Album Review: Shinedown – Amaryllis

It’s a good time for old school rock music. Halestorm recently released their excellent second album, while Cherri Bomb have the genre covered for the next generation. But it wasn’t Halestorm that headlined that tour through the UK recently – it was Shinedown.

‘The Sound of Madness’ struck a chord with heavy music fans all across the world when it was released four years ago. Originally set to play small venues on that album’s tour, upgrades to larger locations happened regularly and shows sold out swiftly. Whatever it is Shinedown have, the people seem to love it.

Amaryllis’ is calculated in the sense that approximately 0% of this album covers new ground. Lead single ‘Bully’ has lyrics that are almost condescendingly simple, yet the chorus soars, and the “we don’t have to take this, back against the wall” chant is the kind of thing that makes Shinedown appeal to Shinedown Amarylliseveryone – their ‘togetherness.’ Regularly, it’s ‘us’ against ‘them’ and Shinedown are very much a part of the ‘us’ camp.

Elsewhere, opener ‘Adrenaline’ is bound to be tearing up rock radio stations for ages, especially considering it’s the theme to an upcoming WWE pay-per-view event. It’s one of the heaviest tracks on offer, and that chorus is as catchy as the plague. ‘Enemies’ is a fist-in-the-air anthem, while ‘Nowhere Kids’ rocks at a relentless pace.

An American rock band’s album wouldn’t be complete without a few power ballads, and if you’ve heard ‘Second Chance’ and ‘Call Me’ you already know Shinedown excel in that category. Title track ‘Amaryllis’ is clearly this album’s ‘Second Chance’ but it’s album closer ‘Through The Ghost’ that steals the ballad crown with its epic church bells and haunting lyrics – “everything that mattered is just a city of dust.”

The great thing about a Shinedown album, as opposed to their live sets, is that it cuts out all of frontman Brent Smith’s onstage banter which borderlines on the downright silly. They have proved again that rock can sound mainstream without losing credibility (looking at you, Nickelback), that it can be accessible and catchy, and you don’t have to explore new territory to be good. You just need to rock.

Rating – 8


About Scott Wilson

Having spent the last twenty years of his life telling his friends his opinion of the latest release by every band he has ever heard of, Scott is an enthusiastic journalist and keen writer. A fan of every genre of music, though his heart firmly belongs to rock, he has been spending far too much money on gigs and not enough on digs. Reachable by either email or Twitter where copious amounts of commentating and general excitement can also be found.

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