Album Review: Sum 41 – 13 Voices

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Sum 41

13 Voices - Hopeless Records

Anyone else find it hard to believe that Sum 41 have now been with us for two decades? It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I bought All Killer No Filler, but it seems twenty years have slipped past. Since they formed Sum 41 have released numerous singles and EP’s, including the EP that introduced them to many of us, Half Hour Of Power, as well as three live albums and, including their latest release, six studio albums. Dave Baksh has returned to the fold for 13 Voices, meaning that along with Deryck Whibley and Jason McCaslin three quarters of the classic line up, that produced some of their best loved recordings, is now back together. Alongside the reunited trio are relative newcomer Tom Thacker, and their new sticksman, Frank Zummo, this also means that Sum 41 have returned to being a quintet for the first time in almost twenty years

13 Voices has a much heavier and darker style than you’d expect from Sum 41, many of the songs have a sound that is more allied with the likes of AFI, whilst this style has had an influence on much of the album, it isn’t the whole story, they have regained elements of the sound the made their earlier albums so popular. Tracks such as Goddam I’m Dead Again kick into more familiar territory, with a fast paced punk element, and that song is the first number, but not the last, when you really notice the return of Dave Baksh, and become aware of what they lost when he left, the heavy metal style guitar riffs were an integral part of their sound and style, and it’s like welcoming an old friend home to hear them again.

This album is something of a welcome return to their former sound, albeit a less brash and frantic version, whilst there was absolutely nothing wrong with their last two albums, 2007’s Underclass Hero and 2011’s Screaming Bloody Murder, but they seemed to lack the key elements of their previous recordings, now that certain something seems to have made a welcome return for 13 Voices. The return of Dave Baksh, whilst not obviously not the sole reason for this, appears to have acted as something of a catalyst for a return to form for Sum 41, whilst 13 Voices is not quite a return to their heyday, it’s not far off. 13 Voices is the sound of a band that seem to be finding the original enthusiasm and energy that came across so clearly in their early albums.

13 Voices can be ordered here