Overall Score: 8/10 Vocals: 10/10 Emotional Quality: 9/10 Catchiness: 8/10 Pros: Brent's Vocals | Memorable Songs | Misfits Cons: May not stand out against their previous albums
After three years of one of their strongest albums, Amaryllis, hard rock band Shinedown are ready to push themselves that little bit more with fifth studio album, Threat to Survival. All previous releases by the Jacksonville quartet have either gone to gold or platinum in sales and with this new album, it will be no surprise if they surpass their own records.
Opening single, Asking for It, sets the mood with true Shinedown style. It’s catchy, ferocious and it creates the perfect mood in order to listen to the rest of the album. Most albums open on a show-stopper track, it makes us want more and this has certainly hit the nail on the head. Up next is Shinedown incredibly catchy single, Cut the Cord, after climbing its way up the rock singles chart, it displays itself as an arena style anthem. It displays much more power and aggression, especially in Brent Smiths vocals. It has a massive amount of energy flowing throughout the track, getting the blood flowing and it is certainly the bands hardest track since Devour.
From here, the rest of the album doesn’t seem to hit the heaviness that Cut the Cord did but it doesn’t mean that it fails to deliver. State of my Head follows up and is a lot calmer but it still shows of the incredible talents that helped Shinedown claim their success, having said this, it also shows an almost Nickelback feel in the chorus which drags it down a bit. Outcast picks the pace back up after State of my Head, creating a typical sounding hard rock track with an anthemic chorus. It’s catchy and whilst it’s not the most hard-hitting track on the album it certainly brings the level of how great this album is back up.
If there is one thing Shinedown are spectacular at, it is connecting with their audience. How Did You Love? May not be the most notable track on the album but it certainly has a factor in which it creates something in there that sticks and it creates an urge to shout back the chorus. One of the most favourable tracks on the album for its energy has to be It All Adds Up. Yes, it’s catchy, it’s worthy of belting out but it’s also one of the most sensual tracks that Shinedown have put out. It oozes with that feeling that is in some of the best hard rock tracks of all time, it sounds sexy, dirty and that is sometimes all we want from music.
Oblivion opens up with softly, however, it follows suit of It All Adds Up. It’s once again another track that oozes sensuality and Brent Smith doesn’t falter with the seductiveness in his vocals. Dangerous however slows things back down, it’s got the knack of being catchy yet holding that emotional connection once again. It’s powerful musically and in the terms of the message that is being delivered. Thick as Thieves does the exact same as Dangerous, it connects and it becomes another emotional anthem for the band. Shinedown have an impeccable talent of crafting their tracks to really hit home with their listeners with songs like Second Chance, Unity and I’ll Follow You. Thick as Thieves is yet another one that will be up there with the aforementioned songs. It oozes beauty, soul and whilst Brent Smith has an incredible powerful voice, he has perfected the art of using it to transform the lyrics into heart.
Black Cadillac leaves the emotion behind and once again becomes a strong leading track on the album. Once again in true Shinedown style, it’s catchy and sensual. It’s not the hardest track on the album, nor is it the catchiest but it’s laid back and that’s exactly what makes it work effortlessly for the band. As Misfits leads the album into a close, it does it’s best to leave an imprint. It brings shivers down the spine and creates that moment where you want to leave it on repeat and lose yourself. This is possibly the most powerful track on the album, it’s not as heavy as Cut the Cord or as catchy as It All Adds Up but it’s got emotion and strength. This would not be a Shinedown record without a track that can make you feel everything and thankfully Misfits created that.
Whilst Threat to Survival isn’t the strongest Shinedown album, the band still deliver everything you expect and want. It’s catchy, it’s beautiful and it’s closed perfectly. The band have crafted their sound to such an incredible standard, Threat to Survival really shows that.
Threat To Survival is out now on Atlantic Records.