The Sound of Madness

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The Sound of Madness
The Sound Of Madness - Cover Art.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 24, 2008
ProducerRob Cavallo
Shinedown chronology
Us and Them
The Sound of Madness
Singles from The Sound of Madness
  1. "Devour"
    Released: May 5, 2008
  2. "Second Chance"
    Released: September 8, 2008
  3. "Sound of Madness"
    Released: February 23, 2009
  4. "If You Only Knew"
    Released: August 31, 2009
  5. "The Crow & the Butterfly"
    Released: April 6, 2010
  6. "Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)*"
    Released: June 15, 2010

The Sound of Madness is the third studio album by American rock band Shinedown, released June 24, 2008. The album's lead single, "Devour", was released to radio on May 5, 2008. It is the first album to feature Eric Bass and Zach Myers and the only album to feature Nick Perri and the band as a five piece.

The album's lyrics explore diverse subject matter as opposed to their previous albums; "Devour" ventures into political territory while "What a Shame" tells a story about lead singer Brent Smith's uncle, who died during the recording of the album, and how Brent and his cousin, professional wrestler Olivia Smith, dealt with his death. The song "If You Only Knew", which is about Smith's then-fiance and newborn child, was the first time that he had written a love ballad for Shinedown.[3]

Shinedown's tour to support the album subsequently started with the band playing a few festival shows before the release of The Sound of Madness.

The Sound of Madness is Shinedown's most successful album, and has issued one multi-platinum single ("Second Chance"), one platinum single ("If You Only Knew"), as well as all other singles going gold. The album has since been certified 2× Platinum by the RIAA in 2016 for shipments over 2,000,000 copies.[4]

Writing and recording[edit]

Work on a third studio album began in early 2007; while the record label requested an album to be created in six months, Smith declined, stating that he was not happy with the results of working under the time restraints on the last album, and wished to take his time on the album.[5] The label agreed to this, ultimately allowing Smith to take eighteen months to prep the album.[5] Part of the long development time was due to internal issues within band members; during this time, Smith fired both Stewart and Todd from the band.[6] Smith let Stewart go due to disagreements with the direction of the band, feeling that Stewart was no longer happy or committed to the band.[5] Todd was fired due to major disagreements with Smith, and personal problems that were getting in the way of the band.[5][7] Then-touring guitarist Zach Meyers later recounted that both Smith and Todd were going through significant substance abuse issues at the time with drugs and alcohol, which lead to much infighting between the two.[6] The band almost broke up during the period, but Smith firing Todd and stopping his drug use helped eliminate the internal issues, and helped the band move forward.[6][7]

"It's time to just go over the top, literally go above and beyond what a human being thinks they're capable of recording. We want to do a huge hard rock record that has a lot of crossover potential but also some of the most insanely intense and heavy material that this band has ever tried—and see if we can pull it off."[8]

Brent Smith, on the 40-60 demos created while recording The Sound of Madness.

Smith spent much of 2007 writing new material, alone, for the third album.[7] Sessions were prolific, with Smith writing over 60 songs during the period, though the fact that he now lacked a guitarist and bassist was a constant concern.[5] Smith recruited a number of studio musicians for its recording sessions; Dave Barrett contributing most of the album's guitars, Tim Pearce, contributing some additional guitar, and Chris Chaney contributing most of the albums bass guitar.[7] The rough demos were sent from the record label to music producer Rob Cavallo, who, upon hearing them, told Smith he wanted to produce the album.[7]

Release and promotion[edit]

The final result, The Sound of Madness was released on June 24, 2008. The first single, "Devour", was released on May 6, 2008 and was the band's second No. 1 on the active rock chart. In order to start touring in support of the album, Smith assembled a new official lineup for the band, consisting of Nick Perri of Silvertide on lead guitar, Eric Bass on bass guitar, and upgrading touring member Meyers to a permanent rhythm guitarist position.[7] Perri toured only briefly with the band in 2008, before leaving to pursue a solo career, a move Smith was fine with, as he felt the band operated better as a quartet, leaving Meyers as the primary guitarist.[7]

Through multiple successful single releases, and extensive touring, the album ended up being the band's best-selling, staying on the Billboard 200 charts for 120 consecutive weeks, and eventually being certified double platinum in the United States, indicating two million units sold.[9][10] Six singles were released from the album: "Devour", "Second Chance", "Sound of Madness", "If You Only Knew", "The Crow & the Butterfly", and "Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)", each one topping a Billboard rock music chart.[11][9][12] Of particular note was "Second Chance", which crossed over to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 7, and eventually being certified triple platinum, indicating three million units of the single sold.[10][13]

The band, with its new lineup, once again toured extensively in support of the album release, spending over two years on live performances.[9] Tours include a European tour with Disturbed in 2008, the "Stimulate This!" tour with Staind, Chevelle, Halestorm, and Lo-Pro, in 2009, the Download Festival, in the United Kingdom, in 2009. The band continued touring into 2010, including headlining the "Carnival of Madness" tour, which involved larger, 10,000 capacity arena venues, and a later "Anything and Everything Tour", which involved acoustic performances in smaller venues and Q&A sessions with the crowd.[9] Somewhere in the Stratosphere, a live album/DVD, was released in May 2011, documenting performances from both tours.[14]


Professional ratings
Review scores
About.com3.5/5 stars[15]
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[16]
Alternative Addiction4/5 stars[17]
Melodic4.5/5 stars[19]
Sputnikmusic3.5/5 stars[20]

The Sound of Madness received positive reviews. Tim Grierson at stated "Though hard rock remains Shinedown’s forte, this new record suggests that the band members are more than willing to pursue other sonic territory in order to better express themselves." and referred to "Devour" and the title track as the album's "most explosive" songs.[15] The album is referred to as Shinedown's best one by Alternative Addiction, who also called it one of the best albums of 2008.[17] Ed Thompson of IGN wrote a positive review, stating that "There really is nothing new or Earth-shatteringly original included here. But likewise, there really isn't a weak track on the record."[18] However, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave a mixed review, noting that "Shinedown serve up what they always have: active modern rock embodying the sound of post-grunge in the new millennium without offering much that is memorable, either for better or for worse."[16]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Brent Smith and Dave Bassett, except where noted.

2."Sound of Madness"3:54
3."Second Chance"3:40
4."Cry for Help"3:20
5."The Crow & the Butterfly"4:13
6."If You Only Knew"3:46
7."Sin with a Grin"4:00
8."What a Shame"4:18
9."Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide"3:11
10."Breaking Inside" (Smith, Bobby Huff)3:51
11."Call Me" (Smith, Tony Battaglia)3:43
Total length:41:48
Track notes
  • ^[n] The song "Junkies for Fame", rumored to be released as an album track, an iTunes exclusive, a retailer-exclusive bonus track and later falsely confirmed by the band to be a Target exclusive song debuted via the video game Rock Band on July 22. On August 18 the song was released for download on iTunes and Amazon.

Two songs, "Be The Same" [21] [22] and "Seasons" [23] were written during the Sound of Madness sessions but didn't make the album's final track listing. Both songs were eventually recorded and released by the band One Less Reason on their 2010 independent release of the album Faces & Four Letter Words. Brent Smith even contributed vocals to the song "Seasons". Neither song appeared on the revised track listing when the album was released nationally by Arsenic Records the following year.


  • Brent Smith – lead vocals
  • Zach Myers - rhythm guitar
  • Nick Perri - lead guitar
  • Eric Bass - bass
  • Barry Kerch – drums
Additional musicians
  • Chris Chaney – bass
  • Tim Pierce – rhythm guitar
  • Dave Bassett – rhythm guitar
  • Bobby Huff – rhythm guitar and keyboards on "Breaking Inside"
  • Dale Oliver – guitar on "Breaking Inside"
  • Rob Cavallo – rhythm guitar and piano on "Call Me"
  • David Campbell – string arrangements and orchestration
  • Jamie Muhoberac – keyboards
  • Lzzy Hale – guest vocals on 2010 deluxe re-issue version of "Breaking Inside"

Chart performances[edit]


Chart (2008–09) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[24] 70
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[25] 19
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[26] 187
UK Albums (OCC)[27] 143
UK Rock & Metal Albums (OCC)[28] 8
US Billboard 200[29] 8
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[30] 3


Year Single Peak positions
US Hot 100 US Main. Rock US Modern Rock US
US Top 40 CAN Hot 100
2008 "Devour" 114 1 13
"Second Chance" 7 1 1 8 3 29
2009 "Sound of Madness" 85 1 5 2
"If You Only Knew" 42 2 7 4 21 64
2010 "The Crow & the Butterfly" 97 1 6 1 51
"Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)" 111 1 17 7

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[31] Platinum 80,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[33] 2× Platinum 2,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Shinedown The Sound of Madness".
  2. ^ "Shinedown The Sound of Madness". AllMusic.
  3. ^ "If You Only Knew Songfacts". Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  4. ^ "Gold & Platinum". Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^ a b c d e f g
  8. ^ "Shinedown 'Going For The Gusto' On Third Album". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^
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  14. ^
  15. ^ a b Grierson, Tim. "Shinedown – 'The Sound of Madness' Review". Retrieved February 3, 2011.
  16. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Sound of Madness – Allmusic review". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 3, 2011.
  17. ^ a b "Review of "The Sound of Madness" by Shinedown | Alternative Addiction - Get Addicted First". Alternative Addiction. July 15, 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  18. ^ a b Thompson, Ed. "Shinedown – The Sound of Madness Review". IGN. Retrieved February 3, 2011.
  19. ^ "Melodic Net - Shinedown - The Sound of Madness". Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  20. ^ "Review: Shinedown - The Sound of Madness". July 9, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2008.
  21. ^
  22. ^
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  24. ^ " – Shinedown – The Sound of Madness" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  25. ^ "Shinedown Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  26. ^ "ザ・サウンド・オブ・マッドネス" (in Japanese). Oricon ME inc. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  27. ^ "Chart Log UK: DJ S - The System of Life". (c/o Official Charts Company). Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  28. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  29. ^ "Shinedown Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  30. ^ "Shinedown Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  31. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Shinedown – Sound of Madness". Music Canada. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  32. ^ "British album certifications – Shinedown – Sound of Madness". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 16, 2017. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Sound of Madness in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  33. ^ "American album certifications – Shinedown – The Sound of Madness". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 16, 2017. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.