There is a certain level of enthusiasm that surrounds a band who take the risk of endeavouring to create new music with different methods. The act of routeing compelling measures of production that update their repertoire whilst reflecting on their previous sound is entirely praiseworthy. Sum 41 have managed to do this adequately with a sixth studio album, 13 Voices – their most laudable effort to date.
The record is also the maiden appearance of a new five-piece lineup. Recorded and produced entirely in the home of frontman Deryck Whibley, it’s a haunting and powerful representation of the lengths some bands go in crafting a fiery and robust body of work filled with gracious attainment and unified pride. Funnelling through the first few seconds of the record’s opening track, A Murder Of Crows, one can already extract the consolatory seriousness circulating the records purpose. Boasting a natural progression of embedded orchestral snippets and electronic fragments, the intro is film-score worthy and lays the soft foundation for an otherwise heavy and mortal energy stadium filler. The record is also the first time the band introduce fresh Sum 41 family member and drummer Frank Zummo. Fake My Own Death is an enduringly moving rock beast that especially exhibits Zummo’s recognised and beaming talent. That’s not to take anything away from the rest of the band either. Whibley’s vocals convey a believable and strenuous pain sitting firm beneath genuine guitar guises. Additionally, this ferocity dwells inside most of the tracks that inhabit the record. The album’s title track; 13 Voices shows a shy and subtle guitar introduction, assisting as an interlude moment that could easily play in the background of Tarantino’s Kill Bill series. This surmounts into a fast paced neo-punk expertise with jagged barbarity before scourging out into a gothic storm of pleasant instrument noise and respectable vocal layerings. The Fall And The Rise breathes a new direction into the alternative thrash tipped metal approach to rock the band have so boldly reignited, before further strengthening this inside the album’s melody-rock driven serrated closer – Twisted By Design.
Even the most die-hard music enthusiast with concrete tastes and preferential elitist opinions can’t deny the beauty of Sum 41’s 13 Voices. The band seem to have coalesced together their career experience individually into a union that is remarkably sincere. It’s this sharp-minded approach that seems to have played into their admirable musical work ethic, providing the required tools for a quality focused result. The evidence of this is indisputable and highly listenable.