maxresdefaultI recently read an article last week where the writer was pleading with others to not criticize the often criticized genre known as Nu Metal. For many years, most of society had frowned on the 1980’s and the biggest genre of the decade in Hair Metal for being more style over substance and now everyone loves hair metal these days. I believe it takes the conviction of a younger generation to decide whether something old is cool again and hopefully Nu Metal gets the same treatment. With all of that being said, I want to cover an album by a band from my home state of Massachusetts who took over the scene after being signed by one of the scenes biggest names. Of course, I am talking about the band Staind who at one time were signed by Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. The album I am covering by the band is the group’s second major label effort Break The Cycle which was a huge success due to perfect timing. The band was coming off of a highly successful stint on the Family Values Tour when it struck with this album on May 22, 2001. The band consisted of Aaron Lewis (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Mike Mushok (Lead Guitar), Johnny April (Bass), and Jon Wysocki (Drums). The album was such a success that it peaked at number one on the US Billboard Top 200 charts, Canada Album Charts, New Zealand Charts, and the UK Album Charts as well as being certified platinum five times.

break the cycle1.Open Your Eyes– The song opens up with a hammering riff before it gets melodic and the tempo slows down for the verse in a track that is all about speaking the truth before you talk crap. 4.5/5

2. Pressure– Another hammering riff from the band with a cool bass line that was co written with Josh Abraham that talks about pressure and how the narrator can’t take it anymore. 4/5

3. Fade– One of my favorite tracks that starts with an ominous beat and a cool bass line before the heavy guitar comes in. The track talks about relationships and how they can be strained. 5/5

4. It’s Been Awhile– The big hit from the album in the cavalcade of hits the band has had in their career in a track that Lewis has said was about the acknowledgement of his past mistakes and such. 5/5

5. Change– A track that starts off with a heavy riff, but it gets melodic with the verses in a track that is about how eve though his situation has changed, he still can’t find happiness. 4/5

6. Can’t Believe– Wysocki opens up this heavy ass track that features some screaming from Lewis in it. A very Deftones like track for the time period. A very simple track that just talks about disrespect and how he can’t believe that it’s still going on. 4/5

7. Epiphany– A cool acoustic track that is very personal and talks about depression as well as never taking the opportunities to do or say something to someone. 5/5

break-the-cycle-4e8063edc49808. Suffer– A brilliant track about how we all love to suffer because we all need something to bitch about it whether the TV helps us or not. 5/5

9. Warm Safe Place– A very melodic intro with a cool bass line in a track that is all about life on the road and the difficulties of it. 4/5

10. For You– One of my favorite tracks on the album about not being heard by the right people and this is your anthem to them. 5/5

11. Outside– The original version of this was a live track that was featured on The Family Values Tour Live CD and here is the electric/acoustic version. 5/5

12. Waste– A very melodic track that talks about the narrator being confronted by the mother of a friend who had committed suicide and now she wants answers. Apparently that is what the song is about. 4/5

13. Take It– A heavy ass way to end the album on a high note with the ferocious riffs before the bass carries the verses. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This was definitely one of my favorite albums from the band besides the first one. This was a major step forward for the band at the time even though Nu Metal was slowly dying out at the time. It would soon become adapt or perish for a lot of bands at the time. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

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