Godsmack • 1000hp • Republic • US Release Date: August 5, 2014
“Turn that shit up louder / make it all go faster…take it to 1000 horsepower” That’s what Godsmack asserts on the chorus of the “1000hp,” the promo single for the album of the same title. 1000hp marks the metal band’s sixth studio album, and they are ‘taking it back’ (“Time to rewind / back to 1995…”). Overall, 1000hp is a solid album from the Sully Erna led group, though by no means a reinvention of the wheel.
“1000hp” kicks off the album soundly and enjoyably, definitely rocking out and setting the tone. It easily merits the aforementioned lyric (“ turn that sh-t up louder”). Although worthwhile, “1000hp” isn’t quite the ‘second coming.’ Follow-up “FML” doesn’t quite achieve the level of ‘acceleration’ of the opener, but remains a solid listen that still possesses plenty of energy. ‘Course, any song with f-bombs grabs attention. And doesn’t Sully Erna sing every teenager and college-age kid’s beloved phrase so convincingly (“f-ck my life”)?
“Something Different” continues in a consistent, if not quite exceptional manner. Like the opening two tracks, it could be characterized as being ‘none too shabby,’ without reaching gargantuan heights per se. The angular metal/hard rock riffs play out well, as does a hint of strings (Irina Chirkova on cello). At just under five minutes, “Something Different” runs a bit long.
The tempo kicks back up on “What’s Next,” where Erna sings, “In death, life, what’s next? / The only thing certain is / death, life, what’s next?” on the dark, but enthusiastic chorus. Verdict? It works, and the guitar work is easily a pro. Plus, if skepticism of the afterlife is relatable, then it’ll probably ‘tickle your fancy.’
“What’s Next” is proceeded by “Generation Day,” a track that features those tried and true metal cues. At over six-minutes, “Generation Day” lasts a ‘generation’ – but it’s a fairly decent generation. This ‘generation’ seems to have ‘old souls.’ “Generation day / shot!”
“Locked & Loaded” opens with sick riffs and pounding drums – rock on! Filled with energy, the cut lives up to its title. Like much of 1000hp, it definitely meets the expectations. Metal heads everywhere will sing along with Erna’s pointed lyric “All you do is talk sh-t like a b-tch/ never back it up…don’t run away whenever you see me in your space.” There it is.
“Living in the Gray” definitely has the groove working in it’s favor, not to mention angularity and those chromatic color notes that define the metal script (lowered seconds and fifths, shout out music theory nerds everywhere). “I Don’t Belong” opens as ‘in your face’ and everything else. Erna remains vocally invested – he sounds exceptional, years since Godsmack first bowed. As far as songwriting, “I Don’t Belong” isn’t the most profound – it’s pretty easy to follow (“I don’t belong / I don’t fit in”).
Penultimate number “Nothing Comes Easy” isn’t extraordinary by any means, but at worst, it’s average. “Turning to Stone” is the better song, captivating with its groove from the onset. That groove unfolds into a well put together song to conclude 1000hp. Something that stands out about the closer is the control that it exhibits – the poise.
Overall, 1000hp is a solid album that doesn’t quite reach exceptionality. The band never misses; only in a select few instances do they really strike gold. Still, if you metal is your calling card and you are a Godsmack fan, 1000hp does more than enough to please.
Favorites: “1000hp,” “FML,” “Locked & Loaded,” “Turning to Stone”
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