Release Date: September 9, 2003
Reviewed by Vin Cherubino

Whenever a band changes their sound a little to attract more of a mainstream audience, the outcome is usually a travesty, a shadow of the band’s former self. Rarely does an album that makes this change sound better than the band’s previous material. In Spineshank’s case, they have not only broken this preconception, they completely decimated it, and have released one of the best rock albums of 2003 hands down.

Self Destructive Pattern can be listened to continuously without the need to skip any tracks. The album does not disappoint at any time, and it is one of very few albums that can be listened to entirely, and be wholly enjoyed at every single melodic second. From start to finish, each song will hit you with nonstop aggression and seamless melody. People who normally wouldn’t listen to such aggressive music can be easily drawn in by the catchy melodies. Many people I’ve spoken to who usually would never touch a metal cd have become instant fans of Spineshank with this album.

Spineshank have shown tremendous growth in their music with this release. The song structures have improved significantly, and have a much more complete feel to them, never leaving any dull points in the music. If you thought “The Height of Callousness” was a good cd, “Self Destructive Pattern will blow you away. Listening to instant classics like “Beginning of the End”, “Self Destructive Pattern”, “Falls Apart”, and “Forgotten” will leave you in utter amazement that a metal album of such quality can still be produced in this corporate rock filled music industry. The production by GGGarth Richardson (RATM, Mudvayne) and mixing by Jay Baumgardner (Godsmack, Papa Roach) is absolutely flawless.

To enable the mainstream to try to grasp the music, Spineshank needed a very catchy tune that wouldn’t scare away the majority of the public. They were able to do just that with the song “Smothered”. Smothered is easily the most radio friendly track on the album, but unlike most radio friendly tracks, this one is thoroughly enjoyable. If given enough exposure, the band can break new ground and attain new fans that never would have given them a chance in the past.

It’s safe to say that “Self Destructive Pattern” is one of the best, if not the best rock/metal album of the year. The grueling 16 months of recording/preparing the album were well spent, as the end result far surpasses anything the band has previously written. Those who think Nu Metal is a complete waste of a genre should listen to the album, and see just how good metal can be when done right.

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