4/7/2009 - Review by: Eric Compton
Papa Roach has quickly become my favorite hard rock act of the last ten years. The group laid it down early in their career with the debut "Infected", a record that captivated the rap-metal audience and put the band on the charts with hit singles "Last Resort" and "Broken Home". Since then the California natives have become more straight ahead rock and roll similar to bands like Saliva, Nickelback, and Shinedown. The group has had huge success with chart topping albums "The Paramour Sessions", "Getting Away With Murder", and "Lovehatetragedy". Up until now Papa Roach has been married to skinsman Dave Buckner but due to rehab/life upheaval the drummer pulled out of the group in 2008. Now the band releases its first album post-Buckner with the much anticipated "Metamorphosis".
I was counting down the days for this one to hit my filthy paws. I found the band's last album, "Paramour Sessions", one of the better albums of their career and was really hoping the new record would continue some of the heavier tone of that record. This album certainly didn't showcase that vibe with lead radio single "Hollywood Whore", which is more like the B-version of "Last Resort" with plenty of big sing-along hooks to please the mainstream fish. This wasn't the best choice of single for the band and really turned me off early on. However the group obviously didn't choose the best material to debut on air as the album is chock-full of great song selection.
The album begins with a short troop-march intro before EXPLODING into the band's best album opener yet, "Change Or Die" with singer Jacoby Shaddix hitting some anguish wails ala Atreyu and Escape The Fate before finally tuning up for some great chorus work. This song is the type of songs Papa Roach needs to write as it shows off what is RED HOT TODAY. This song is very much in the style of what newer Atreyu, Escape The Fate, Sonic Syndicate, and Avenged Sevenfold are writing and recording. The band hits this type of mood again with the tracks "Into The Light" (featuring Crue's Mick Mars on guest lead) and "Live This Down", both showing off some heavy diversity and the ever sought after vocal melody. The band mix the album up with two slower tempo songs that see the band in a more serious mindset. The P.O.D influenced "Had Enough" (street smart lyrics) and the strong finisher "State Of Emergency", the latter of which pinpoints John Bonham's legendary drum sound behind some through provoking lyrics that wouldn't be out of place on a White Lion or Tesla album. In the middle we get the KISS-like "I Almost Told You That I Love You" and the Whitesnake styled "Nights Of Love". The band chose "Lifeline" as second album single and it was a wise choice as that song is very different from "Hollywood Whore" and gives the listener a taste of the wide diversity of the album.
This was the first recording with new drummer Tony Palermo and he really fills the shoes of Buckner quite well. From my non-musician ears I can't really tell the difference as Papa Roach have never been about tribal elements, progressive arrangements, or complicated song structures. Palermo is more than adequate for this kind of work. This is also the first album for the band's new label Interscope (the band resided on Geffen prior to) and should see the band sell well with big tours scheduled with Buckcherry, Avenged Sevenfold, and Motley Crue through 2009.
Bottom Line - Papa Roach deliver the goods album after album after album. Easily the most entertaining band on the rock circuit in my opinion and deserving of every penny they make. This album isn't the most solid of their career but has great songs and a great vibe throughout.
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