When a band is recording the follow-up to one of the most popular albums of their career, the hype for the next release is always higher than it should be. Often times in these situations, a band tries to do much and either overproduces the art, or fails miserably in expectations. Thus, when Shinedown was set to release Amaryllis, the highly anticipated follow-up to their mega-smash album, The Sound Of Madness, the band was facing several of these aforementioned challenges. Fortunately, Shinedown found the middle ground where they could create an album that is enjoyable to the ears of fans.
Amaryllis kicks off with a three song punch that is a huge treat for any lover of hard rock music. The pulse pounding, foot stomping, rock song “Adrenaline,” kicks off the record in hard rocking style. The drums are crisp, the guitars are sharp, and the vocals from Brent Smith sound as great as ever. I’ve always been a fan of Brent Smith’s voice and he delivers immediately on the opening track.
The first single from Amaryllis, “Bully,” follows and packs quite a punch of its own. “Bully” is an anthem to a rising problem in modern day America that is starting to get a lot of media attention. Bullying is no longer going to be tolerated, and there are a lot of schools that have implemented zero tolerance policies to help combat this rising issue. Shinedown brings their own version to the party, singing about how the meek can overcome these bullies by banding together and deciding that they are no longer going to take the bullying. Anyone who has ever been picked on, made fun of, or otherwise humiliated, is going to feel great allegiance with this track.
The three pack ends with what is possibly the best Shinedown song ever recorded in Amaryllis. Every once in a while a song comes along that is so perfectly crafted that it can only be described as perfection. “Amaryllis” is one such song. The intro to the song provides a perfect lead up to the bridge, which then segues in perfect harmony to the chorus. With the addition of string instruments on top of the guitars and drums, Shinedown has produced a massive power ballad hit that fans and everyone else are going to love. The lyrics are expertly written and fit the music with a precision that can only be achieved when everything is in perfect alignment.
And while the rest of the album is strong, there isn’t one song that compares to “Amaryllis.” Overall, Amaryllis is a fantastic album, with hit after hit pelting the ears of the listener. Shinedown was able to overcome the high expectations that were laid on them following the success of The Sound Of Madness. They rose to the challenge and created a record that far exceeds their previous work. The only problem now is that they have set the bar even higher for the next record. Given the history of the band, I am sure they will be able to surpass that bar as well.
Amaryllis is available for sale at this link. Don’t miss this!
Rating: Out of 10
06. I’m Not Alright
07. Nowhere Kids
09 I’ll Follow You
10. For My Sake
11. My Name (Wearing Me Out)
12. Through The Ghost
Brent Smith – Vocals
Zach Myers – Guitars
Eric Bass – Bass
Barry Kerch – Drums