Sum 41, 13 Voices.

13 Voices is the sixth album by Rock band Sum 41 released earlier this month produced by Deryck Whibley after a difficult battle with alcoholism.

By Jane Howkins.

Sum 41 finally released their long awaited sixth album 13 Voices earlier this month, featuring a return to the heavier sound they popularised in the middle of their career.

If we’re totally honest, the idea of Sum 41 being able to release another album was touch and go for a while, what with the health issue that frontman Deryck Whibley has experienced over the past few years. For those unaware, Whibley was rushed to hospital in May of 2014, following a long (and relatively unknown to the fanbase) period of alcoholism. After being told that another drink could kill him, Deryck managed to recover and stop drinking (which is a massive achievement in itself) and has been working on 13 Voices ever since then. That the album has arrived so soon after Whibley’s hospitalisation is a bit of a shock, but then music can be a very cathartic medium, and it’s certainly shown here with songs titles such as Goddamn I’m Dead Again and War.

It does feel a little bit as though 13 Voices has been slightly rushed, with the production quality being not what you would expect from such a well-known band, as well as some of the songs not having all that much direction but overall, this is quite a good album, especially considering all the trouble that has happened to Whibley and co. in the last few years.

Guitarist Dave ‘Brownsound’ Baksh is officially back, bringing with him a heavier sound and a third guitar. This is definitely a good thing, and has allowed the band to expand their sound a bit more and include twin guitar solos. Of note is the solo at the end of Goddamm I’m Dead Again, which is particularly impressive if reminiscent of the song Hotel California by The Eagles. The overall sound on 13 Voices is pretty heavy, which may alienate fans who were hoping for the band to go back to their pop-punk roots. However the heavier mood is definitely a good thing, with the album sounding like a cross between their second and third albums Does This Look Infected? and Chuck, as well as being a continuation both lyrically and musically of criminally underrated fifth album Screaming Bloody Murder (go check it out, it’s great!)

So overall it’s pretty good, however whilst there are some great songs here, there’s also quite a bit of filler. It’s also recommended that you purchase the deluxe version with the bonus tracks, as Sum 41 have once again done their old trick of keeping some of their best tunes as bonus songs. Better Days is one such track, which is possibly the best song from the whole collection, and deserves a listen even if you don’t check out the rest of the record.