By Dave Cope (Pastel Jack)
Amaryllis is the follow up to Shinedown’s 2008 album ‘The Sound of Madness’ which was a brilliant album in its own right, but they have somehow managed to surpass it with Amaryllis. This is a 12 track showcase of how an alt-metal album should sound. It’s heavy, soulful, aggressive, and beautifully crafted. The musicianship on this album is absolutely great and well performed; especially vocalist Brent Smith who has an amazing voice and from watching them on the net, he can more then pull it off live.
The opening track ‘Adrenaline’ starts with a furious riff from the mighty Zach Myers which leads the way to the meat of the song; with a very driving beat. The chorus to this track is so catchy it's almost guaranteed to drive you insane; it plants its self in your head and will remain there for a long time to come – in a good way obviously. The title track is another great song. Not being a very wordy man like Stephen Fry, I had to look up the meaning of amaryllis. Apparently it’s a plant and also a girl’s name. Not sure they have written a song about a plant, I guess this song is about a girl (though the album does feature a flower on the artwork so I could be wrong). It opens with a strumming acoustic guitar and again has an amazing chorus; the payoff though is the great melodic solo.
One of my favourites on the album is track seven - ‘Nowhere Kids'; it contains a great riff, one which emotes a feeling wanting to go out and kick the shit out of a passerby (obviously I didn’t). The song has more hooks in it then J.R Hartley’s fishing hat and is defiantly one of the highlights of the album. The cd closes with ‘Through the Ghost’ which is a very ominous and sad sounding tune. The use of the piano, violins, and bells really adds to the emotions conveyed in this song.
In conclusion, this is a fantastic album and it is well worth buying. Shinedown are for fans of Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry as they have mixed elements of those bands with their own unique sound; which is expertly showcased on this album.
Devil Horn Rating (out of five): \m/ \m/ \m/