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13 Voices

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Album Review

Death looms large on Sum 41's sixth album, 13 Voices. Five years after Screaming Bloody Murder, the comeback arrived two years after frontman Deryck Whibley nearly died from alcohol-related liver and kidney failure. Emerging from an induced coma, he not only had to relearn how to walk, but he also had to train his hands to play guitar again. He described the process as a fall and a rise, which is documented on the bleak and intense 13 Voices. The levity found on their early releases had mostly been scrubbed away after their third record, Chuck, but here it's truly a thing of the past. 13 Voices is packed with full-blast urgency and powerful execution. The quintet — rounded out by returning prodigal guitarist Dave "Brownsound" Baksh, his replacement Tom Thacker, bassist Jason "Cone" McCaslin, and new drummer Frank Zummo — is hungry, anxiously so. Clocking in at less than 40 minutes of classic Sum 41 metal-meets-hardcore punk, it's a breathless ride that offers only a few moments of contemplation before going balls to the wall once more. Following the trajectory of "fall and rise," the front half of the album is grim. Whibley descends into the pits of desperation and anger, the frustration seething on tracks like "Goddamn I'm Dead Again" and "Fake My Own Death," a pair of blazing tracks that will give fans nostalgia goosebumps. The latter half of the album is the slow rise to what could be called hope, especially on the rousing trio that closes out the album. With the matured world-view, Sum 41 add some new embellishments, like strings on the determined "Breaking the Chain" and atmospheric textures on "God Save Us All (Death to POP)," "The Fall and the Rise," and "Twisted by Design," which sound a lot like Linkin Park's hardcore punk outing The Hunting Party. Above all, the yearning "War" is the emotional pinnacle of the album, a testament to Whibley's battle for sobriety and survival as well as an anthem for fans living with similar struggles. It might sound like 13 Voices is glum and no fun, but fortunately the band still has the ability to inspire joyful chaos with its five-pronged assault. Taking into account Whibley's dramatic and life-altering experiences, the hits land harder than ever, resulting in Sum 41's most honest and sincere album yet. ~ Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Back and better than ever!

This sounds a lot like their chuck album and it couldn't sound any better! October needs to come faster..

This Album SUMS It All Up!

The single Fake My Own Death shows that Sum 41 hasn't lost track of what made them the band that they are today! Not only is Brown back, but Sum sounds better and harder than ever. This album is going to be huge!!!

Their best work yet

I've been a fan of this band for years and this is a refreshing yet progressive album for them. They paid homage to the band they were with tracks like The Fall and The Rise, and Goddamn I'm Dead Again. But made strides in a new direction with tracks like A Murder of Crows, and Twisted By Design. Highly recommend this album to anyone.

Biography

Formed: 1996 in Ajax, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Sum 41 hit worldwide radar in 1996 after tiny Ajax, Ontario proved unable to fully contain the foursome's mixture of punk-pop riffing, hip-hop poses, and toilet-bowl humor. Led by guitarist/vocalist Deryck Whibley, the band also included guitarist/vocalist Dave Baksh, bassist Cone McCaslin, and drummer Steve Jocz. Wooed by the boys' goofy antics and incendiary live show (and excited about the prospect of promoting their very own blink-182), Island put Sum 41 on the payroll in 1999. The Half Hour...
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13 Voices, Sum 41
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