After the success of their last album called The Oracle in 2010, expectations are high for the follow-up. Lead vocalist Sully Ema stated earlier this year how the band had recorded 15 tracks, and from the batch they committed in the studio you get 11 tracks on 1000hp. Ema is yet again backed up by the same line-up that recorded the gold selling The Oracle album which includes the talents of Tony Rombola on lead guitar and backing vocals, bassist Robbie Merrill plus Shannon Larkin bashing the drums and tackling percussion.
Another familiar face in the form of Irina Chirkova pops up adding some tender cello to Something Different as she did with the title track of the preceding studio album. Why fix something that isn’t broken? Utilising the ingredients that proved so successful on The Oracle, the fire is burning in their bellies as they throw spit and expletives into the ethos plowing their way through the excellent 1000hp, What’s Next and Livin’ in the Gray.
The groove imbedded within Locked and Loaded along with I Don’t Belong is welcome as they provide a contrast to the atmospheric and dark Generation Day. 1000hp could so easily have been one-dimensional but avoids the pitfall by maintaining the intensity and delivering it within different packages. Despite perhaps reaching this conclusion after several spins, you may also feel the album loses its edge when you reach Nothing Comes Easy and Turning to Stone. Once you’ve arrived at the final track, Life is Good is a shameless exhibition which parties to the lumbering and rolling rhythm which has possessed it.
Godsmack should be proud that as they unveil their sixth studio album, they don’t sound tired or exhausted, and their ability to shake off jealous overtures which confront their Billboard Award for best rock artist of the year and their multiple nominations for Grammy Awards. They work hard and for the most part have a good album in the shape of 1000hp. For most fans and casual observers though, if they put their heart where their mouth is and were to share the truth, this album could have been stronger.
Taking the highlights from 1000hp and nestling them between favorites from their previous albums, a live set will be a real celebration and a genuine good time. So all is most definitely not lost and the wheel continues to turn for this prolific hard rocking quartet. Honest with copious amounts of attitude and reflection, 1000hp isn’t bad.