Album Reviews

Sum 41

Heaven :x: Hell

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SUM 41 – Heaven :x: Hell – Album Review

When bands announce hiatuses, splits or disbandment’s these days the news is usually greeted with a heavy pinch of salt and much scepticism. The news that Sum 41 were calling time on their near three decade long career was no different and ultimately only time will truly tell if this is indeed it for the Canadians icons.

Their career has certainly been eventful and they’ve had more than their fair share of ups and downs. As recently as September, singer Derek Whibley was hospitalised again, there have been line-up comings and goings, heralded and maligned releases and shows and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It definitely hasn’t been boring being a fan of the group.

So, with a farewell tour underway and a final double album, ‘Heaven :x: Hell’, out now, it’s time to celebrate the legacy of Sum 41, and that’s exactly what this record sets out to do!

Broken into two halves, ‘Heaven’ commemorates the pop-punk sound that served as the launching pad for the band at the turn of the century; whereas the second half, ‘Hell’, is a more lineal continuation of their recent heavier output. Together ‘Heaven :x: Hell’ truly captures the best of what the band have served up over their previous seven studio albums.

Sum 41 – ‘Landmines’

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‘Waiting On A Twist Of Fate’ and ‘Landmines’ set the tone of ‘Heaven’ and the following eight tracks all help give this side a classic feel which concludes with the melancholic ‘Radio Silence’. In isolation ‘Heaven’ is a short and fun pop-punk romp akin to their breakthrough EP ‘Half Hour of Power’.

‘Rise Up’ soon delivers the overall package a kick up the backside however as ‘Hell’ hits much harder over the second half. Whilst sonically bigger than ‘Heaven’, ‘Hell’ is again a thoroughly enjoyable listen and the inclusion of former live favourite ‘Paint It Black’ is a nice touch.

If future history does ultimately prove this to be the grand finale from Sum 41 then the band can rest assured that they’ve done their great career justice. Whilst this may not be their magnum opus, it’s a true to heart celebration of everything that they’ve achieved and that’s all anybody will really want from ‘Heaven :x: Hell’!

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