Roadrunner Records, March 2012
By David Vaickus
Shinedown are one of the few bands that can release an album full of hit singles
from top to bottom. Their last album, The Sound of Madness, has sold over a million
copies and spawned six number 1 singles on active rock and 1 top 10 single on top
40. Simply put Shinedown have turned themselves into quite a musical juggernaut.
With success like that expectations for the next release are certainly going to be
high. So how exactly did Amaryllis turn out?
The first track I heard off Amaryllis was “Bully,” their first single. I must say it
did not draw me in like their first single “Devour” did off The Sound of Madness. I
didn't necessarily dislike the song but I didn't think it was great either. With
that said my doubts of Amaryllis had started. What's funny is I was never really a
Shinedown fan until The Sound of Madness. Their other albums had a few good stand
out tracks but also had some less than stellar fillers. When The Sound of Madness
came out I was thoroughly impressed and thus was transformed into a fan with the
hopes that their next albums would be as good if not better than The Sound of
Madness. Regardless of what I think of “Bully” it has already become a successful
single as it has been number 1 on active rock for the past 4 weeks and by the time
this review is posted it'll probably be in it's 5th consecutive week at number 1.
Thankfully I must say “Bully” is probably my least favorite track on the album. The
rest of the tracks are all very well written with a nice mix of uptempo rockers as
well as the usual mid-tempo crossover tracks which was the basic architecture for
The Sound of Madness. The overall sound of Amaryllis is pretty much consistent with
previous Shinedown efforts. One nice surprise on this album is Zach Myers has a few
shredding solos, something previous efforts didn't possess and being a guitarist
myself, it's something I look forward to within songs.
Some of the standout tracks on this album are “Adrenaline,” “Amaryllis,” “Unity,”
“Miracle,” “I'll Follow You,” “For My Sake” and “My Name (Wearing Me Out).” Out of
those tracks I mentioned “Adrenaline” and “My Name (Wearing Me Out)” are the only
uptempo rockers. Both tracks are pretty aggressive, along the lines of “Devour” off
of The Sound of Madness. “For My Sake is a great mid-tempo rocker with the others
being mid-tempo cross-over tracks, each capable of being future singles on active
rock and top 40. The most promising of those tracks is “Miracle.” An impressive song
with an incredibly strong chorus that is kind of reminiscent of “Second Chance” with
a slightly faster tempo. One of my other favorites is “I'll Follow You.” It starts
off with just piano and then kicks in with Brent's strong vocals on the chorus. It's
actually the perfect tempo to slow dance to. I've been paying attention to this
as of late because I'm getting married September 15th and need some rock songs to
put into my play-list. With the tempo and lyrical content fitting for a wedding
this may be a nice contender for our big day.
Amaryllis is a consistent and strong effort. Just like before this album is full of
potential hit singles from start to finish. I'm sure fans will approve as well as
the numbers will show, Shinedown has another hit on their hands.