On October 7th, 2016, Sum 41 released their first record in five years. 13 Voices, produced by frontman Deryck Whibley and mixed by legendary mix engineer Tom Lord-Alge was also the first Sum 41 record in ten years to feature original guitarist Dave “Brownsound” Baksh.
The album starts with a slow building arrangement focusing on synths and strings. After over a minute, “A Murder of Crows” begins with Whibley singing “take me away” repeatedly. The entire track maintains the building feeling, much like the calm before a storm.
Next, “Goddam I’m Dead Again” begins with a poppy clap setting the tempo for the song. The song switches between pop punk choruses, metal guitar leads, heavy riffs, and more. Many different influences can be heard in this song. One of the highlights is the over one minute long guitar solo at the end of the song.
“Fake My Own Death”, the first track released to the public, is a typical Sum 41 song, going back to their roots. They again blend pop punk and metal to craft a precise blend of sound that only they can pull off.
To change things up a bit, although heavy, “Breaking the Chain” features themes of consequences relating to our actions. It reminds me a lot of punk music found in Europe or South America, akin to Die Toten Hosen.
A real standout on the album compared to previous Sum albums is “War”. The song discusses not knowing what we are doing in life, and is a much mellower song compared to others on the record even though it is still edgy.
“Twisted By Design” acts as an anthemic closer for the album. Whibley sings of starting anew, possibly referencing his very public health issues that came to light last year. Thankfully, Whibley was able to recover and has made it his mission to bring more Sum 41 to the fans, and I would say that 13 Voices has fulfilled that mission. Here’s to many more!
Sum 41 – 13 Voices Album Info
If you missed it, we also recently reviewed the “Don’t Call It a Sum-Back Tour” featuring Sum 41, Senses Fail, and As It Is.