Label: Eleven Seven Music
Release Date: April 9, 2013
One might expect that going into its fifth album with its fourth singer, Drowning Pool would be running on empty. That’s not the case. The Texas quartet is as angry and determined as it was when the “Bodies” first started hitting the floor more than a decade-and-a-half ago. “Resilience” is about as poetic an album title as one could choose for the band’s latest effort.
It’s never easy changing a member of a band, but its uniquely difficult when that person is the frontman, vocalist, face of the group. Drowning Pool has endured this three times through tragedy and happenstance. Most metal mortals might have packed up their toys and left the sandbox, but guitarist C.J. Pierce, drummer Mike Luce and bassist Stevie Benton, came to play. Rather than getting mad, they got even–better.
After looking at numerous potential vocalists, many names you might already know, they went with a local talent, Jasen Moreno. In Jasen they found a voice which could not only handle the low growls but hits the highs they’d been missing for years. The mohawk’d Moreno fits right into the pissed off and fiery attitude of Drowning Pool, and like the hand rising from the band’s namesake on the album’s cover; Moreno and company resiliently raise one finger and a fist to those who would silence or negate them. “Resilience” is not a concept album, it’s the blueprint of Drowning Pool’s existence.
The band comes out ready for battle on the opener, “Anytime Anyplace”. The rage fueled rocker does everything you want a lead off track on a metal album to do; set the tone and fire the listener up. This is the first song the band worked on with Moreno, and the energy is palpable.
The aggression continues on the ode to perseverance, “Die For Nothing”, the aforementioned “One Finger and a Fist”, and “Digging These Holes”: All three are packed with tight riffs, powerful melodies and driving rhythms.
The band strikes next with the requisite party anthem, “Saturday Night”. Sure it’s somewhat clichéd, but it still feels good when it’s cranked and you’re in the mood to cut loose.
Some of the album’s strongest cuts are not the singles, but buried in the belly of the beast. Tracks like the addictive ragers; “Life of Misery” and “Broken Again”; the raucous chugger, “Understand”; or “Bleed With You” which comes on with a slow rolling groove, giving listeners a chance to catch a much-needed breath–that lasts only until the chorus kicks in.
The album’s first released song, the emotive and powerful tribute to original singer Dave Williams, “In Memory Of” comes near the album’s wind down. They bring it all to a close with the sonic kick in the teeth to society’s collective and sheep and ostrich mentality, “Blindfold”.
With “Resilience” the band have sent a concrete message to the naysayers and doubters: Drowning Pool is not backing down, giving up, or licking its wounds. The chemistry between the founding trio and new voice, Moreno seethes between the pounding drums, rumbling bass, and crisp guitars. Drowning Pool offer fans 13 new tracks (15 on the deluxe edition) of powerful and motivating hard rock.
“Resilience” is a sonic ass stomp, and a reminder that Drowning Pool are not only survivors but warriors for the cause.
Check out our recent interview with C.J. Pierce as he talks about “Resilience” and the addition of Jasen Moreno.
Purchase Drowning Pool Resilience here: