Papa Roach

Metamorphosis

Written by: PP on 24/03/2009 19:30:44

Papa Roach has always been a target of lots and lots of ridicule and hatred thanks to their early genre affiliation with nu-metal and their subsequent chart- and sales success (over 10 million albums sold worldwide). Leaving the sinking ship in favour of the mascara-clad post-hardcore/emo/screamo scene, which was to be the next trend after people got over nu-metal certainly didn't help their cause. But if we were to avoid the scene police role altogether, it'd be rather easy to conclude that most of the hate has been completely undeserved, as the band has only really put out one bad album ("Lovehatetragedy"), and that was back in 2002. 2004 saw the release of "Getting Away With Murder", easily the band's best work today even if it showcased an almost unrecognizable Papa Roach from the "Last Resort"-era, and although "The Paramour Sessions" three years ago wasn't perhaps as good as that, it was (and is) still a very decent album worthy of owning if you're the slightest bit into the mainstream rock/emo scene. I guess that's just how music industry works, folks, nothing to do about it.

Anyway, fans and critics alike will be happy to hear that "Metamorphosis" is probably the second best Papa Roach album to date. You can notice it already from the suspenseful drumming and clapping of intro track "Days Of War", and once it opens straight into the staggeringly fast (on Papa Roach standards) lead riff of "Change Or Die", where the first thought in my mind was something along the lines of "FUCKK YEAHHHH!!!" to the same tone as Mr. Shaddix's prolongued "LETS GOOO" scream. There's lots of fierce screaming, though not to the extent of overusage, drawing parallels to "Blood" which opened "Getting Away With Murder", surprisingly tight instrumentation, and the chorus is fantastically catchy without wandering too far into the pop realm. But even when the band go for the latter, more mainstream rock approach, they are much more convincing than, for instance, The Used on their latest record. There's absolutely no way you won't remember "Hollywood Whore"'s infectious chorus (is the song about Paris Hilton?), but even here Shaddix isn't afraid to break into a brooding scream session towards the end of the track. Me like. "I Almost Told You That I Love You" continues on the pop platform with some retardedly bad lyricism, but heck, the song is still a catchy motherfucker. Most other bands wouldn't be able to pull that style off without coming across as shallow, but I Papa Roach has just enough melodic leads and interesting hooks to get away with it (get it, heh? Murder anyone?). However, if I were to pick one example where the line is crossed, it'd have to be with the overly poppy "Lifeline" which is easily the weakest track on the record, despite it being chosen as the lead single.

It's a shame the album never returns to the aggressiveness of "Change Or Die" before the final track "State Of Emergency", because that's where the band is by far at their strongest. Songs like "Live This Down" or "March Out Of The Darkness" aren't bad by any means--they are signature Papa Roach song with typically simple structures and mainstream rock melodies, but hell, Shaddix's characteristic scratchy croon makes them worth it--but somewhere along the line it feels like the major label has performed a cleaning operation during their demoing sessions. Nevertheless, there's enough catchy mainstream rock here to fill the plate of any such fan, and although "Metamorphosis" is a logical continuation of "The Paramour Sessions", it has better songs and it lasts much longer.

Download: Change Or Die, State Of Emergency, Hollywood Whore
For the fans of: The Used, Lostprophets, Nickelback
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.03.2009
Interscope

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