Paul Barclay

Review: Shinedown – Threat to Survival

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Brent Smith with Shinedown performs at the Tabernacle on Friday, July 31, 2015, in Atlanta.  Photo by Robb D. Cohen/Invision/Press Association Images

Brent Smith with Shinedown performs at the Tabernacle on Friday, July 31, 2015, in Atlanta.
Photo by Robb D. Cohen/Invision/Press Association Images

In 2003, Leave A Whisper, the début album from Shinedown was released to some critical praise but was not universally loved. Aside from the single 45 and their cover of Lynryd Skynryd track Simple Man, there was very little else on the album to differentiate the band from any of the other post-grunge style artists that were popular at the time, such as Creed or Puddle Of Mudd. Since then, their albums have been far more well received, with 2011 effort Amaryllis doing very well in some areas. Still though, their sound left some reviewers and music fans a little cold. Can their new album, Threat To Survival do any better?

Opening track Asking For It is a very solid opener to the album and has a chorus that is huge and built for radio. The band clearly still have a very radio-friendly sound, but that is not a bad thing. It is the sound of a band who know their audience and are making music for them. Second track and lead single Cut The Cord is a hard rock stomp with a strong message of don’t give up and keep fighting, with lyrics such as “now victory is you all need” and “agony brings no reward”. This is the type of song that will get fists pumping and heads banging throughout arenas worldwide

There is plenty more good stuff on the album. Third track State Of My Head slows the tempo slightly and is still a very memorable song and a particular highlight on the album. It forms part of a very strong opening three songs that really pull you into the album. Track five, How Did You Love, is another strong effort and has radio single written all over it. The only tracks that don’t work as well as the rest of the album are track four, called Outcast and album closer Misfits. Outcast is a fairly generic rock song but does not really do very much and is almost forgettable, while Misfits is an average ballad with slight anthemic qualities to close the album. Neither song is particularly bad, just not as strong as the rest of the album.

Overall, Threat To Survival is a very strong album from a very dependable band. It does not re-invent the wheel, but if it is not broke, do not try to fix it. It is not Shinedown’s best album, which I personally believe is Amaryllis, but it is very far from a bad album. If you are a fan of radio rock or Shinedown, definitely check it out.

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