It turns out that the death of nu-metal was a tough event to survive. Of the dozens of successful bands who peddled the genre in the late 90s and early 00s, very few managed to escape that particular ship before it sunk beneath a growing wave of new alternative scenes. Some bands evolved from their nu-metal roots to explore other styles, such as Papa Roach and Linkin Park. Others fully embraced these roots defiantly, staying true to the genre that made them, such as Limp Bizkit. P.O.D., however, are part of a third camp, which contains the bands that continue to slug on, despite a drought of original ideas, trite songwriting and a generally tired, generic sound.
If ‘Murdered Love’ was released in 2001, it would still pale in comparison to the competition. The issue doesn’t lie with the style of music; the down tuned guitars and crunchy riffs serve their purpose, as does the rap vocals and other features P.O.D. implement. The issue lies with the lack of passion and the absence of real conviction. P.O.D. have a lot to shout about, particularly about their faith and their beliefs, but the tone leans closer towards preachy then it does engaging and it ultimately leaves the purpose of the music feeling hollow.
It doesn’t help that the melodrama of these tracks is peppered with unintentionally humorous moments of poor musical ideas. The backing vocals on album opener ‘Eyez’ for example, is both hilarious and irritating, while the chorus of the title track (“de day dat dey murduurred laav”), takes a song that could have been solid and makes it into an overwrought parody of nu-metal’s worst features. Overall, there’s an inconsistency in tone that throws the seriousness of the whole album into question. There will be more than one time while listening to ‘Murdered Love’, most likely during the mess that is ‘West Coast Rock Steady’ (featuring Sen Dog from Cyprus Hill) when you have to ask yourself, is this a joke?
There are some serviceable songs to offer here. ‘Higher’ is catchy and uplifting, while ‘Babylon The Murderer’ is a bristling throwback to slick nu-metal riffs and huge choruses, but this is simply not enough to save ‘Murdered Love’. P.O.D. have put out some respectable material in the past, but this recent effort falls well below their usual standards. It’s a record that has adopted all the bad tropes of a genre already on its last legs, making for a perfect storm of bad ideas. Avoid.
Written by Grant Bailey