Review: Sum 41 – 13 Voices

Genre:

  • Alternative Metal
  • Thrash Metal
  • Crossover Thrash
  • Alternative Rock
  • Hard Rock
  • Punk Rock
  • Rap Metal

For Fans of:

  • Metallica
  • Ramones
  • Motörhead
  • System of a Down

13 Voices is the seventh studio album by Canadian Alternative Metal band Sum 41, set to be released October 7, 2016 via Hopeless Records.

This album is also the first album to include drummer Frank Zummo and (since the band’s 2004 effort Chuck) lead guitarist Dave Baksh, as of the release of 13 Voices Sum 41’s line-up consists of:

  • Deryck Whibley – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards
  • Tom Thacker – Lead Guitar, Keyboards
  • Dave Baksh – Lead Guitar
  • Jason “Cone” McCaslin – Bass
  • Frank Zummo – Drums

Track 1: A Murder of Crows

The first track on 13 Voices begins with an ambient layered string and piano intro, before suddenly jumping into melodic Alternative Metal riffage, which itself soon fades away leaving only drums.

Whibley’s vocals enter harsh, gritty and melodic only accompanied by drums, serving as the perfect slow and melodic yet heavy intro to the album.

Track 2: Goddamn I’m Dead Again

Following out of the previous tracks percussion only outro, this track begins with rhythmic clapping followed by a minimalist guitar riff. From the riff a drum begins leading into the arrival of Whibley’s vocals.

Once the vocals enter it’s obvious that this song was heard in the 13 Voices teaser #7, starting melodic before quickly breaking into a break-neck yet melodic Thrash Metal verse followed by brief yet impressive solo.

The verse repeats before Baksh makes his triumphant return with a solo lasting 1 and a half minutes.

Track 3: Fake My Own Death

The first song released from the album on June 28, 2016, Fake My Own Death’s fusion of Alternative Metal and Crossover Thrash with its Motörhead-esque Biker Metal lead guitar riff as recently performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Track 4: Breaking The Chain

Breaking the Chain begins with a violin-driven Alternative Rock verse before building up to its melodic Hard Rock verse. The violin line begins into another ambient verse to which the chorus follows into a bluesy Hard Rock solo.

Track 5: There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood begins with a percussive guitar line before breaking into an Alternative Rock chorus. Following this the first verse begins ambient and melodic before the chorus begins again. In the background, the light keyboards allow the ambiance of this Alt-Rock ballad to be furthered.

Track 6: 13 Voices

The album’s title track serves as a sort of sequel to the band’s previous album, Screaming Blood Murder, with its open string riffing and lyrical themes seeming to take inspiration from the album’s track Blood In My Eyes.

Opening with ’90s Punk Rock riffage similar to Seattle’s Nirvana, the song quickly changes into the previously mentioned, Alternative Metal, open string riffing. The song holds itself back during the verse, making way for the biggest chorus on the album: “I’m not just saying you’re insane, no use running from escape. I’ll be there just to put a bullet in your head! Just another crying shame, life is such a deadly game. You’ve gone far away but put a bullet in his head!”. Before the bridge begins a bluesy Hard Rock solo and the chorus repeats.

Track 7: War

On August 24, 2016, Sum 41 released the music video for the album’s seventh track; and first single; an Alternative Rock ballad, titled War. The song tells the story of Whibley’s struggle with alcoholism, told along side layered pianos and guitars.

Track 8: God Save Us All

Sum 41 officially released the second single from their seventh album, 13 Voices, a melodic Punk Rock piece titled God Save Us All (Death to POP) on September 29, 2016, focusing on the unity of rock music how it is not present in pop music.

Track 9: The Fall And The Rise

The second to last track on 13 Voices begins with guitar harmonies, leading into an aggressively rapped verse, The Fall And The Rise is refreshing as it brings back the Rap infused Metal song that the band used on Open Your Eyes and (Half Hour of Power‘s version of) What We’re All About.

Track 10: Twisted By Design

Twisted By Design is likely the most artist song on the album, with its building drums, layered guitars and piano and slow ambient verses before breaking into an emotionally heavy chorus of how Whibley is on his own to find his way.

Verdict

This album is extremely impressive and is easily challenging Chuck as the band’s greatest, most technical and heaviest record.

9/10

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