Album review: P.O.D. – Veritas

For good and for bad, P.O.D. rock it like it’s 2001 on 11th album Veritas.

Album review: P.O.D. – Veritas
James Hickie

Veritas, as the lovers of Latin out there will tell you, means ‘truth’. In the interest of full transparency, then, P.O.D.’s 11th studio album is unlikely to win the San Diegans any fans outside of the nu-metal firmament. Not because it’s bad; it’s a frequently punchy and arresting collection. But it’s much the same as the band that set the world on fire in the early-’00s, then were seemingly snuffed. But like their peers in Papa Roach, P.O.D. kept going. Unlike Jacoby Shaddix and co., though, they didn’t evolve in a way that allowed them to transcend a peak some two decades behind them.

Admittedly, at a time when festivals like Sick New World and touring bills are packaging nostalgia, a P.O.D. record that’s sonically similar to their heyday is probably no bad thing. But it’s the suggestions of something different that’s the more intriguing prospect. Veritas was heralded by two strong singles featuring impressive guests (Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe on bruising opening track DROP, Jinjer vocalist Tatiana Shmayluk on the anthemic AFRAID TO DIE). Both provide peaks that aren’t matched elsewhere on the record, while suggesting heavier and more ethereal possibilities it would have been great to hear more of.

What you get instead, is the P.O.D. of yore: speedy, chuffing riffs and big, shout-it-at-the-skies choruses courtesy of frontman Sonny Sandoval. And while Breaking and I Won’t Bow Down will do the job when it comes to getting hands banging and arms held aloft, especially when compared to shiftless cuts like LIES WE TELL OURSELVES and FEELING STRANGE, they feel like artefacts from a time when rap rock ruled the world rather than evidence of maturation and innovation.

As blasts from the past go, Veritas has its moments.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Papa Roach, Godsmack, Sevendust

Veritas is released on May 3 via Mascot

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