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Reviews: Godsmack: The Other Side

Reviews: 4

Review by LC August 16, 2004 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Review: Stereo/Multichannel SACD

Audio Systems: Stereo – Sony ES, Placette, Rogue, Meadowlark, Cardas (See User Details)
Multichannel – Denon, Marantz, Bryston, Paradigm Reference (HT system)


Music/Performance:

After three albums of vaguely tribal, “post-industrial,” post-Alice in Chains hard rock, Godsmack did the right thing with this half-hour, seven song, acoustic project featuring new and reworked material. Half an hour might not seem worthwhile, but it is actually the perfect length. The band can hit hard with a raw, simple, direct thrust that couldn’t (or shouldn’t) be drawn out to album length. Godsmack’s regular sound is fairly distinctive, but the acoustic format is particularly striking. This is not Godsmack Lite. Chords that are powerful or hard in the original versions of, for instance, “Re-Align” and “Spiral” become surprisingly sinister with the percussive immediacy of acoustic guitars. Bongos have never sounded so menacing. Sully Erna’s alternately caustic and brooding vocals never falter as “The Other Side” pushes relentlessly to its unnerving and hypnotic conclusion “Asleep,” a reworking of the title track of their second release, “Awake.”


Sonics:

The sonics on “The Other Side” do not disappoint. This is not a MTV “Unplugged” set. Recording, engineering and mastering all appear to be first rate. Like much of the music, the recorded sound has a raw, sinister edge to it that really grabs you by the collar. Though raw, the sound is exceptionally clean and the background totally black. Every sound is clearly captured and presented with a spatial character that hovers somewhere between realistic physical presence and disorienting unreality. Erna’s vocals are always distinct, even as the instruments seem to encircle him rather than merely support him from behind, an effect that is predictably enhanced in multichannel, although the mix doesn't resort to gimmicks that would clash with the acoustic nature of the performance.


Summary:

A short but potent effort that allows hard rock to take advantage of the extra weight and edge that SACD can give to acoustic sounds. Some of the only dark, aggressive contemporary music to appear on the format so far, but a fine choice if that's what you're looking for.

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Review by muzikman August 23, 2004 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Godsmack are very successful rockers and their audience is extremely devoted, so this album may come as surprise to the faithful. The seven-track unplugged EP titled The Other Side was a wake up call for me to their awesome talents. To make it a musical experience that will be ringing in my ears for the next few weeks-I got the SACD version, which is fantastic!

My first thought was how clear and concise this recording is, which is not always a given, but for the most part it is in this format. The vocals of Sully Erna reminded me of Metallica so much, and then I heard a Led Zeppelin like riff here and there, which made it easier for me to find a common ground based on my own past listening experiences. Believe me, my ears perked up more than once while listening to this music…the more I listened, the more I enjoyed it. These guys rock even when they do their songs acoustically.

This band obviously is top-notch right out of the gate and they are all fine musicians with the knack of making their music very catchy and hard to resist. Taking hard rocking tracks and making them into melodic rhythmic voyages is not always the easiest thing in the world to do with conviction, this band pulls it off in spades. The rhythm and melody is superb on every track while maintaining the alternative rock edge and attitude that people would expect straight on through with a Godsmack album. This may not please the hard core head bangers but anyone that can appreciate great musicianship and totally loves this band no matter what they record, will simply love this.

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Review by s3 June 24, 2006 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I have to say I love acoustic heavy metal! it sounds raw! very good album. 2 things i felt was missing #1 atleast 2 more songs! it's SACD... come on! #2 the bass drum has very little impact. There are other "cd's" that I've heard has much more of an impact than this one, which is "SACD". The guitars sound awesome and his voice difenitely sounds alive, but that bass drum could have stood out alittle more. other than that great sacd.

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Review by duchski July 31, 2007 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
There are not that many rock SACDs out there... Godsmack "acoustic" stands out as a perfect performance... This is as a matter of fact my perfect Gdosmack record. There is something about acoustic metal that is very appealing to me... Maybe because it forces performers to focus on things they are usually hidden behind dBs?

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