Shinedown Threat To Survival on LP + CD
Shinedown have built their name on rock songs both brutal in power and epic in scope. Now, with their latest album, the group (Brent Smith, Barry Kerch, Eric Bass, and Zach Myers) veers away from that densely layered sonic palette and takes a more direct approach. Featuring lead single "Cut the Cord" – a blistering track that already shot to No. 1 on Active Rock radio – Threat to Survival finds the multi-platinum-selling act achieving their most powerful sound ever and offering up their most important album to date.
As Smith explains, Shinedown's approach on Threat to Survival had much to do with the emotionally raw material at the heart of the album, "When we started the writing process we realized the changes that had taken place over the past two years, our experiences, the relationships that had come and gone, the album really took on a life of its own. It's like the songs were saying to us, ‘The songs were so honest, it felt necessary to present them in the most straightforward way possible."
In forming the emotional core of the album, Shinedown delved into many of the most thorny issues facing the band members in recent years, such as Smith's navigating his role as a father. In both the writing process and in the final product, that unflinching self-examination proved sometimes devastating but ultimately life-affirming. Throughout Threat to Survival, Shinedown explore matters of life and death and beauty and pain with a fierce energy and indomitable spirit.
On "Cut the Cord" – a song that continues a record-setting streak in which each of the 19 singles released over Shinedown's career has climbed to the upper regions of the radio charts – the band looks at the insidious nature of self-destruction and puts out a call for self-empowerment. Produced by Shinedown's own Eric Bass, "Cut the Cord" fuses Smith's growling vocal work with thunderous drumming and lead-heavy guitar riffs, weaving in spooky, choirlike background vocals to thrilling effect.
Elsewhere on Threat to Survival, Shinedown instill their self-reflection with a brighter mood that's often exhilarating in its intensity. On the piano-laced "How Did You Love," for instance, Smith's soaring vocals demand an exacting reassessment of how to go about building a more meaningful life. A bold statement of determination against all odds, "State of My Head" opens with an ethereal, dreamlike intro before powering forward as a groove-driven anthem.
With its stomping rhythm and surging guitar work, "Outcast" is as a full-throttle celebration of unbridled confidence and daring manifesto of Shinedown's dedication to constantly outdoing themselves as artists. And on "Black Cadillac," Smith delivers a darkly charged but soulful epic that twists its funereal metaphor into a strikingly hopeful message.