Distributor/label: Another Century
Distributor/label URL: http://www.anothercentury.com/
Buy Album [URL]: http://bit.ly/2pau815
Band Website: http://www.artofanarchyband.com/
Scott Stapp – vocals
Bumblefoot – guitar
John Moyer – bass
Jon Votta – guitar
Vince Votta – drums
1. Echo Of A Scream
2. 1000 Degrees
3. No Surrender
4. The Madness
5. Won’t Let You Down
6. Changed Man
7. A Light in Me
9. Dancing With The Devil
Art of Anachy is a super-group, and with its second album it is entering its second chapter, a re-beginning with a new front man. Begun by Bumblefoot (Guns N’ Roses) and twins Jon & Vince Votta in 2011, the band was a side project for its members, Disturbed’s bassist John Moyer and Scott Weiland delivered the self-titled debut album in the spring of 2015, however Weiland died later that year and they made the album a free download to honour him.
Following a period of turmoil which included nearly divorcing his wife, becoming homeless, mental health issues among other dramas, Scott Stapp (Creed) stepped forth in 2016 to front the band, taking on the mantle left behind by Weiland. A band that is a mix of the different parts, a cocktail of Guns N Roses, Disturbed and Creed, with a distinct flavouring of Weiland’s own brand of madness still evident.
The opener has an unexpected dance styled intro, which develops into a hard edged rocker, solid rhythms, a huge hook in the chorus that begs to be sung along with, tinged with bitterness vocals and a melody that demands you take notice. ‘Echo Of A Scream’ song certainly sets the feel for the album. Almost tribal, like an army marching across your soul, ‘1000 Degrees’ is punchy, angry and intoxicating, full of self-hate and damnation, it delves into the darker psyche and could be mistaken to be about Stapp, his publicised difficulties, mental health issues that he feels curses him, however the album was written as a collaboration between Weiland and Bumblefoot, before Stapp joined. Dealing with equally dark and oppressive subjects, ‘No Surrender’ holds a hope, a turning point, while obviously about death, it has a feeling of not giving up within it, showing an inner strength. ‘The Madness’, sums up living life with Bi-polar, something Stapp has also struggled with, this song is something many could relate to, and is lyrically very honest, musically its manic and intense.
Continuing with the same theme, ‘Won’t Let You Down’ is a promise to fight for love, like wedding vows in song form, a passionate rendition, these promises continue in ‘Changed Man’, a powerful love song, of love resurrected and second chances. It has echoes of the best of Creed, the drumming really drives it along. With a grove that entices, ‘A Light in Me’ drifts from light to dark, filled with delightful harmonies, it whirls along charismatically.
‘Somber’ would not be out of place on a ‘Creed’ greatest hits album, its a song that grabs hold and demands you listen, a stand out track on the album, emotional guitar riffs lift it ever higher. ‘Dancing With The Devil’ has Native American vibes, something that Stapp brings to the band, the drums pound like feet stomping and dancing, it certainly conjures the feel of a wild tribal dance around the flames. Finally ‘Afterburn’ is heavier, grungier, twisting and reeling, the solos are mesmerising, a song that leaves you wanting more.
Considering the album was written by Weiland & Bumblefoot, Stapp has certainly stamped his own mark on the songs, they are as appropriate to his life as they were to Weilands. Maybe that is why he is such a good fit for this band. This is an album of pure delights, the duel guitar work by Bumblefoot and Jon Votta gives it a strong foundation, and Stapp compliments them well, his vocals are on form on the album. Fans of all the bands involved should love this offering, and it is a fitting tribute to Weiland too.