It is apparently the season for hard-rock, as Godsmack joins a lengthening list of A-list bands returning to active duty.

It is apparently the season for hard-rock, as Godsmack joins a lengthening list of A-list bands returning to active duty. Faceless shows the Sully Erna-fronted quartet in fine form, effectively flexing the raging guitar muscle that has become its signature. Here, the sonic blast is underlined with taut melodies and sharply drawn hooks—this separates the random noisemakers from the bands with the creative depth to endure. Erna's growl has smoothed out in all the right places, while Tony Rombola's guitars are razor-sharp, and Robbie Merrill and Shannon Larlin's respective bass/drum interplay is tight and appropriately aggressive. The anthemic "I Stand Alone," with its funk-fortified rhythm base and air-punching chorus, has the potential to propel the band into the top 40 arena, while more caustic fare like "Releasing the Demons" and "Changes" will keep loyalists happy.—LF

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