Can Mesmerize live up to or surpass the huge success that Toxicity had? That is the question that I have anticipated since hearing that SOAD was back in the studio.
When I first heard SOAD I could not stand them. a friend of mine has been a huge fan since they first came out, he tried to get me into them but I just couldn’t follow the music. I described their sound as that of a carnival. You see, when you are walking through a carnival you are exposed to a variety of sounds and visual stimuli that changes with every step you take. You may walk by the sword swollowing midget with the Egyptian music playing and five steps later you are in front of the bumper cars blasting Slow Ride by Foghat. You never know what is coming next. You may look down Carnival row and catch a glimpse of what’s to come but until its in front of you what’s to come is unknown.
Six months after Toxicity came out I saw them open for Slipknot and was not looking forward to seeing them. I planned on going late to avoid sitting through their set but since Joe was a diehard fan we went early. From the minute they hit the stage I was blown away. I couldn’t put it into words at the time, all I knew was that I was so blown away at the entire set I had to go out the next day and buy the CD.
I work at a Law Firm in the IT Department and at times the day is very stressful. I arrive at six in the morning with a coworker and for a straight year we would blast Toxicity until others started pouring into the office every single morning.
What does any of this have to do with the newest release Mesmerize? Well, I’ll tell you. My anticipation has been huge. I have been wondering if they could release a CD that tops Toxicity. After listening to Mesmerize I don’t think it will happen. The CD is good but it is not the CD that Toxicity was.
The album does move nicely from track to track keeping in tune with the constant change of tempo and style that only SOAD can accomplish. There are radio hits, but to me the songs that will become favorites to me will never see the light of airplay. This is not due to offensive lyrics, American radio still seems to shy away from heavier riffs and fast music. Its possible that as this year goes by this CD will grow on me just as Toxicity did, but for now lets just say that while not disappointed I am a little less likely to play this CD everyday in the morning to get ready for the day with my coworker and arch nemesis Shawn.