Art Of Anarchy’s sophomore release blasts out of the gates with “Echo Of A Scream” and right from the start you know you are not hearing the same band we met in 2015 when they released their self-titled debut. The grungy chunky guitars that were complemented by the late Scott Weiland’s instantly recognizable vocals are gone. Replaced by a more melodically technical, sometimes effects driven guitar and a new voice that could have taken this band in a different direction, but in the end even with Scott Stapp on vocals, this album thankfully doesn't sound like Creed.
I think that was my biggest fear when I first heard that Scott Stapp was joining the band. Nothing against the band Creed and what they’ve done. I think a lot of us were fans of Creed at one point, but then Creed started sounding too much like Creed. My fear with Scott Stapp joining Art Of Anarchy was that he would pull their sound towards that Creed sound, that Creed had already over done. Listening to the album, we don’t really get any hints of the Creed sound till “No Surrender” (third track in) but even with this track, the melodic duo guitar parts keep the track sounding a little fresher and different.
There are other hints of Creed through out the album, but they’re hints and not overwhelming ones. “The Madness” is a solid rock song for the first single off the album. A driving riff kicks off the track and when Scott Stapp starts to sing, you do get a hint of Creed but as the song progresses closer to the chorus differences become apparent leading up to a powerful chorus that is almost anathematic.
As you progress through the tracks, some more Creed elements appear, especially in “Changed Man” but only briefly. “A Light In Me” felt the most like a Art Of Anarchy song, more specifically a Art Of Anarchy featuring Scott Weiland track. I can’t help but wonder if this track was written before losing Weiland. “Dancing With The Devil” and “Afterburn” wrap up the album on heavier notes. “Afterburn”’s chorus being driven by a solid double kick and “Dancing With The Devil” taking a step back and teasing a throwback to Motley Crue and Van Halen’s respective songs that are associated with the devil.
If you’re worried that the new Art Of Anarchy will just be the new Creed album, my advice is to listen to it first. Give it a chance. It’s good.
Favourite track(s) on the album: Toss up between “The Madness” and “Echo Of A Scream”