I've been a fan of theirs ever since I saw the video for Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja on MTV nearly thirteen years ago, and while their sound has flattened out a bit over the years (from an innovative brand of experimental nu-metal to more radio-friendly arena rock), I've remained a fan.
Their latest album, the first they've officially released in this country since 2006's Liberation Transmission (since 2010's The Betrayed was Europe-only) s a good example of where they're at in 2012. Opener Bring 'Em Down features explosive guitars, Ian Watkins' requisite in-your-face vocals and an almost-dubstep breakdown, and an overall feel that sounds close to their early material.
Throughout Weapons, the band expands up on the sort of sound that's made them a stadium-filler overseas, with huge melodies (We Bring An Arsenal), soaring hooks (Jesus Walks, sadly not a Kanye cover), and defiant, high-energy rock anthems (Better Off Dead).
Weapons probably won't make them any bigger in this country than they've ever been, but it does blend their styles effectively - their first two records are the best they've ever done, and this album pays some respect to that sound while continuing the trends employed by past hit singles like Last Train Home and Rooftops.
Check it out if you've ever liked them, and catch 'em on Warped Tour this summer, in what is their first return to stateside performances in at least five years.
Dates & info - click here.