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JFH Music Review


P.O.D., 'Veritas'
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P.O.D.
Veritas



Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Rock / Alternative
Album length:11 tracks: 34 minutes, 50 seconds
Street Date: May 3, 2024


READER RATING:   


P.O.D., short for Payable on Death, returns with Veritas, their latest nod to the potent blend of nu-metal and reggae that catapulted them to prominence at the turn of the millennium. With a career spanning over three decades, this San Diego band has survived through the evolving landscapes of rock and alternative music. Their ability to fuse spiritual fervor with a raw, energetic sound scored them a place in the hearts of fans and critics alike, with hits like "Alive" and "Youth of the Nation" becoming anthems of resilience and hope.

After a notable hiatus since their last studio album, Circles, which garnered mixed reactions for its experimental bent, Veritas arrives at a crucial juncture. This album isn't just a continuation, but a revisitation of their aggressive roots, tempered with the restraint that only years of experience can bring. Frontman Sonny Sandoval seems to feel as though he stands at the threshold of legacy and evolution, seeking to recapture the essence of their earlier successes while engaging with a musical era vastly different from when they first started. Veritas thus attempts to straddle a fine line, offering homage to their impactful beginnings and stepping forward into new territory, all while carrying the weight of their considerable legacy. The album kicks off with "Drop," featuring an explosive mix of electronic beats and hard rock that sets a high bar for energy and intent. However, it's in tracks like "Afraid to Die" where the album finds its depth. Featuring Tatiana Shmailyuk from Jinjer, the song is a powerful confrontation with mortality and courage, showcasing the band's ability to weave meaningful narratives into their soundscapes.

Yet, as the album progresses, there are moments where it seems to lose its footing. For example, "This is My Life" fades into the background, lacking distinctiveness and depth, which suggests a missed opportunity to delve deeper or present something more striking. Meanwhile, "I Won't Bow Down" echoes the band's earlier style with a familiar nu-metal and rap-rock blend that, while nostalgic, doesn't push any boundaries.

Despite these dips, the album has its moments of innovation. "Lies We Tell Ourselves" tackles the inner conflicts and deceits we face, delivered with lyrical earnestness that resonates well beyond the track. "We Are One (Our Struggle)" expands on this theme, focusing on unity and resilience, which feels particularly poignant.

The closing track, "Feeling Strange," is an intriguing finale. Its uniqueness lies in its restraint -- an oddity that works in its favor, providing a thoughtful end to an otherwise intense album. While not the powerhouse track one might expect, its lyrical depth and quieter composition leave a lasting impression. Notably, Veritas diverges from many of P.O.D.'s earlier works in its sparing use of direct Christian or spiritual themes, which have traditionally been a hallmark of their music. This shift may reflect a broader appeal or a different artistic direction, yet it could leave some long-time fans missing the overt spiritual resonance found in some previous albums.

Veritas ultimately reflects a band that knows its strengths and plays to them, yet occasionally stumbles in its pursuit of growth. The album swings between impactful anthems and moments of predictability, resulting in a solid, if not groundbreaking, addition to P.O.D.'s discography. It serves as a reminder of the band's enduring presence in the rock scene, even as it leaves room for growth and surprises in future projects.

- Review date: 4/28/24, written by David Craft of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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. Record Label: Mascot Records
. Album length: 11 tracks: 34 minutes, 50 seconds
. Street Date: May 3, 2024 (CD/Digital) // June 28, 2024 (Vinyl)
. Buy It: Apple Music
. Buy It: Amazon.com (CD)
. Buy It: Amazon.com (Vinyl)
. Buy It: Amazon Music (MP3)

  1. DROP (feat. Randy Blythe) (3:11)
  2. I GOT THAT (3:19)
  3. AFRAID TO DIE (feat. Tatiana Shmayluk from Jinjer) (3:04)
  4. DEAD RIGHT (2:09)
  5. BREAKING (4:07)
  6. LAY ME DOWN (Roo's Song) (3:27)
  7. I WON'T BOW DOWN (2:41)
  8. THIS IS MY LIFE (feat. Cove Reber from Dead American) (2:58)
  9. LIES WE TELL OURSELVES (3:28)
  10. WE ARE ONE (OUR STRUGGLE) (2:50)
  11. FEELING STRANGE (3:41)

 

 



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