Album Review: Sum 41 – Order in Decline (Hopeless Records)

After years in the wilderness with both personal and professional problems harming the band and giving most the impression that they were probably done, in 2016 Sum 41 were reborn, so to speak, with 13 Voices. A very good album that saw the band take tentative steps forward while not completely isolating their pop-punk/rock fan base. You can read our review here.

Clearly matured, from 13 Voices we gathered they would be moving towards a more rock oriented style with flashes of metal. A welcome direction and all but confirmed with the single ‘Out for Blood’ released in May this year. Read our single review here.

Now, the band return with their seventh studio album out now via Hopless Records.

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So how is the rest of the album? Well….

Ok, let’s get this clear from the start. Order in Decline is not a bad album and it continues to showcase the maturity of this band. That is a good thing but…and it’s a big but…it just isn’t that interesting.

Take the opener Turning Away. The lack of boom, the kind of huge start we want where Sum 41 show us that they’re raring to go, just isn’t there. Instead we get a flat track that has bursts of heavier rock music but is surrounded by a generally uneventful sounding Sum 41.

The previous released Out for Blood brings things back up. A thumping track that probably should have been the opener considering how fast and heavy it is.

Following that The New Sensation is a little bit bouncy, a little bit dark and moves at a decent pace as it goes from rockier simplicity to heavier blasts. Deryck Whibley’s vocals are on proper point here. A Death in the Family is a good shout for the best track on the album. Riffs taking a leaf out of thrash metal’s playbook, some great vocal layers and a pretty catchy chorus. This is the Sum 41 I want to hear going forward. One brave enough to throw out a guitar solo.

Sounding a little Volbeaty…Heads Will Roll has a rockabilly vibe to it, the simple ‘tap tap’ beat is fine but the chorus leaves a lot to be desired. 45 (A Matter of Time) is back to the high energy, more metal stuff with hefty guitar groove and a punkish declaration by Whibley.

Neverthere is an emotional and soft track that works by keeping things subtle and quiet at first. Before revealing itself to be something of a power ballad. A track that will almost certainly go down a treat at a live show. It’s nice and that’s never a bad thing.

Finally the triple of Eat You Alive, The Peope Vs… and Catching Fire wrap up Order in Decline with varying levels of quality. A mix of melodies, mellow rhythms, big choruses, high-tempo riffing and soloing, Whibley throwing his all into making each track that much more impactful, none of which would matter if the bass and drums weren’t working their asses off.

As we said above, not a bad album by any stretch and it’s certainly a more grown up release. It is the sound of band having shed their pop-punk roots finally. However, we just wanted and hoped for more.

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Sum 41 – Order in Decline Full Track Listing:

1. Turning Away
2. Out for Blood
3. The New Sensation
4. A Death in the Family
5. Heads Will Roll
6. 45 (A Matter of Time)
7. Never There
8. Eat You Alive
9. The People Vs…
10. Catching Fire

Sum 41 - Order in Decline (Hopeless Records)
  • The Final Score - 6/10
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