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by Kim George

"There's no rap, no techno, no gadgets; it's a hard, loud rock record, period.  No tricks."  Those are the words Godsmack's frontman, Sully Erna, uses to describe the band's sophomore album "Awake", due out this October 31st.  The Boston Boys are back and this time they deliver a more raw, aggressive and edgier vibe than they did with their self-titled debut CD. 

Fans and critics alike will clearly see the evolution of Godsmack.  Sully's vocals are undoubtedly stronger, broader and fine tuned.  Musically, the band is tighter than ever.  It's hard to believe these guys once peddled their independent release "All Wound Up" from their cars.  Here they are, some five years later, with triple platinum success under their belt; their self-titled debut CD sold in excess of three million copies.  Godsmack's upcoming release "Awake" illustrates how this hard rocking band from Boston are more than awake and that they are here to stay.  The new enhanced CD consists of ten solid tracks, most of which were written on the road, where the band toured relentlessly for the last two years. 

The CD begins with "Sick of Life" --- a catchy and aggressive tune.  It would not be surprising if this track was the next released single off of the CD.  “Sick of Life” has that smell of commercial success.

The second track "Awake" is the first single that was released to radio stations for airplay on September 26th.  It is already receiving favorable feedback from the fans and radio stations are giving it the heavy rotation that it deserves.  The video for "Awake" was filmed at the Ohio State Reformatory (where the Shawshank Redemption was filmed) and is already receiving airplay on MTV. The chorus of “Greed" is near addictive and the song illustrates how Sully's vocals were taken to the next level on the new CD.  Lyrically, "Greed" is about a close friend of the band who originally lent them money to record their indie release "All Wound Up."  The band later repaid the friend the borrowed money, and then some.  Once the band became successful, the friend became greedy and wanted a piece of the Godsmack pie. 

"Bad Magick" and "Goin' Down", the CD's fourth and fifth track respectively, are older songs on the album.  "Bad Magick" was  originally featured on the "Wicked Good" sampler distributed by Newbury Comics back in 1997.  "Goin' Down" first appeared on the band's indie release "All Wound Up" and then was later featured on the soundtrack for Mission: Impossible-2. 

The tune "Mistakes" is probably the strongest song musically and lyrically on the CD. Every aspect of "Mistakes" - from guitar riffs to drums to vocals is near perfection.   "Trippin'" has a very different, yet distinctive edge to it.  Its lyrical premise is based around friends who knew the band pre and post success and how some tripped out over the band’s success. 

The last three tracks on the new CD are:  "Forgive Me", "Vampires" and "Spiral."  "Forgive Me" is lyrically and musically sound and definitely has that Godsmack groove that fans love. "Vampires", on the other hand, was originally an instrumental that was never released.  For the new album, Sully saw a TV documentary on vampires and decided to slap some samples of the documentary on the instrumental.  "Spiral", the last track on the CD, is what “Voodoo” was to the self-titled CD, but ten times better.  The moody, yet spiritual track is about reincarnation.  Appearing as guest vocalist on “Spiral” is Katrina Chester, the highly talented lead singer of  the New York based band, Luxx.

If the above is not enough, the upcoming CD is an enhanced CD.  That means you can pop this disc into your computer to see some footage. There will be clips of Godsmack at the Hammerstein Ballroom (they performed there at the tail end of their last headlining tour) as well as interviews with the band. Godsmack are sure to AWAKE on Halloween, this time with a vengeance. So what are you waiting for? Isn't it time for YOU to get smacked?! 

CD Recommendation:  Without a doubt, buy it. 

Prediction:  The new Godsmack CD “Awake” should easily reach the Billboard's Top 10 in record sales after its first week of release.  SoundScan figures should surpass that of the self-titled debut CD. 

Reasoning:  Godsmack have acquired a strong and loyal fan base.  Nearly all of the existing fans will buy the new CD without listening to it first. This CD is heavier and more raw than the self-titled debut CD. As a result, Godsmack are sure to adopt many new fans with “Awake”, most likely acquiring those fans that are currently into the heavier type rock than what the self-titled Godsmack debut CD delivered. 

In other Godsmack related news: 

Currently, Godsmack are embarking on a month long "MTV Return of the Rock" tour with Stone Temple Pilots and Disturbed.  They will also participate in a couple Florida MTV off-dates October 27th and 28th.  To check a complete listing of the Godsmack tour dates, visit the "tour dates" link on the Godsmack site, XXX Get-Smacked! XXX

After the "MTV Return of the Rock" Tour, the band is going to take a well deserved hiatus for a couple of months. They plan on headlining their own tour in February/March of 2001.  It has not been confirmed who will be touring with Godsmack at that time.  If you have yet to see Godsmack perform live, buy a ticket and be prepared for one hell of a good time. 


Sully Erna - Vocals 
Tony Rombola - Guitar 
Robbie Merrill - Bass 
Tommy Stewart - Drums 

Purchase Awake and the debut CD online! 

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