Confessions Of The Fallen

Alchemy Recordings / BMG
rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Lowest In Me
02. Was Any Of It Real?
03. In This Condition
04. Here And Now
05. Out Of Time
06. Cycle Of Hurting
07. The Fray
08. Better Days
09. Hate Me Too
10. Confessions Of The Fallen

When it comes to the post-grunge genre, a handful of rockers can be credited as pioneers of that dark, tormented, introspective sound. STAIND are one of them. Considering that the band — founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the mid-'90s — were at the forefront of the post-grunge and nu-metal movements, it says a lot that the band are still together, both touring and creating new music. While the guys took a break after their 2011 self-titled studio album, they regrouped in 2019, right before the pandemic shut everything down. Now, STAIND are back with their first studio album in more than a decade, "Confessions of the Fallen", and musically, they're picking up right where they left off.

"Confessions of the Fallen" begins with a classic-sounding STAIND song, "Lowest In Me". The track highlights frontman Aaron Lewis's gruff, emotion-drenched vocals. "Was Any of It Real", with its electronic edge is one of the more unique songs on the set. It kicks off with pulsating electronic beats and Lewis's whispering vocals, ala NINE INCH NAILS or KORN. From there, the chorus explodes into an anthemic rocker.

Fans expecting a "So Far Away" or "It's Been A While" moment on the album will come close with "Here and Now" and "Better Days", both of which are mid-tempo ballads that showcase Lewis's powerful, moving vocals. Conversely, fans wanting an angsty "Mudshovel" or "For You" moment will find it in "Cycle of Hurting", the heaviest song on the album, which features intense screaming and heavy guitars from founding guitarist Mike Mushok.

The album wraps up with "Confessions of the Fallen", which, like "Cycle of Hurting", is one of the album's heavier songs. It's an epic concoction, featuring Lewis's tortured vocals. Shortly after the two-minute mark, the song offers an impressive, fiery guitar solo.

Say what you will about the post-grunge genre, it's remained successful in the commercial realm. Plenty of music fans connect with the genre's themes and sounds. One of the genre's biggest influencers, STAIND's music remains fresh and imaginative here. Who knows what the future holds for the band as its members are continually busy with other musical projects, but one thing for certain is that these guys have the talent and ability to continue to release chart-topping rock hits.

Author: Anne Erickson
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