ from The Scorpion King soundtrack from 2002, a crowd-pleaser of a single. Bizarre enough is that amongst the filler and repetitive themes are some of their best to date, that also assist their transition out of Post-Grunge into their own identity- ‘Re-Align’, ‘Straight Out of Line’ and their greatest to date- the tribal-themed ballad ‘Serenity’. Again like ‘The Oracle’ it’s better for certain individual tracks, and even more so than the former for some all-time greats.

        3. Godsmack (1998): There’s an argument to be made that they wore their influences on their sleeve in their early days, and I can see why, especially with their hit ‘Whatever’. Despite those accusations they still manage to somewhat strike with an identity and sound of their own with their debut, which they did even more so in the future. Their lyrical content here is at some of their more compact- ‘Keep Away’, ‘Bad Religion’, the Werewolf centered opener ‘Moon Baby’; and who could forget ‘Voodoo’- which kicked off their public fascination with tribal and Wiccan culture into hyperdrive.

        2. 1000 hp (2014): The nostalgic opener ‘1000hp’ sets the stage for what continues some of the work done by ‘IV’ but in a different way. Shouting to the ceiling with a battering ram but also being emotionally enticing, there’s also an aurora that feels of 70s/80s vintage hard rock here that also gives it a level of restraint compared to some of their more guttural content. ‘Something Different’ and ‘Turning to Stone’ are also powerful, with some of the instrumentation of the latter recalling ‘Serenity’.

        1. IV (2006): I might be in the minority on this vote, at least from what I’ve seen aside from an Amazon user review, that this is their most tantalizing album to date that reminds you of the pure definition of CD, and in spite of that it’s overlooked in comparison to their early work. Those who are turned off by their apparent addiction to anger venters and chuggers should give them a second chance with this. They’re at the top of their game in terms of lyrical content, with their wholehearted embracement of Blues Metal. Just about every track is splendidly crafted and almost impossible to replace. Their tracks ‘Livin’ in Sin’ and ‘The Enemy’s start off with creepy prayers and a dark, action movie-esque drum startup respectively. The latter and the restrained ballad ‘Hollow’ unite with the overall themes of finding the light at the end and coming clean, and having a female vocalist in Sully Erna’s collaborator Lisa Guyer was a refreshing addition to the band’s production value at the album’s release. The Blues elements are especially audible in ‘Shine Down’ with its harmonica opening. The music video and overall value of ‘Speak’ adds to the more positive thematic elements, while having that classic Godsmack edge. Their sequel song ‘Voodoo Too’ is even more exciting than the original, and ‘One Rainy Day’ couldn’t have been better in terms of closing out the show. The latter paints a vivid portrait of a broken relationship, apparent trauma and loneliness with a bleak, rainy backdrop. ‘IV’ might just be a diamond in the rough in terms of overlooked rock gems from the 2000s.

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