Sometimes it’s easy to judge a band based on the sum of their parts rather than a whole. Supergroups tend to suffer from this way of thinking more than most. As lazy as that term is, it’s hard not to think of it when you see a band with a lot of star power behind it. Art of Anarchy is one of the bands that has a lot of wattage amongst their ranks.
The Madness is their second album, following up from 2015’s self-titled debut which featured Scott Weiland on vocals. That album naturally had a more blues rock orientated sound to it as you would expect. After his untimely passing, the band has regrouped changed vocalists and with it taken their sound in a new direction.
Enter Scott Stapp formerly of Creed. The differences between him and Scott Weiland are fairly obvious and the music on both albums reflects that. The Madness has pure bold arena rock written all over it. It’s heavier and more tempo driven than its predecessor. Here we have chunky guitars, pounding drums and enough hooks to decorate every room in Leatherface’s house. This seems like a more deliberate album than the debut, which came across more as a series of jams.
It seems obvious on paper that this is the route they would take. Featuring members of Disturbed and Guns n’ Roses was also going to yield positive results. This is unashamedly overblown rock music that could give the likes of Shinedown, and Theory of A Deadman a run for their money. The title track from the album is one of the catchiest you are likely to hear all year.It is a stand out in an album full of fists in the air moments.
Art of Anarchy is the type of band you would hear at WWE events, but don’t let that put you off. This an album that shows not only what a powerful voice Scott Stapp still has. This album acts almost like his redemption in a lot of ways. His voice and lyrics have a world worn quality to them that shows how much time has changed him. He doesn’t overshadow things here though. This is very much an album written by the band as a whole. His voice is showcased and put front and centre, but every single member here brings their A game and has their moments to cut loose.
The Madness is a welcome change of pace for Art of Anarchy. They have allowed themselves to stretch their wings and embrace their big rock roots. Music is subjective and this style of music isn’t for everyone. There’s enough on here to keep you interested and give your vocal chords a good workout though. I personally am glad that Art of Anarchy is back with a new sound, new album and a new direction. Drop your pretences and give it a go, because this is brilliant.