Album Review: P.O.D. – Veritas

Album Review: P.O.D. – Veritas
Reviewed by Dan Barnes

If you care to think back about a quarter of a century you may remember a time when Nu Metal ruled the Rock World. Whether that was a good or a bad thing will probably say much about your age at that moment, but there can be no doubt that bands like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Slipknot shifted units in the millions and changed an entire cultural landscape.

When record companies realised there was untapped riches in those baggy jeans, they rushed to get the signatures of any and every band who down-tuned and had a DJ on the roster.

Swept up in that movement were San Diego, California’s P.O.D. who’s forth album, 2001’s Satellite went on a be certified Gold across Europe and Oceania and multi-Platinum in North America. A significant switch from the initialperformance of their previous record, The Fundamental Elements of Southtown in 1999.

Having formed in 1992, and having released three albums before Satellite, P.O.D. were in the strange position of being ahead of the beginning of the curve, but only finding mainstream success as the curve started to flatten out.

Consistently releasing albums since their inception, this year sees the thirtieth anniversary of the Snuff the Punk debut and is marked by the band’s first new album since 2018, Vertias.

Each of P.O.D.’s previous records have explored the many influences of the band’s sound, from the Hip-Hop of Run-DMC, the Reggae of Bob Marley or the Crossover of Suicidal Tendencies, with this new one being much more focused on a Rock sound.

Album Review: P.O.D. – Veritas

That’s not to say they’ve gone back to their very beginning and are busting out Metallica and Slayer covers at keggers, rather many of the Urban elements have been toned down. In fact, the back end of Veritas is made up mostly from purely rock-based music. Lay Me Down (Roo’s Song) would have been a sure-fire single back in the Nineties, and its maintenance of a single vision is jarring after the opening five tracks. Steady and powerful, it shows P.O.D. are as capable of restraint as they are chaos.

This is My Life is based around a charging drumbeat; Lies We Tell Ourselves begins like a ballad and progresses in a pop punk mode, and closer, Feeling Strange concludes the album with a slice of good old fashioned pop rock.

Before those we get P.O.D. in their Nu Metal garments, I Got That is classic genre material, powerful and driving with a massive earworm; manna for all of those coming of age with the millennium, and likely to get those nostalgia sensors a-flickering. Dead Right lays the heavy beside the ambient; We Are One (Our Struggle) heads into more Hip-Hop influenced waters, and Breaking, Veritas’ longest song, is perhaps the best example of what the band are about in 2024. Weaving heavy guitars and thundering drums with Urban rhythms, but without sacrificing the musicality of the endeavour.

Peppered throughout are Veritas’ three leading singles: Drop, featuring a cameo appearance from Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, begins things with a nod back to the time when Korn et al were the musical darlings; Afraid to Die has something of a Freak on a Leesh opening, scratching guitars and piano driven sections, all going into a huge, chest-beating chorus.While I Won’t Bow Down is very much in the Urban camp.

It's commendable that the core of P.O.D. – Sonny Sandoval on vocals, bassist Traa Daniels and guitarist Marcos Curiel – have been together since the band’s inception back in 1992.With Sandoval offering that Veritas might just be their best album yet.

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