Break the Cycle

  • Flip/Elektra

Thanks in part to a push from Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, who helped the band get signed to Flip/Elektra a couple of years ago, Staind got its big break and has made the most of it. The band toured relentlessly, scored three huge radio hits and sold more than a million copies of its major label debut Dysfunction.

Now the group's even gone beyond that with their chart-topping follow-up, Break the Cycle. Loud, unabashedly heavy, and packed with raw power, the album offers more than the standard lumbering metal riffs that run rampant through the genre. Sure there's plenty for head bangers and fist wavers to embrace. But there's also a deep sense of melody, insightful lyrics, and soaring vocals courtesy of singer and lyricist Aaron Lewis.

The lead single, “It's Been Awhile,” has been a mainstream hit on Billboard's charts. It starts softly, but Mike Mushok's thundering guitar chords, coupled with the dense rhythms provided by drummer Jon Wysocki and bassist Johnny April kick the song into overdrive by the first chorus. That majestic mix of volume is at the heart of Staind's sound and provides the perfect counterpoint to Lewis's emotionally charged vocals.

Break the Cycle also features a rerecorded, full band blast through “Outside,” which had previously been a No. 1 hit on three different charts in its acoustic incarnation from the Family Values Tour '99 album.

Other standouts include the dark, acid-rain visions heard on the front-loaded, “Open Your Eyes”, the steady rolling power surge of “Pressure”, and the soft, subtle and symphonic “Epiphany”, on which Lewis explores his full range.

Kevin O'Hare