Tuesday 28 March 2017

Album Review: ART OF ANARCHY - The Madness

Art of Anarchy - The Madness

01. Echo Of A Scream
02. 1,000 Degrees
03. No Surrender
04. The Madness
05. Won’t Let You Down
06. Changed Man
07. A Light In Me
08. Somber
09. Dancing With The Devil
10. Afterburn

After the fiasco and tragedy that surrounded their first album with the late Scott Weiland on vocals (I say fiasco as Scott publicly said that he'd only been asked to write and record for the album and was never actually in the band, which I'm sure was a PR disaster for them), Art Of Anarchy is back. When Scott sadly passed away six months after the album's release, I thought I'd heard the last from Art Of Anarchy. However in May last year, former Creed vocalist Scott Stapp was announced as Weiland's replacement. The rest of the band is made up of Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (Guns 'n' Roses) and Jon Votta on guitars, Vince Votta on drums, and John Moyer (Disturbed, Adrenaline Mob, Union Underground) on bass.

Prior to joining the band, Scott Stapp was all over the news again, not for his music, but because of his substance abuse, marriage break-up, paranoid delusions and general crazy behaviour leading up to him returning to rehab. My initial thought when he was announced as the new lead singer is that the rest of the band must be gluttons for punishment, replacing a dysfunctional rock star with drug problems with someone with similar attributes. However, when I thought about it, it made sense as Scott Stapp's vocals have that rich 90's Alt-Rock tone that aren't a million miles away from Weiland's, and his voice would probably work very well with the early material.

The lyrics on this record clearly reflect Scott's mental health problems, his self reflection and his path to recovery, making it a dark and personal piece of work. I often hear heavy bands singing about rage and insanity, but with this Art Of Anarchy album, you know it's very real. It's a great example of turning suffering into art, and I'm sure that writing these lyrics must have been quite cathartic for Scott. Musically, the band have that commercial modern American rock sound that's hugely popular. In many ways, it sounds like a mix of the bands the members all came from, Guns 'n' Roses, Creed, Disturbed and Union Underground, all carefully entwined to make a radio friendly Heavy Rock sound that will appeal to fans of Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Pop Evil, Theory Of A Deadman and Saliva etc. If the band can 'keep it together', I can see Art Of Anarchy becoming huge, and deservedly so.


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