December 18, 2013 Drowning Pool – Resilience (Album review)
Multi-Platinum hard rock veterans Drowning Pool are once again ruling the airwaves with a vengeance. With the core foundation of Texas natives C.J. Pierce (guitar) and Mike Luce (drums) formed back in 1996, the two added Stevie Benton (bass) in 1999 and Dave Williams (vocals) filling out the lineup. Their debut album, and only with Williams, entitled Sinner (2001), was a major success. Their first radio single “Bodies” became a fan favorite which has become hard-hitting anthem across the globe even to this day. Suddenly and tragically, however, the original singer Dave Williams, passed away on August 14th, 2002, due to an undiagnosed heart condition called Cardiomyopathy. Pierce, Luce, and Benton decided to keep the band going and recruited Jason Jones (now with AM Conspiracy) in 2003 while going on to release Desensitized (2004). Jones, however, left the band to “irreconcilable differences”, and the band was left without a singer.
In July of 2005, Drowning Pool announced original lead singer for SOiL, Ryan McCombs as their new frontman. With McCombs on vocals, the band released their 3rd studio album Full Circle (2007) featuring their first single “Soldiers”, dedicated to the United States Army. Finding stability for the first time in their career with vocalists, they released their self titled album Drowning Pool (2010). After releasing three singles “Feel Like I do”, “Turn So Cold” and “Let The Sin Begin”, a spot on the Ozzfest 2010 things seemed to really be going well for Drowning Pool. To many fans surprise, the band announced the departure of McCombs’ in 2011. Not losing any ground, Drowning Pool quickly announced that Jasen Moreno (Suicide Hook) would be the new frontman to carry them on in 2012. With a debut album like Sinner, which went platinum in just 6 weeks, multiple USO Tours, 5 studio albums, and 4 lead singer changes, Drowning Pool has proven they aren’t going anywhere coming back with a “one, two punch!” on their latest album properly named Resilience.
Contrary to speculation of uncertainty from many fans, the album opens with exactly what you might expect to hear from Drowning Pool. The track “Anytime Anyplace”, released on radio in March of 2013, hits hard right off the bat. The track has fast and energetic grooves provided by Pierce and Benton, while Luce maintaining untamed beats, and savage vocals of Moreno finishing it off. The first track’s pessimistic views of Moreno are laid to rest with him, proving that despite having big shoes to fill, he’s not afraid of them. “Die For Nothing” brings in classic Drowning Pool style by thundering bass, electrifying guitar, and primal grooves from Luce. The one thing which stands out about Resilience is that it’s a bit different, lyrically speaking, than we are used to hearing from Drowning Pool. The lyrical content seems more about encouraging strength in people and not reflection of past experiences. The album’s 3rd single “One Finger and a Fist”, released from the album in January 2013, is probably the most catchy track on the album. Moreno’s brutal vocals capture your attention straight away and follows with a rain of assaulting lines from Pierce and Benton, that automatically raises the badass in anyone that is listening and makes you feel like a “hardcore son of a bitch”! The track is easily a crowd pleaser, bound to stay a fan favorite!
The next track is “Digging These Holes”, whose message wise is pretty self-explanatory. Brought in with metallic grooves from Pierce, this is yet another song that Moreno capitalizes on vocally, letting loose some raging screams allowing the fans to feel the raw energy he puts forth. Continuing the high energy, we are then given the second radio single of the album called “Saturday Night”. Originally released in November of 2012, which received mixed reviews from fans and critics. With that said, if you understand anything about the cut throat music industry, the life of a band and their crew is not as glamorous as it looks. Yes, they get VIP treatment (most of the time) while on tour, but most do not understand the personal sacrifice they go through to bring the music to fans in the studio and performed live. So, in a sense, the fans become their family while on the road and partying becomes a normal everyday way of life. It’s practically all they have while spending life on a tour bus. With that said “Saturday Night” is a reflective track giving you a glimpse of the day in the life of being on the road as a rock n roll band.
The album moves on with “Low Crawl” and “Life of Misery”, which both bring incredible energy and emotion. “Broken Again” rolls in with a bit of a “King Zero” sound and unfolds into Moreno style with continuously emphatic vocals while sticking close to true Drowning Pool fashion. Rolling on, we reach the track “Understand” which unearths the bands traditional penetrating catchy choruses with a steady solid rhythms. That leads us into the 10th track on the album entitled “Bleed With You”. This is one of those tracks that is lyrically soul penetrating. Filled with emotion and meaning, the track makes everyone who hears it feel like they aren’t alone, which is particularly important in a modern generation. Moreno is so invigorating with his vocal delivery, while Pierce, Benton, and Luce do an incredible job of lifting things to a higher level, with hints of a fluid, and beautiful violin and an uplifting choir in the chorus. This is definitely one of the best tracks on the album. A few tracks away from that, we have the concluding tracks of “Skip To The End” and “In Memory Of”. These songs flow in more somberly than the rest of the album, and rightfully so. Keeping things flowing all the way through the first single off the album, “In Memory Of”, written in dedication of beloved original Drowning Pool vocalist, Dave Williams. While maintaining a steady stream of rocking rhythms throughout the song, Moreno’s voice is a bit more melodic and modulated at times. There is no doubt Williams would be proud of where Drowning Pool is today, after all these years of hard work.
It’s important to reiterated that Drowning Pool’s sound has not really changed all that much with adding Moreno on vocals. This fact should put their hardcore fans fears to rest. If anything, the band is more energetic than ever, having a group of young and up and coming bands to compete with. The band desperately needed to keep that energy flowing to stay on top and they have successfully done so with Resilience. Through facing tragedy and trudging along forcefully into the unknown, Drowning Pool has proven relentless in following through with their dream of creating music. The original crew has stood true to themselves and there could not have been a better addition than Moreno. If you were a victim of skepticism before, give Drowning Pool another chance because this album will convert you. It will be intriguing to see what else Drowning Pool has up their sleeves for future as their efforts forge on in a rather impressive manner. CrypticRock gives Resilience 5 out of 5 stars.
Band photo by David Jackson Photography
Written by Dat Rok Chick