Singer Brent Smith said that the band (completed by Barry Kerch on drums, Zack Myers on guitar and the aptly named Eric Bass on bass) pride themselves that each record sounds different to the last and on this they seem very confident in what they do. Years of experience as a rock band playing with the likes of Godsmack and Papa Roach shine through on tracks like the opening “Adrenaline” and “Enemies” whilst their stint during 2010 playing acoustic shows has enabled to comfortably record more lightweight songs like “I’ll Follow You” and the closing “Through The Ghost”.
Those who caught Shinedown at their hugely successful recent gig at The Roundhouse in Camden have been eagerly anticipating the release of this album and few will be disappointed. After the rip roaring opening of the aforementioned “Adrenaline” comes the groove laden lead single “Bully” followed by the title track itself, which sounds like what happens when talented songwriters listen to Goo Goo Dolls for a solid week then go jam.
Not content with recording high calibre rock tracks and string accompanied power ballads, Shinedown also recorded one of the big arena rock songs of 2012 with “Unity” which leads the listener into a false sense of security with its piano intro before unleashing a sound that instantly fills the eyes with images of thousands of hands raised towards the roofs of ice hockey rinks and exhibition centres the world over.
The album maintains the sense of quality throughout its 44 minutes, with “I’m Not Alright” sounding like almost folky in its up tempo vibe with a hint of brass section, before “Nowhere Kids” gets things heavy again.
“Amaryllis” has the sound of an album that will catapult its writers into the arenas, but with everything the band has already achieved this seems like the natural next step for them anyway.
Those who are tempted to sample the band live can catch them on the Zippo (Second) Stage at Download 2012 on the Sunday, hope to see you there.