Godsmack "Live & Inspired" Album Review — 4 out of 5 stars
Mon, 04 Jun 2012 09:45:42
Of the modern hard rock heavyweights, none deliver the live punch of Godsmack.
Whether they're surrounded by flames and lights or in front of a lone black backdrop, the Massachusetts quartet remain the most consisting and crushing outfit on the 21st century circuit. As soon as they hit the stage, it's always a musical ass-kicking that's never forgotten. Their first-ever live offering, Live & Inspired, captures that inherent intensity and ups the ante with four jaw-dropping takes on gems that inspired the group.
The stage portion, recorded at the Detroit Fox Theatre, sees the band tear through classics including "Straight Out of Line" and "Awake" with razor sharp precision. Everything sounds punishingly pristine from Sully Erna's growls to Tony Rombola's fret-burning leads. Shannon Larkin leads a mind-blowing drum solo with Erna on "Batalla de los Tambores", while Robbie Merril's bass conjures an eerie groove on "Voodoo". It's the next best thing to actually being in the audience. What more could you want from a live album?
The Inspired section sees Godsmack reinterpret a few classics with their own spin. They definitely preserve the integrity of the songs, while adding their inherent and intrinsic stomp. "Rocky Mountain Way"—originally by Joe Walsh—rumbles with earth-shattering gusto and a massive groove. It's a rugged metal anthem in their hands, while "Come Together" feels darkly psychedelic illustrating Godsmack's diversity. The same could be said for the ethereally dangerous cover of Pink Floyd's "Time". A vulnerable piano-driven "Nothing Else Matters" channels Metallica, while treading new territory.
All in all, this is another knockout from Godsmack and an essential live record on par with Iron Maiden's Life After Death.
Have you heard Live & Inspired yet?