P.O.D. the multi-platinum, Grammy nominated rock band, is back with its most aggressive, poetic effort. This 2008 CD is produced by Jay Baumgartner (Evanescence, Godsmack) and it redefines what a hard rock album can be. In... more » addition to the highly anticipated return of original guitarist, Marcos Curiel, the album features guest artists: Mike Muir (Suicidal Tendencies), Paige Hamilton (Helmet) and The Marley Sisters. P.O.D.: Sonny (vocals); Marcos (guitar); Traa (electric bass); Wuv (drums). Guest Artists: Mike Muir; The Melody Makers; Page Hamilton« less
P.O.D. the multi-platinum, Grammy nominated rock band, is back with its most aggressive, poetic effort. This 2008 CD is produced by Jay Baumgartner (Evanescence, Godsmack) and it redefines what a hard rock album can be. In addition to the highly anticipated return of original guitarist, Marcos Curiel, the album features guest artists: Mike Muir (Suicidal Tendencies), Paige Hamilton (Helmet) and The Marley Sisters. P.O.D.: Sonny (vocals); Marcos (guitar); Traa (electric bass); Wuv (drums). Guest Artists: Mike Muir; The Melody Makers; Page Hamilton
"Who would have thought that God's favorite rap-rock band, a band which sold millions of records during a very short lived trend, had both the courage and the ability to evolve? On their seventh full-length effort, P.O.D. reunite with original guitarist Marcos Curiel (who was ousted from the band in early 2003) and boldy go where they have never gone before. Shedding their nu-metal skin completely, P.O.D. have managed to serve up their most mature, most soulful, and most unique effort to date.
First things first: this is not the same P.O.D. you rocked on your discman in high school. To be blunt, if you are expecting a return to the golden "Satellite" era, you will be sorely disappointed. The hip-hop element has almost dissolved and given way to a much more original sound. Like Linkin Park's "Minutes To Midnight," but to a lesser extent, "When Angels & Serpents Dance" shows a band who doesn't want to remain a relic of a faded genre. Take a few listens to this album with an open mind, and you're likely to agree that this is the best thing they have done since 2001.
The whole album sounds centered around the return of Curiel, and it's a welcome breath of fresh air. Marcos' riffing is what originally defined the band, and he effortlessly carries the band into progression. Songs like "Shine With Me," "Condescending" and "Rise Against" are his stage and are likely to please even the most jaded of fans. Elsewhere, the band as a whole takes giant leaps towards a new sound. "It Can't Rain Everyday" is an example of the refined melodic sense the band gained on 2006's "Testify," taking P.O.D,'s sound in an unexpected direction. There are all sorts of little surprises like that one peppered through the album. "Roman Empire" is the best instrumental the band has created to date -- simply gorgeous. "God Forbid," which features the voice of Helmet, Page Hamilton, is the grungiest P.O.D. have gone to date, while "Kaliforn-Eye-A" delivers a deliciously decadent blast of hardcore with Suicidal Tendencies' Mike Muir in tow. Simply put, there's plenty of variety to be found and not a band song among the bunch.
Sure, this isn't the P.O.D. you are used to. Yes, it definitely takes a few spins (and some really good speakers) to appreciate, but it's hardly a disappointment or a step backwards for anyone willing to give it a chance. If anything, P.O.D. have ensured that they have a bold future ahead of them. They have managed to rid themselves of a trendy stigma without giving way to convention. What more could you ask for?"
Somewhat Safe, but Satisfying
Eric Wilson | Nashville, TN United States | 04/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the day, when P.O.D. was singing about "Babylon" and being an "Outcast," I became a fan. I was already on the bandwagon when "Satellite" hit the streets on 9/11, and I was thrilled to see these guys get the attention they deserved. They've never been the deepest of lyricists, nor the most amazing musicians, but they've had a heart and soul I could not deny. They seemed to relate to everyday people. They wore their faith on their sleeves, while never cramming it down our throats.
"When Angels and Serpents Dance" is a return to form as well as a step toward new things. There's a cohesiveness here, with Marcos back in the mix, that was missing from the grittier "Testify" and the artsy "P.O.D." The words are still somewhat standard form, but true to the Southtown vibe. The music ranges from mild rapcore to melodic to bits of orchestration. As a longtime fan, I'm happy with the overall result. I wouldn't call this their best album, but I can certainly listen to it numerous times without needing to skip over any tracks. The mellower tunes are still catchy, and there are some unexpected rhythm changes in other songs.
If you're a fan, this is good stuff, though not their best stuff ever. It's nearly an hour of music. It might be more accessible to those who have not yet hopped on board. I hope the next disk pushes the limit on all edges, giving us unrestrained passion. I don't regret buying this one, though. I'm glad to see P.O.D still rocking through their second decade together. Keep rockin' from the big S.D.!"
A skeptic turned into a lover
Steven Wallace | springy dingy, MO MO | 04/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ok. I think it should be safe to say that I am a huge POD fan. I have been a representative on their street team for 4 of their 5 major label releases. but for some reason when Marcos came back... and when they released their new single "addicted" I was a bit skeptical. sure... I did like it a lot and I was happy that Marcos was back but I was expecting a return to Satellite which sold them over 4 million records worldwide. but then I heard the entire album and why they chose "addicted" as the single I do not know. I am a big fan of this band so on every album I have found enjoyment in just about every track... if a song was not the best or catchiest musically it never really mattered to me because Sonny always had something to say that I could relate with or that would inspire me. but on this album... (perchance one song) EVERY SONG (in my opinion) could be a single the only way that "condescending" was not their single, in my opinion, is that the chorus has vocal layers and might be a bit hard to understand on a radio level but why they did not choose "end of the world" "it can't rain all the time" "shine with me" or the title track "when angels and serpents dance" as the main single I do not know
this album is a refreshing step in a musical way for POD for me. I expect it to win back a lot of the fans who left when Marcos did... and not just because he is back in the fold but because these songs are that good!"
Welcome Back Marcos!
J. Higgins | San Diego, CA | 04/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is definitely a progression from POD's recent releases with the welcoming back of guitarist Marcos. This album is a great mix of classic POD style rock and a more ballads than we have seen before (think Set Your Eyes to Zion and Youth of the Nation). POD recaptures the magic from past works like Satellite. The album is great listened through, start to finish. The message of the album, "This life is a dance, who is going to lead you? When Angels and Serpents Dance" permeates throughout with the traditional uplifting and encouraging lyrics we have come to expect from Sunny.
The stylistic difference in having Marcos back is very evident, and pleasing to hear.
In summary, Welcome back Marcos! You were missed!"
Hard Hitting, Radio Friendly Rock Tunes
Maggie Mae | Memphis, Tennessee | 05/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"P.O.D. have made a few changes since Testify. Frontman Sonny Sandoval has chopped his signature dreads off his and the band has switched from Atlantic Records to Columbia Records. Then fortunately guitarist Marcos Curiel. who played guitar on their previous successful albums The Fundamental Elements of Southtown and Satellite has returned to the band. All these factors combined seem to be positive for P.O.D. They have matured and progressed from the rap-rock-reggae hybrid style they produced before and have written more mature crafty songs but still with a neat groove.
This album still has radio friendly hard rock hitting tracks. with songs like "Condescending", "Addicted" and ""End of the World". which features a gospel choir, something I wouldn't have expected from P.O.D. In fact this whole album is filled with hard-hitting radio friendly rock tunes. It also has guest appearances from Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies and Helmet's Page Hamilton, so you really can't miss with this release."