Nu Metal, with or without the umlauts over the u, is no longer nu. Should it still carry the same moniker? Has Nu Metal had its day?
The genre helped Limp Bizkit achieve superstar status, carrying metal into a more mainstream position along the way, but it’s up to every individual to decide whether or not that’s a good thing.
The Awakening could mostly be described as “radio friendly”, but that in itself depends which radio station you prefer to listen to. The album supposedly has an underlying theme of a central character coming to terms with his mistakes, but this isn’t overly apparent and it’s no concept album by any means.
It starts off with Am I Awake, which is underpinned for the most part by a groove-laden, heavy riff. There are more ringing guitar sounds during the melodic part and it sounds like two different songs superglued together. Nevertheless, it’s a strong opener.
There are a few songs that seem to struggle to get going and aren’t exactly moshpit-inspiring. That’s not to say there aren’t good elements among them. There’s plenty of obligatory rap and great potential singalong parts. Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me is one of these and is sure to become a gig favourite.
Speed Demon, as the title suggests, is a faster number. Not breakneck speed, but it ticks a lot of boxes for a great metal song.
Want It All is a complete anomaly. What’s going on? There’s piano and trumpet there and is that a xylophone? It sounds like jazz, not metal at all. In fact it’s as if someone decided a nod to the Midnight Caller theme would be in order. I imagine even the biggest fans will reach for the skip button here.
All is not lost as Revolucion steers things in a better direction with a sound reminiscent in parts of New York hardcore. Yes, that’s Sick Of It All’s Lou Koller shouting away on the second verse. The reggae bit is perhaps an odd inclusion though.
The album is brought to a close with the title track. The song is carried along by a riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on a New Found Glory track, but it works well.
Nu Metal may no longer be nu, but P.O.D. are pressing forward and mixing and combining genres like mad scientists. It might take a couple of listens to fully get it, so don’t write it off too quickly.
The Awakening is out now on Universal. The full track listing is as follows…