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Sum 41 – 13 Voices | Album Review

Punk rockers Sum 41 are back with their sixth studio album ’13 Voices’. Check out what we thought of it here!

Sum 41

Source: Album Artwork

Sum 41 are legends in the pop punk scene. The band were only spiky-haired, Dickies-short-wearing tikes when they started making the kind of music that inspired a generation. Their catchy, teenage-angsty pop punk hooks were always stabilised with heavy metal and hip-hop elements—something that a lot of pop punk bands weren’t doing at the time. The band quickly swayed to the punk rock side of the rock spectrum, leaving their upbeat, bouncy tunes behind them. But even with their newfound real-world clarity, and often cynicism, the band managed to produce intense, gritty anthems that still remain fan favourites to this day—especially with us 90s kids.

The band’s latest album 13 Voices was written and recorded at a time when frontman Deryck Whibley was recovering from a near-death experience at the hands of alcoholism, and starting his life over—which explains why the album has a level of intensity unlike any other Sum album.

Right from the get-go, first track ‘A Murder Of Crows (You’re All Dead To Me)’ is a powerful “fuck you” anthem to those who abandoned Whibley in his time of need. The haunting overtones of the track are intensified by the crescendo of thundering, powerful guitars and pulsating drums. Elsewhere ‘Goddamn I’m Dead’ is reminiscent of a Sum 41 past. The Chuck vibes are heavy in this scorcher of a track and, with the return of original guitarist Dave Brownsound, it sees the loudest, most intense guitar solos ever to come out of a Sum 41 album. Those licks alone are enough to make you say that Sum are back and here to stay.

‘Fake My Own Death’ is massive rock ‘n’ roll anthem that employs 80s-style metal riffs, raw punk vocals and a giant, catchy chorus, whereas the understated ‘War’ is an ode to not giving up. And ‘Breaking The Chain’ expresses letting go of the past in a very theatrical way. We see more classic Sum in the hip-hop infused ‘The Rise And The Fall’. And though still sticking with the dark, reflective theme of the album, the song showcases that distinctive, timeless Sum 41 sound.

This album definitely has its “wow” moments and its very predictable moments. The first half (almost) of 13 Voices features the best of the album, with the exception of one or two later tracks. The shaky middle featuring songs ‘There Will Be Blood’ and ’13 Voices’ remains only okay with the help of riveting, forceful guitar solos. Luckily the album finishes strong with the expressive, melodic ‘Twisted By Design’.

We don’t want to call this a Sum-back but…

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