Greatest Godsmack Songs: 15 Uncooked And Energetic Tunes


For greater than 20 years, feisty Boston-area rocker Sully Erna performed drums for varied bands throughout Massachusetts, together with Meliah Rage and Strip Thoughts. Having banged on the drums since he was three years previous, he considered music in beats and rhythms as a lot as melodies. So, it’s not shocking that when he put away his drums and picked up a mic and guitar and began writing his personal songs, they have been closely percussive and typically tribal. Most significantly, although, they balanced surging melodic riffs with catchy, aggressive vocals that captured the eye of followers searching for one thing heavier than grunge and alt-rock.

Even so, there’s no query that the heavier grunge bands have been instrumental in Erna’s improvement as a songwriter. Godsmack shares their title with an Alice In Chains tune and plenty of of Godsmack’s songs are embellished with minor-key harmonies redolent of AIC. However Erna was additionally impressed by the vocal cadences and consumer-friendly choruses of business exhausting rock bands he grew up listening to on the radio in addition to post-Black Album-era Metallica.

Listen to the best Godsmack songs now.

When Erna launched Godsmack with bassist Robbie Merrill, guitarist Lee Richards, and drummer Tommy Stewart, they referred to as themselves The Rip-off. One demo later, they modified their title to Godsmack, earned sturdy radio help in Boston for the songs “Preserve Away” and “No matter,” and developed an area following that shortly unfold. Now, many years later, we’re rounding up just some of the group’s finest songs.

All Wound Up and In all places to Go: Godsmack and Awake (1998-2000)

Godsmack’s 1997 self-financed, self-released debut All Wound Up was shortly picked up by Republic/Common. After eradicating some uncleared samples, altering the observe operating order, and hiring producer Mudrock to remix a part of the album and fully remaster it, the disc was launched because the band’s eponymous debut in 1998. By 2001 it had gone quadruple platinum, and through that point Godsmack saved that fireplace blazing with their second full-length launch, 2000’s Awake. The follow-up was extra uncooked and highly effective, whereas incorporating experimental touches just like the spoken-word observe “Vampires,” that served as a welcome diversion from the extra conventionally structured singles.

“No matter”

Deftly merging gritty metallic, nu metallic, and grunge, “No matter” employed lyrical repetition, chunky guitars riffs capped with squalling pedal results, and confrontational angle to create a music that impressed stadium shout-alongs. Erna’s dynamic vocals constructed from pained verses to harmonized pre-choruses harking back to his favourite Seattle band and peaked on the refrain with offended melodies delivered with melodic aptitude. Lyrically, Erna tapped into youthful insecurity and resentment with the refrain, “I’m doing the perfect I ever did/ I’m doing the perfect that I can/ Now, go away!” – a chorus embraced by a legion of pissed off teenagers who turned to Godsmack to really feel validated and understood.

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The one music on the band’s self-titled debut with references to the occult, “Voodoo” nonetheless fueled right-wight spiritual teams who pointed to the music title and lyrical references to “demons” and “candles.” Their campaign was strengthened by Erna’s public admission to being a training Wiccan (a white witch who worships nature and believes in karma), and the album was subsequently banned from Wal-Mart and Kmart and affixed with a parental advisory label. It didn’t harm gross sales in any respect. “Voodoo” is certainly one of Godsmack’s simplest numbers, contrasting sedated vocals, tribal beats, and a meandering bass line with haunting harmonies and spare, slicing guitars and a freak-out solo. The closest Godsmack get to stoner rock, the music is a refreshing, hallucinogenic gradual burn that hints at paths the band would take sooner or later.

“Preserve Away”

The music that broke the band on Boston radio in 1997 (and finally to a bigger rock viewers), “Preserve Away” is pushed by a mixture of betrayal and anger, coupled with melody and groove. Whereas the majority of the music consists of a tuneful, grungy, slippery metallic riff, the mid-section (proper earlier than the solo), options an off-tempo beat and quick, sharp, guitar line that illustrates the band’s affection for Led Zeppelin. Lyrically, “Preserve Away” is fairly self-explanatory, and encapsulates Erna’s ire following a foul relationship: “Do like I instructed you/ Avoid me/ By no means misunderstand me/ Steer clear of me.”

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One of many band’s most bombastic early songs, “Awake” blends dense, down-tuned guitar traces with tumbling beats and a hovering chorus. Erna’s after-line exhalations earned him comparisons to Metallica’s James Hetfield, which by no means bothered Erna or followers. Nevertheless, the fixed comparisons to Alice In Chains’ vocal harmonies started to annoy Godsmack, who used the approach extra sparingly on their subsequent album. Recognizing the ample ranges of testosterone within the music, the USA Navy used it of their “Speed up Your Life” recruiting ads.


The primary Godsmack music to be nominated for a Grammy Award (for finest Rock Instrumental” in 2001), “Vampires” substitutes Erna’s vocals with soundbites about vampires and the “overtone of sexual lust, energy and management they exhibit.” The band layers these samples over a mattress of atmospheric sound results and a thick chunky riff, drawing comparability to industrial metallic bands like Ministry and White Zombie. After the barrage of samples, Rombola’s guitar components change into the first focus, and he augments them with abrupt rhythmic shifts, layered results, and a dissonant wah-wah solo. On the finish of the music, Godsmack return to spoken phrase bits about “the “darkish and hidden components of our psyche [that] are round and captivated by the legends of the undead.”

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The Contrasting Faces of Godsmack: Faceless, The Different Facet, IV (2003-2006)

When Godsmack completed touring for Awake, Tommy Stewart left the band for the second time. After a brief search, Godsmack changed him with veteran drummer Shannon Larkin, who had crossed paths with Erna when each have been drumming for bands within the 90s. Having performed in bands as numerous as Candlebox (grunge lite), Amen (nu-metal), Ugly Child Joe (exhausting rock), and Wrathchild America (thrash), Larkin had the chops for each event, and was simply as adept at taking part in gradual, sentimental ballads as he was in bashing out heavy punk-oriented beats. Whereas Erna remained Godsmack’s frontman and songwriter, Larkin was the key weapon that gave the band the flexibleness and lockstep groove that turned a gaggle trademark.

“I Stand Alone”

Written because the title music for the movie Scorpion King, “I Stand Alone” shudders with scorn and contempt, and whereas the lyrics are about the primary character within the movie, the sentiment they specific about an outcast insurgent hero with a touch of vulnerability matches fist in glove with lots of Erna’s private lyrics. The music marked the band’s debut with Larkin and blended seamlessly with the opposite tracks on 2003’s Faceless. The verse of the music chugs and crashes like one thing from Load-era Metallica, whereas the refrain is pushed by an off-kilter percussive riff complemented by a shrieky guitar passage. On the bridge, the band slows down, and the association turns mildly psychedelic, with a wash of rumbling noise and eerie vocal harmonies that specific each the cinematic vibe of the music and the band’s trademark rage: “I’m not afraid of fading/ Feeling your sting down inside me/ I’m not dying for it/ Every little thing I imagine is fading/ I stand alone.”

“Straight Out of Line”

The primary single written particularly for Faceless, “Straight Out of Line” begins with explosions, whirring helicopter blades, and shouted army instructions, earlier than launching into a much more advanced music than its intro would recommend. The music opens with a lurching, enigmatic bass and drum-heavy rhythm harking back to Instrument earlier than the guitars construct and the band launches right into a easy, infectious refrain. Then, Godsmack enters into dangerous acid hallucination mode with tribal beats, closely modulated guitars, and a wah-wah saturated solo. For all its musical complexity, nonetheless, the lyrics are predictably angsty: “Straight out of line/ I can’t discover a purpose why I ought to justify my method/ Straight out of line, I don’t want a purpose/ You don’t have to misinform me.” None of that stopped the music from hitting #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart (like so most of the band’s singles) or being nominated for a Grammy Award for “Greatest Arduous Rock Efficiency.”

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“Working Blind”

Between Faceless and IV, Godsmack launched an acoustic EP that includes three new songs and 4 revamped album tracks. To document the EP, the band sojourned to the tranquil environs of Hawaii’s Avex Honolulu Studios with producer David Bottrill, who produced Faceless, but in addition had expertise working with Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, and Instrument. “Working Blind” begins like an open chord Neil Younger people quantity and evolves into its personal melancholy beast when Larkin joins in on Afro-Cuban percussion. Together with a haunting vocal concord and a poignant arpeggio, “Working Blind” musically matches the edgy sensitivity of Erna’s lyrics.


Earlier than writing IV, Erna engaged in some intense soul-searching and didn’t like what he noticed. So, he got here clear to his girlfriend about all of the extreme consuming and debauchery he had indulged in on the street and begged her forgiveness. On “Converse,” the primary single from the album, Erna drops the gloves, opens up his coronary heart, and begs for forgiveness. “Converse the reality, or make your peace another method/ I by no means knew, however I imagine that you just’re trusting in me,” he repeatedly sings, as if the extra he repeats it, the extra probably he’s to obtain a full pardon. Musically, the music employs crunchy, staccato guitars and syncopated vocals with craving vocals, mirroring the turmoil of Erna’s lyrics.

“Releasing the Demons”

Right here’s a enjoyable reality: Impartial discuss present host Michael Smerconish has used Godsmack’s “Releasing the Demons” as bumper music between information segments. The music may work higher as an commercial for the WWE. Both method, the way it begins with a testosterone-filled riff after which drops to a shimmering, ambient arpeggio earlier than bursting again into full-on rage mode is fairly artful, and perhaps that’s the form of stuff Smerconish reaches for when he’s getting pumped for his present. The association offers welcome dynamics to this confessional music about venting self-destructive habits and attempting to cover from the detrimental fallout solely to expertise a karmic backlash – a tenet of Wicca – that leaves Erna on the precipice of insanity. “Dealing with’ the times as I develop into my very own/ Loving and hating’s the identical/ And three-fold I instructed you, it comes again with laughter/ Over and over.”

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Return to Type and Escaping the Norm: The Oracle, 1000HP (2010 – 2014)

“Cryin’ Like a Bitch”

Pugnacious and unrelenting, Godsmack returned to straight-up crunching metallic with minimal frills on “Cryin’ Like a Bitch” from 2010’s The Oracle. A lot of the music is predicated on a muted, single-chord riff that creates stress earlier than exploding like a Fourth of July firework. The redundancies make the rhythmic diversions stand out – just like the refrain which replaces precision chugging with sparse, sustained chords. In step with the tone of the music, self-deprecating sensitivity is deserted right here in favor of uncooked unadulterated revenge: “Step out of line and also you get bitch-slapped again/ And you may run your little mouth all day/ However the hand of God simply smacked you again into yesterday.”

“Saints and Sinners”

A brooding bassline and a gradual rising wave of suggestions opens this driving observe, which builds from a trademark, lunging passage to a burst of staccato noise enhanced by Erna’s agonized vocals. Thanks partly to Larkin’s rhythmic agility, the music switches forwards and backwards between buzzing dissonance and chant-along euphoria with out listeners with the ability to pinpoint when the sonic peaks and valleys will hit. The tumult makes a strong backdrop for lyrics about dysfunctional upbringings, and the way the insecurity the engender interferes with later alternatives in life. “Grown from a seed of hope I’ve by no means recognized/ Been raised by the environment of a house so chilly/ If solely I knew what I do know/ I’ll shake my fists to the sky simply to maintain my goals alive.”

“One thing Completely different”

With 1000HP, Godsmack wrote extra collaboratively than ever, yielding a document that demonstrates totally different approaches and beforehand untested constructions. True to its title, Godsmack strayed from their confirmed system on “One thing Completely different” with out sacrificing depth. The music addresses how overcoming dependancy or different hardships can render somebody unrecognizable to themselves. The band accompanies the profundity with music that’s extra contemplative than agonized. The observe begins with acoustic arpeggiated energy chords and steadily builds with a soundboard of manufacturing results that create elongated atmospherics with flangers, reverbs, and different shocking tones. On the chorus, Godsmack enter alt-punk mode with a riff that feels like a cross between Inexperienced Day and Nirvana. Shimmering violins present extra window dressing, proving that Godsmack are simply as able to experimentation and exploration as they’re in making new sounds with previous tropes.

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Rockin’ Into The Sundown: When Legends Rise, Lighting Up the Sky (2018-2023)

After 20 years because the frontman of a metallic band, Erna wished to discover different musical avenues that had impressed him in his youth. With 2018’s When Legends Rise, Godsmack let down their defenses, loosened up their rhythmic rigidity and toned down the sonic stress and depth that had saved them entrenched within the metallic world. And whereas it didn’t trigger a seismic shift of their following (it was far too late for that), it gave them new territory to roam and new songs to carry out between their barbed, chugging classics.


For the primary single from When Legends Rise, Godsmack drew closely from the exhausting rock format that has labored so properly for Halestorm and Papa Roach. The observe depends closely on sturdy, melodic vocals, toned-down guitars, high-tech keyboards, and different manufacturing frills, courtesy of famous emocore producer Erik Ron. Lyrically, the music is a typical Godsmack relationship ditty: “You’re attempting responsible me, however I’m not breaking/ I’m telling you I’m bulletproof,” with Erna assuming the function of the hero who was wronged however will overcome his heartbreak. Musically, nonetheless, the brand new songwriting strategy makes the band sound much less hostile and extra welcoming. “Bulletproof” could also be yet one more music of defiance, however finally the sentiment is much extra hopeful than it’s bleak.

“Give up”

Launched 5 years after When Legend Rise, Godsmack have implied Lighting Up the Sky might be their final studio album. If that’s the case, they’ve properly tied up their profession with a barbed wire bow, returning to producer Andrew Murdock, who guided them via the uncooked, raging sound of their first two albums. On the similar time, they’ve written an energized exhausting rock document that follows within the rousing, upbeat (not less than musically) wake of When Legends Rise. “Give up,” a sonically contagious observe in regards to the painful finish of a romantic relationship, was co-written with Erik Ron (who produced When Legends Rise) and displays the identical pumping (however not over-inflated) exhausting rock vibe that dominated that launch. Like Foo Fighters at their most euphoric, Godsmack have transformed heartache into one thing to smile and leap up and down about. Coming on the tail finish of a looming decades-long shadow of spiteful, haunting, distortion-saturated metallic, perhaps that’s not such a foul method to finish a loud, conflict-riddled legacy.

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Listen to the best Godsmack songs now.