Once upon a time, SPINESHANK was one of the “Next Big Things” in modern metal. Their brand of industrial-tinged nu-metal appealed to metal purists and non-purists alike. Their last album even garnered a Grammy nomination for the band’s smashing single “Smothered”. Then at the height of the band’s success, they broke it off unexpectedly. Nine years later, SPINESHANK is back again with their forth major release Anger Denial Acceptance. First things first: don’t call it a comeback. This is not entirely the same band that broke into the mainstream ten years ago. Sure, the staples of the band’s crossover metal are still there (screamed/sung vocals, fast and furious riffing), but the group has surely matured during its hiatus. Gone are the industrial elements and the simplistic sound; instead, the band has tightened its musicianship, sounding almost progressive during a few passages. What has not changed is the absolute vitriol with which vocalist Jonny Santos spews his lyrics into the microphone. His ability to sound melodic even through his harsh vocals was always an asset to SPINESHANK, and I’m happy to report that is still heavily present throughout the album. Where the album falls short is two-fold. It sounds a bit dated, considering nu-metal is no longer part of the music consciousness; however, I would happily take “Murder Suicide” over the vast majority of what is played on rock radio currently. Secondly, while the album is an enjoyable listen throughout, very few moments stick with the listener after its runtime. Despite those two qualms, a band most of the music world had forgotten has come roaring back with a surprisingly successful release. – by Nicholas Senior
>> Classification: Comeback Metal
>> Recommended Tracks: “Murder Suicide” and “The Reckoning”
>> In Conclusion: While nu-metal was not tops on the list of genres that warranted a comeback, SPINESHANK has served to the listening public a reminder of how enjoyable the genre used to be.