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Shinedown satisfies core while appealing to new audience with "Amaryllis"
Its been four LONG years since the release of 2008’s blockbuster "The Sound of Madness". 'Madness', which went platinum in 2010, ushered the band into a level of mainstream success that is only dreamt of by the majority of the rock bands on the scene today. Very few bands, achieve the type of success that transcends the generally obscure nature of the rock genre and brings the band into the mainstream spotlight. However, Shinedown has achieved something that many bands fail to – they’ve been able to successfully appeal to a more mainstream audience while being able to maintain their core.
Amaryllis continues the progression and growth that has been seen over the course of the groups other three albums. Though, like many bands, they started out more raw and aggression-ridden, a maturation has occurred gradually and the band is now able to express complex emotional content and appeal to a wider audience. Everyone has their own opinion as to whether this is a favorable or detrimental effect on a band, but the fact is that Shinedown has succeeded in continuing to get their music and message to an increasing number of fans.
In the weeks leading up to the album’s release, a pair of tracks were released to give the masses an idea of what to expect from Amaryllis. The first track, simply titled, “Bully”, serves as a call-to-arms for all of those who have ever found themselves disenfranchised, frustrated and tired of it. With a very catchy chorus and a solid lacing of vocalist Brent Smith’s signature vocal patterns, the track is achieving wide-spread success already and will hopefully play a positive role in the ongoing fight against bullying that has resulted in far too many young lives being lost. The official video for “Bully” can be seen below.
The other revealed track, “Unity”, is a haunting and beautiful ballad, that is mildly reminiscent of “Second Chance” off of "The Sound of Madness". Again, this type of song will appeal to the newer audience that the band has acquired. The official video for "Unity" can be seen below.
What is important to realize, though, is that Amaryllis does have some balls to it. Not only does the opening track, “Adrenaline”, tear the listener’s ears open right from the get-go, the furiously paced track is a non-stop aural assault which fits in perfectly with previous Shinedown hard-hitters such as “Heroes”, “Devour” & “Trade Yourself In”. Other notable tracks that pack a punch are the confrontational “Enemies” and the catchy but heavy “Nowhere Kids”.
Overall, the album does take a softer vibe than any of the band’s previous efforts. This does, however, serve to make the few heavy songs feel that much stronger and powerful. When a band reaches the plateau of appealing to fans from one side of the rock spectrum to the other, it can be very difficult to do any sort of fan service in an album. Shinedown seem to have achieved that remarkably difficult feat with Amaryllis, an album that has got at least a little something for every Shinedown fan – new and old alike.
Amaryllis is due out in North America this coming Tuesday, March 27. The entire album is currently available for streaming via iTunes, and you can click here to pre-order the album now.
Shinedown will be stopping in the Tri-State area in support of Amaryllis as the headliners of the 2012 Avalanche Tour, with support being provided by Adelita’s Way, New Medicine & Art of Dying. The tour will be hitting the Best Buy Theater on Friday, April 20. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here. Tri-State Rock will be on-hand to bring you photographs, set lists and a full review of the show!