It’s no secret that the music industry isn’t what it used to be. These days it’s tough for new bands to even get signed, much less for old ones to make a comeback. However, there are several bands rising from the ashes and Spineshank is one of them. Their new album, Anger, Denial, Acceptance, was released on June 19, 2012, and will be their first new material since 2003’s Self-Destructive Pattern.
With the introduction of nu-metal or alternative metal in the mid to late 90’s, Spineshank was able to ride in on this wave and soon became one of the big names to watch. They’ve opened for such bands as Sepultura, Fear Factory, Danzig and appeared at Ozzfest 2001, also touring with such bands as Mudvayne, Disturbed, and Ill Nino. The main single off their third and last studio album up until this point, Smothered, was nominated for a Grammy in 2004 for Best Metal Performance. Unfortunately, early that same year, singer Jonny Santos also decided to leave the band to pursue different musical interests. The split was said to be amicable.
In 2008, the band members started casually talking and before they knew it, they began writing a new album with the original lineup intact. Guitarist Mike Sarkisyan, explains how the reunion came about. “It was kind of a process.” he says. “It was something we had talked about loosely for a while and it just all started developing from there.”
Anger, Denial, Acceptance is much heavier than any of Spineshank’s previous material. Was this a conscious effort or just a natural evolution of the band? “You know what – it all came naturally” says Sarkisyan. “I don’t think we sat around and talked about what kind of a record we wanted to make. One word to describe the record overall would be dark. Maybe it was a subconscious effort I guess. It was influenced by what we were going through at the time.”
One word to describe the record overall would be dark.
As it turns out, they had the title of the album before any of the music was written, which more often than not, is an unusual scenario. “The title was something that just came out.” Sarkisyan says. “You can sort of write songs to fit the title and fit the general mood of it as far as the lyrical context goes, but then it was totally a case of life imitating art whereas the ideas or where we wanted to go lyrically with this, really started happening to us. The record in itself is based in all aspects of loss. We started experiencing things in our personal lives that had a lot to do with that and it came from a very honest place.”
Spineshank has not disappointed with their new release; there isn’t a weak track on the album. One song seems to effortlessly flow into the next and tell the story of what the band has been through. It’s hard to pick even just a few stand-out tracks as they all have a story to connect with, but songs like Murder-Suicide, I Want You To Know, the title track Anger, Denial, Acceptance, and especially Exit Wound will surely hit home for some.
Fans of their older material might be a little taken aback by this heavier and more mature sound of the band. While Sarkisyan admits there’s some anxiousness about how the record will be received, he is proud of what they, as artists, have created. “The important part of all this is that we didn’t want to just kind of live on our past achievement,” Sarkisyan says. “We wanted to make sure we can write new material and the more important part of that was we wanted to make sure this new material is better than anything we had done prior. I feel like as a band we made the best record we ever have and I’m very confident in that – the only thing I can tell you is that I hope people take it for what it is and connect to it and like it as much as we do.”
Spineshank is about to embark on their first headlining tour in nine years to promote Anger, Denial, Acceptance. The tour starts June 14, 2012, in Las Vegas and will take them right through most of the summer before finishing up on August 03, 2012, at The Whisky inL.A. According to Sarkisyan, the band is excited to be back out on the road.
“It’s going to be the first tour we’ve done since 2003 with a new record out with people having a chance to actually go and listen to these songs before they come and see the show… so that’s pretty damn cool. If four or five years ago, you told me that this is where we’re going to be in 2012, I would’ve probably not believed you.” With sales in excess of 540,000 records, Spineshank is sure to repeat history with their newest release, Anger, Denial, Acceptance.