Art of Anarchy- the band name sounds familiar right? Why yes, it is the band that released their self-titled debut album in June 2015, featuring Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver) on vocals, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses) on guitars, and John Moyer (Disturbed) on bass, as well as twin brothers Jon (guitar) and Vince Votta (drums) who are well-known players in the New York music scene. It may have been assumed by some that this super-group was done, as their vocalist passed away. Well that assumption would be incorrect, because AOA is back, with another well-known Scott taking over vocal duties- Scott Stapp (Creed). Their new album, The Madness is being released on March 24th via Century Media.
When the members of a band have sold tens of millions of albums between them, they could easily rest on their laurels and not try very hard, as their existing fan bases will most likely follow them into their new project. AOA most definitely has kept their focus on innovative songwriting and musicality. From the first track, Echo of a Scream, it is immediately clear that this is definitely a much harder band than Creed, because, let’s be honest, there will inevitably be those comparisons. In fact several of the songs- most notably 1000 Degrees and Afterburn– don’t even sound like Scott Stapp! The title track The Madness is the first single, and 1000 Degrees most definitely has a radio-friendly sound as well. No Surrender features sweet guitar harmonies by Bumblefoot and Votta, before the album takes a mellower turn with Won’t Let You Down and Changed Man, a tender ballad that seems like a very personal song lyrically for Stapp. A Light in Me and Somber lead up to maybe the most rockin’ tunes on the album- Dancing With The Devil and Afterburn, which features an insane guitar solo!