Let’s get a few things out in the open prior to beginning to craft a review of the latest release from Mushroomhead, entitled Savior Sorrow. First of all, it’s been years since the whole “Mushroomhead-Slipknot” argument was relevant in any way, so haters of either band can stop reading now if they are looking for the revitalizing of that quarrel. Secondly, those that know my personal history with the band and are looking for that whole mess to stir back up also need to look elsewhere. The past is the past, and for the most part both sides of that debate have just decided to leave each other alone. ‘Nuff said about that. What you are going to get here is a straight-up review that’s not based in anything from the past other than some basic comparisons to their past recorded work, to which I’ll admit to being a fan of on a basic level.
Mushroomhead are back after a fairly long, yet busy, time away from the recording scene. Since their XIII album was released, they’ve changed labels, vocalists and have released a DVD while redefining themselves live. Now on Megaforce, Mushroomhead’s sound is a redefined as well. The core sound is there, but the direction seems to have shifted with the departure of Jason Popson from the band. Much of Savior Sorrow is a bit less abrasive as on past releases; not that Mushroomhead has been an overly heavy band in the last few years (specifically on XIII).
Interestingly, the change from Popson to newest member Waylon really hasn’t made a difference to the sound that much. Most of the vocals sound surprisingly similar to what Popson was doing. It’s definitely not a case of the band having a completely new sound due to the new singer. The style itself has definitely changed, or grown depending on how you look at it. Many of the songs have some very “Corrosion Of Conformity”-like riffs on them. Songs like “Tattoo” feature a grittier, almost stoner-type vibe to them. Other songs, like “The Doubt”, sound more like Dope than past Mushroomhead, only with a gravelly doom metal growl mixed into the chorus. No matter what these guys do, they will never get away from the Faith No More comparisons, and the overall vibe of the first half of the song “Save Us” will reaffirm that claim.