Godsmack – Awake
Godsmack is an American alternative metal band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The band is composed of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin. Since its formation, Godsmack has released six studio albums, one EP (The Other Side), four DVDs, one compilation album (Good Times, Bad Times… Ten Years of Godsmack), and one live album (Live and Inspired).
The band has had three consecutive number-one albums (Faceless, IV, and The Oracle) on the Billboard 200. The band also has 20 top ten rock radio hits, including 15 songs in the top five, a record number of top ten singles by a rock artist.
Since its inception, Godsmack has toured on Ozzfest on more than one occasion, and has toured with many other large tours and festivals, including supporting its albums with its own arena tours. Godsmack has sold over 20 million records in just over a decade. In honor of the band’s success and the release of their sixth studio album, 1000hp, Mayor Marty Walsh has declared August 6 as “Godsmack Day” in the city of Boston.
The band’s primary influences include Aerosmith, Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Pantera, and Rush according to Erna, Larkin, and Rombola.Erna has cited Layne Staley as his primary influence. The overall sound of the band’s first two albums sound similar to the sound of the Alice in Chains album Dirt. More recently, Godsmack has attempted to distance themselves from the Alice in Chains comparison with Erna stating in an interview with Matt Ashare, “I’ve just never really heard that in our music”. Godsmack also covered “Thunder Kiss ’65” showing influence from White Zombie.
The band’s music is often compared to Alice in Chains which the band cites as an influence.Adrien Begrand of Popmatters states, “Erna perfectly mimics the late Layne Staley’s low, guttural, sinister singing and snarly, metal-inspired growls” -Erna’s vocals also seem to be reminiscent of Metallica’s James Hetfield- and, “The band’s music is a faithful retread of Jerry Cantrell’s churning, tuned-down hard rock”. Katherine Turman of Amazon.com states the band has “dark, swirling, commanding music”. She also commented on the band’s third album Faceless, which “mixes arena rock in the vein of an Alice in Chains”, “riff-heavy, layered tunes and sharp, confident bridge-burning lyrics”.
Erna’s singing style has been stated as “the snarl of James Hetfield”, and “composed of dark harmony that sounds a lot like Alice in Chains”. Merrill’s bass style has been described as “bulldozer bottom with occasional slap-bass reverb”. Larkin’s drumming is thought to “worship at the twin altars of Neil Peart and John Bonham”. And Rombola’s guitar playing style has been praised as “guitars that sound like percussion instruments”
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