The Sound of Madness

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The Sound of Madness
The Sound Of Madness - Cover Art.jpg
Studio album by Shinedown
Released June 24, 2008
Recorded 2007–2008
Length 41:48
Label Atlantic
Producer Rob 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 hard 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 Zack Myers and the only album to feature Nick Perri.

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.[1]

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 both one multi-platinum single ("Second Chance") and a gold single ("If You Only Knew"), as well as being certified 2× Platinum by the RIAA in 2016 for shipments over 2,000,000 copies.[2]

Pre-release and production[edit]

Brent Smith told, "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."[3] Smith said the group had more than forty songs written from writing sessions in Atlanta, Nashville, and Los Angeles.[3] Shinedown road tested four "potential singles," which were written with the bands founding guitarist Jasin Todd, "Sound of Madness," "The Crow & the Butterfly," "Second Chance" and "Devour," on a short run of shows before his exit from the band.[3]

The band began working on The Sound of Madness after several off-date shows in the summer of 2007. Recording began in Los Angeles on September 20, 2007, with the final CD being completed in early-mid-2008.

On June 17, 2008, the entire original album was made available for streaming on the band's MySpace page. It was removed again a few days later.


In the fall of 2008, Shinedown embarked on their biggest tour of Europe at the time, supporting Disturbed in a number of countries.

In January 2009, the band embarked on a European tour, and most notably toured with Staind in July.

Shinedown supported the highly anticipated "Stimulate This!" Tour with Staind. The tour kicked off July 1 and ran through the end of August. Other acts included Chevelle, Halestorm, and Lo-Pro.

On August 29, 2009, Shinedown performed a free concert at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York. The hour and 20 minute show brought in just under 20,000 people from all over the state. The size of the crowd was more than hired security could handle, and over 40 state troopers were called in for crowd control. This was stated to be the largest crowd ever drawn for a free concert in NYS fair history.

Shinedown began their fall 2009 headline tour in Baltimore, Maryland on September 10, 2009, and performed at the Baltimore Ravens kickoff party. The show was free and also included Tantric, Cavo, Halestorm and Egypt Central. The remainder of the Headline tour was supported by Sick Puppies, Adelitas Way, and Cavo.

Shinedown played at the Download Festival, held at Donington Park in the United Kingdom, in 2009. During an interview with Kerrang at the festival, Brent Smith stated that they plan to play new material when they return in late 2009. In the fall of 2008 Shinedown embarked on their biggest tour of Europe at the time, supporting Disturbed in a number of countries. On December 18, 2008 it was announced via the band's website that lead guitarist Nick Perri would leave the band after that night's show after less than a year with the group. Statements released from Smith and Perri both cited personal reasons as the main factors in Perri's departure, with Perri's statement highlighting that his decision had "nothing to do with the band". Zach Myers was announced by Smith to be taking over Perri's lead guitarist position.[4]


The album's lead single was "Devour" and it was released on May 5, 2008. "Devour" was the theme song for WWE Night of Champions on June 29, 2008.[5] It is featured as the title song for MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Island. It is also featured on the games Madden 09, Rock Band as a downloadable track, and the song is part of the Shinedown track pack in Guitar Hero 5 along with Second Chance and Sound of Madness.[6] This song also featured in The Final Destination which was released in August 2009.

The album's second single was "Second Chance" and was used in promotion for Season 2 of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The band performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on September 5, 2008.

On December 27, 2008, "Second Chance" hit the number one spot on the U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Chart and held the spot for ten weeks, losing their number-one streak to Nickelback on March 7, 2009. Two months later, the song hit No. 1 on the U.S. Modern Rock Tracks, making it their first No. 1 on that chart, and held the spot for 3 non-consecutive weeks. "Second Chance" reached the number one position of Billboard's Hot Adult Top 40 Chart on June 20, 2009.

"Second Chance" is Shinedown's biggest hit to date, being their first single to reach the top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100, where it reached No. 7 as of the June 20, 2009 issue.

"Second Chance" was certified as a Platinum single on May 27, 2009, and has since been certified 2x platinum by the RIAA.

The titled track, "Sound of Madness" was released on February 23, 2009 as the band's third single[7] and hit number one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Chart in the US. It was used for the Wrestlemania 25 replay on NBC.

"If You Only Knew" was released as the fourth single from "The Sound of Madness" on August 31, 2009, with an accompanying music video released on October 6, 2009. Brent Smith wrote the song about himself and ex fiancé while she was pregnant with their child.

"The Crow & the Butterfly" was the album's fifth single and it received radio airplay on April 6, 2010.[8] Frontman Brent Smith explained on the radio interview program Rockline that while the band were writing the new album, he had a dream about a mother whose son passes away. He wrote the song about the mother dealing with the death of her child and trying to move on.[9]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating 3.5/5 stars[10]
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[11]
Alternative Addiction 4/5 stars[12]
IGN 7.3/10[13]
Melodic 4.5/5 stars[14]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 stars[15]

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.[10] The album is referred to as Shinedown's best one by Alternative Addiction, who also called it one of the best albums of 2008.[12] 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."[13] 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."[11]

The album debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200 with 50,000 copies sold in its first week. As of February 2012, the album has sold 1.3 million copies in the United States.[16]

The Sound of Madness went on to spend 120 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 chart starting from its June 24, 2008 release & ending in late October 2010. The album returned to the Billboard 200 chart after leaving it for two months & has now spent more than 134 weeks on the chart.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Brent Smith and Dave Bassett, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Devour"   3:50
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:
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.


  • Brent Smith – vocals
  • Barry Kerch – drums
  • Nick Perri - lead guitar
  • Zach Myers – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Eric Bass – bass, backing vocals

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Chris Chaney – bass
  • Tim Pierce – guitar
  • Dave Bassett – guitar
  • Lzzy Hale;- vocals on "Breaking Inside"
  • Bobby Huff – guitar and keyboards on "Breaking Inside"
  • Dale Oliver – guitar on "Breaking Inside"
  • Rob Cavallo – additional guitar and piano on "Call Me"
  • David Campbell – string arrangements and conducting
  • Jamie Muhoberac – keyboards

Chart performances[edit]


Year Single Peak positions
U.S. Hot 100 Mainstream Rock Modern Rock US
U.S. 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


Release date Chart positions US sales RIAA
June 24, 2008 8 2,000,000+ 2x Platinum 1,300,000+


  1. ^ "If You Only Knew Songfacts". Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Gold & Platinum". Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "Shinedown 'Going For The Gusto' On Third Album". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  4. ^ Nick Perri Will Leave Shinedown After Tonights Show Archived March 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "The WWE "Night Of Champions" page which lists ''Devour'' as the official theme song (scroll down to the box entitled "Night of Champions Theme: Shinedown's 'Devour'")". Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ "An official post on the forums by a Harmonix employee announced "Devour" as a July 22 downloadable track". July 18, 2008. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Shinedown release Single 'Sound of Madness' on 23rd February, | News". Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  8. ^ "Future Releases on Alternative Radio Stations, Independent Artist Song Releases". Archived from the original on March 16, 2014. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  9. ^ "The Crow And The Butterfly by Shinedown Songfacts". Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  10. ^ a b Grierson, Tim. "Shinedown – 'The Sound of Madness' Review". Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Sound of Madness – Allmusic review". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Review of "The Sound of Madness" by Shinedown | Alternative Addiction - Get Addicted First". Alternative Addiction. 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  13. ^ a b Thompson, Ed. "Shinedown – The Sound of Madness Review". IGN. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Melodic Net - Shinedown - The Sound of Madness". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  15. ^ "Review: Shinedown - The Sound of Madness". 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  16. ^ "Upcoming Releases". HITS Daily Double. Archived from the original on January 29, 2014. Retrieved 2012-03-10.