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'Face' The Music

GodsmackGodsmack frontman Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and new drummer Shannon Larkin (who replaced Tommy Stewart early last year) are building on two previous multi-platinum albums with the release this week of "Faceless" (Universal).

"We feel pretty fulfilled right now," Erna says of the set, recorded in Miami with producer Dave Botrill. "We're right on the line, and I think this record is going to break things open for us. No one's really doing rock music the way we do any more. It's either techno rock, or rap rock, or something else."

"Faceless" takes Godsmack in a more melodic direction, as Erna expands his vocal range and lyrical inspirations. While the sharp diatribes prevalent on previous outings are still in full force, they're tempered with numbers like "Serenity." "I flushed out a lot of that stuff on the first two records," he says. "I'm not going to pretend I'm pissed off at the world just to keep up that perception of me. I'm not in that place anymore."

First single "Straight Out of Line" is No. 3 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart this week. A North American tour begins April 25 in Miami.