Sum 41 ‘Heaven :X: Hell’

Last May, Canadian rockers Sum 41 shocked the music world as they announced they would be disbanding, closing out a 27-year chapter as a band. However, the band is going out in style with a brand new double album ‘Heaven :X: Hell’ and subsequent world tour. If it truly has to be the end of Sum 41, there is no better way to go out.

The new record is a double album with 10 songs on the ‘Heaven’ side and 10 songs on the ‘Hell’ side. As the band’s career has grown and developed over the years, so has their musical style. ‘Heaven :x: Hell’ is a true reflection of Sum 41’s musical journey.

The ‘Heaven’ side of the album takes us right back to the band’s pop-punk roots. These tracks are for the fans who have been with the band since the beginning. With an upbeat feel, there are pop-punk anthems galore showcasing just what made us fall in love with Sum 41 so many years ago. “Landmines “ and “Waiting on a Twist of Faith” are reminiscent of their old-school style while “Radio Silence” gives us a slightly slower tempo. My favorite track on this side of the album and perhaps my favorite Sum 41 song ever is “Johnny Libertine,” a raucous romp in true punk rock style.

Just as the band’s style changed over the years, so has the new record with ‘Hell’ taking on a much heavier feel with a real heavy metal mix to the songs. The introductory track “Preparasi A Salire” leads us into their newest single “Rise Up” and it’s clear that ‘Hell’ is a force to be reckoned with. The blistering guitars provide the focus for “House of Liars” and “You Wanted War” has an almost thrash metal vibe to it. A surprise inclusion is a heavy pop-punk version of the Rolling Stones’ iconic tune “Paint It Black.” The record closes out appropriately enough with “How The End Begins.”

Lead Vocalist Deryck Whibley’s vocals are spot-on throughout the album. I would put any of these songs up against his early work and if anything he has only improved over time. The musicianship is top-notch as always and the guitar work is off the charts.

This may be the end of an era, but Sum 41 has left us with a delightful parting prize. Whether you grew up cranking Sum 41 classics “Fat Lip” and “In Too Deep” or are a recent newcomer to the band, I think you’ll find ‘Heaven :X: Hell’ a fitting way to finish the Sum 41 story.