Come on, it’s fun to imitate the under-bite driven Vedder-esque vocals Scott Stapp made popular throughout his run with Creed. And sure, it’s easy and even popular to make fun of Creed. But if you zoom in on the beginning of Creed’s career, you will find a very heavy hard rock band with a lot of energy and creativity.
It's very evident that Stapp has tapped into the hunger that must have driven him in that era, because as a whole, Stapp sounds better than he has in quite some time.
As the second Scott in the Art of Anarchy lineup after replacing Scott Weiland after his death in 2015, Stapp not only has big shoes to fill, but also a reputation to completely rebuild after his recent viral videos depicting mental instability.
Meanwhile, the band is faced with one of the biggest challenges a band will ever face: The sophomore album.
Both sides came swinging.
Art of Anarchy’s The Madness really sticks out from their debut self-titled effort. Stapp’s performance is far, far more aggressive than Weiland’s vocals, bringing the energy of this album up a notch. Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and Jon Votta’s guitar work is also a bit more in-depth this time around. Many verses contain intricate texturing from each guitar player, which fit very nicely beneath the layered vocals-provided by almost every member in the band.
”Won’t Let You Down” is probably Stapps most versatile performance on the album, mixing a very melodic rhythmic verse with a very catch Stapp-esque chorus. He may have just taken us higher.
“Echo of a Scream,” “No Surrender” and the closing track “10 afterburn” also stick out as stand out tracks. If you enjoyed the self-titled album, just know that the heaviness picks up a bit on this album, and that it feels quite different as a whole. While it’s very hard to compare both albums, the band feels more cohesive, resulting in a very solid sophomore effort from Art of Anarchy.
The Madness is available for pre-order on iTunes, and will be available everywhere March 24, 2017 via Century Media Records Ltd.
Art of Anarchy - The Madness