It’s been 4 years since we last had a new Shinedown album release. This album was well worth the wait. It’s no secret that the last 2 years have weighed heavily on everyone. The prominent issues that have arisen during that time are confronted on this long-awaited album. Tackling topics like cancel culture, mental health, and media consumption to name a few, Shinedown has crafted another genius concept album with Planet Zero.
Expanding across 20 tracks, breaking down to 7 interludes and 13 full-length songs, Shinedown paints a picture of a dystopian world called Planet Zero, where inhabitants are consumed by the information media feeds them, losing their humanity and conforming as they’re told to in the process.
Starting the album off with high-octane hits “No Sleep Tonight” and “Planet Zero,” the band holds nothing back with heavy riffs to kick the energy levels up. Tracks like “Dead Don’t Die” and “American Burning” further drive this home by being absolute powerhouses. These are then balanced with a calmer and softer side found within “Hope” and “Daylight,” allowing for feelings of hope (hence the song name) among the heavy. Shinedown further expands on their musical abilities by offering a more punk-like sound found in “Army of The Underappreciated.” For fans of older Shinedown hits, “Clueless and Dramatic” offers a nod in the lyrics to Shinedown’s “45” found on Leave a Whisper (“Antisocial saturation got ya empty inside/Like you’re staring down the barrel of a 45”). The closer song “What You Wanted” ends rather suddenly after wrapping things up with what sounds like a marching band. The abrupt ending leaves the listener to gather their own thoughts on these heavy issues tackled throughout the album.
The 7 interludes that are scattered throughout give more context to the album’s concept. Starting off with friendly messages from a robot named Cyren, listeners receive messages throughout the album that become increasingly menacing, calling on them to remain within regulations found on Planet Zero. These interludes tie in well with the overall idea of a dystopian and conformed world found throughout the full-length tracks.
As a longtime fan of Shinedown, I’m incredibly excited about this album. It offers both the Shinedown sound we’ve come to love and appreciate, but also offers something new and innovative from the band. You will need to listen to it in its entirety several times in order to fully appreciate every little detail Shinedown packs into this album. While it’s difficult to pick which songs are the best on the album, the ones I recommend to really pay attention to are “No Sleep Tonight,” “Dead Don’t Die,” “Daylight,” “Planet Zero,” and “A Symptom of Being Human.” Guitarist Zach Myers has some incredible guitar solos on this album. The one found in “No Sleep Tonight” is one I just can’t get over. Although I’m not sure anyone wants to live in a place like Planet Zero, Planet Zero the album is a welcomed creative endeavor from this dynamic band.
Written By Gretchen Smither
Tracklisting for Planet Zero:
No Sleep Tonight
Dead Don’t Die
Do No Panic
A Symptom of Being Human
A More Utopian Future
Clueless and Dramatic
Sure Is Fun
This Is A Warning
The Saints of Violence and Innuendo
Army of the Underappreciated
What You Wanted
Shinedown will kick off their tour in Canada on July 19, 2022 with Pop Evil and Ayron Jones supporting.