By the time Papa Roach dropped 2009's Metamorphosis, it had long moved away from the rap-rock of its landmark hit "Last Resort." On that album, the band flirted with pop-inflected sounds, but other tracks testified that the group was still so virile that Jerry Horton's guitar probably breaks a sweat to keep up with Jacoby Shaddix's hyper-speed roars.
But for 2012's The Connection, the steroid-heavy production was somewhat tempered so emotional catharsis could propel the album, and the same holds true for new collection F.E.A.R. (Face Everything and Rise).
The title track, among other cuts, resembles a canny post-aughts update of Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory, from the simple chord progressions to the dramatic keyboard ambience, although rap doesn't appear until "Gravity," which is six songs later. During this duet with In This Moment singer Maria Brink, it takes a minute to realize a guest MC isn't onboard: Shaddix's rap alter-ego Coby Dick emerges to spin a B.o.B "Airplanes"-style flow that's more enjoyable than Shaddix's usual jagged spitting, and Brink's imploring, choked vocals convincingly evoke feelings of suffocation and despondency.