Words Dave Mullins.
Papa Roach have been doing the rounds for over two decades. They emerged on the very cusp of the nu-metal scene. This might be surprising to some who could have assumed they were something of a one-hit wonder (a term I dislike). With a massive eight studio albums to their name these guys have a lot to answer for when we look at the state of the metal scene these days.
F.E.A.R is their latest offering and once again it hits all the points that you’d expect from a band that hit its highest point more than 10 years ago. With a clichéd mess of a title, and thematically delving less into perseverance and more just ‘phoning it in’. An indulgence of their more pop-like sensibilities show that this band has become less willing to take the melodic risks they took early on. They have a light splattering of various, more popular genres throughout the record, but nothing concrete enough to be considered provoking or original. Pandering, to the commercial, if anything at all.
The band had critical and commercial success with their Infest (2000) and Getting Away with Murder (2004) albums but it seems like they haven’t found the same magic with this release. Where previous albums have dealt with more serious and personal issues there seems to be a lack of emotion driving these songs. Frontman Jacoby Shaddix was a proponent of the rap-metal movement, but tried to distance himself from it in later years. ‘Gravity’ flirts with some of his early rap work but it finds itself forced and contrived.
The most obvious thing about the album, and it’s most disappointing factor, is how little it rocks. There’s not a point where the album kicks into overdrive, nothing that finds the energy and vibrancy of their early work.
For fans, this might be a great album, but for myself I couldn’t recommend it.