Picks and Pans Review: Faceless

UPDATED 05/19/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/19/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

GodSmack (Republic/Universal)

Despite its self-effacing title, this follow-up to Godsmack's 2000 multi-platinum release Awake debuted at the top of the pop chart, thanks to the fury-filled hit "Straight Out of Line." Such unbridled rage dominates the Boston's quartet's third effort, burying the disc in an exceedingly loud alt-metal bluster, which puts the focus more on snarling guitars than on any specific lyrics. Just as well, considering that frontman Sully Erna's angry ruminations have a painfully tedious one-note quality. Only on the surprisingly subdued "Serenity," a multilayered track that melds tribal beats, strings and acoustic guitars, does the band really distinguish itself.

BOTTOM LINE: Pointless

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