Papa Roach - Metamorphosis

Craig Broad 27/04/2009

Rating: 3/5

Multi-platinum, Grammy nominated Papa Roach are back with 'Metamorphosis', their latest album since 2006's 'The Paramour Sessions' and the first album without long time member Dave Buckner, his drumming boots filled by Tony Palermo previously of Unwritten Law fame.

Since the rap-rock, almost dare anyone say it 'nu-metal' stylings of their debut major label album, 'Infest' and its lead single 'Last Resort' (which still remains the bands highest charted single within the UK) Papa Roach have risen, fallen and then risen again to become one of the big players in the current American alternative scene but sadly for them, it hasn't been without hints of mediocrity.

The title 'Metamorphosis' aims to reflect Papa Roach's ambition to never re-treat their musical footsteps and their ever-constant battle to evolve from previous efforts, or so guitarist Jerry Horton would have you believe.

But is 'Metamorphosis' any different to any of their previous releases?

The answer isn't a simple one; it never is with Papa Roach. While the rap stylings of Infest and even Lovehatetragedy seem a million miles away from the band that have created with 'Metamorphosis', there is still something about this release that breeds the stadium rock wannabe sensibilities of certain songs off 2006's 'The Paramour Sessions' and 2004's 'Getting Away With Murder'. This added to the fact that lyrical content is, as always, about negative struggles and you have to wonder, with four previous albums about similiar struggles, can one man really have that more to complain about? Or is he just complaining to gain a weak selling point for the alternative kids? Have Papa Roach actually got anything else to offer as they and their fan base grow with maturity?

Within the introduction track 'Days Of War' and second track 'Change Or Die', you would assume yes. Both tracks containing a huge sense of urgency and a real 'come see us do this live' attitude that hasn't been heard before, that followed by lead single 'Hollywood Whore' which shows glimmers of the sort of hooks they dug into to their listeners on 'Last Resort' surely means that listeners are in for a great time with 'Metamorphosis'. Sadly it's not meant to be, with the rest of the album, containing everything we've come to expect from recent Papa Roach albums, generic riffs, the previous mentioned predictable angsty lyrics and a more than fantastic production which sadly often takes the upbeat live feel of the album away from under its feet. Vocally however, Jacoby Shaddix has come on leaps and bounds and is the highlight with his gravely vocals that lend themselves to both heavy and softer moments within 'Metamorphosis', his best moments coming within the (surely to be a future single) Carry Me.

In retrospective 'Metamorphosis' may not exactly do what it says on the tin, if you didn't like Papa Roach before, this "evolution" won't swing you in their direction, but if you are already a fan, then you can't go far wrong with this release.