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The Sound of Madness is the third studio album by American alternative metal band Shinedown, released June 24, 2008. The album's lead single, "Devour," was released to radio on May 5, 2008.

The album's lyrics explore diverse subject matter as opposed to their previous albums; "Devour" ventures into political territory while "What a Shame" tells a story about lead singer Brent Smith's uncle, who died during the recording of the album. The song "If You Only Knew," which is about Smith's wife (then-girlfriend) and newborn child, was the first time that he had written a love ballad for Shinedown.

Shinedown's tour to support the album subsequently started with the band playing a few festival shows before the release of The Sound of Madness.

Pre-release and production

Brent Smith told, "It's time to just go over the top, literally go above and beyond what a human being thinks they're capable of recording. We want to do a huge hard rock record that has a lot of crossover potential but also some of the most insanely intense and heavy material that this band has ever tried—and see if we can pull it off." Smith said the group had more than forty songs to consider after writing sessions in Atlantamarker, Nashvillemarker, and Los Angelesmarker, and it eventually came down to eleven. Shinedown road tested the four "potential singles" from the new batch: "Sound of Madness," "The Crow and the Butterfly," "Second Chance" and "Devour," the last of which turned out being the single and the first the title track, on a short run of festival and small venue tour dates.

The band began working on The Sound of Madness after several off-date shows in the summer of 2007. Recording began in Los Angeles on September 20, 2007, with the final CD being completed in early-mid 2008.

On June 17, 2008, the entire original album was made available for streaming on the band's MySpace page. It was removed again a few days later.


It is currently somewhat unclear which lineup actually recorded the tracks on The Sound of Madness due to multiple lineup changes during the time the album was being recorded, or if studio musicians were brought in to record some tracks. The album booklet gives credit to many non-band members for guitar and bass, leading one to believe the guitar and bass tracks were recorded by studio musicians and not by any current or former band members.

Lineup listed in album booklet

Lineup at the beginning of recording sessions

Additional musicians



The lead single is named "Devour" and it was released on May 5, 2008. "Devour" was the theme song for WWE Night of Champions on June 29, 2008. It is featured as the title song for MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Island It is also featured on the games Madden 09 and Rock Band.This song also featured in The Final Destination which was released in August 2009.

Second Chance

"Second Chance" was used in promotion for Season 2 of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and is the second single. The band performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on September 5, 2008.

"Second Chance" was certified as a Platinum single on May 27, 2009.

On December 27, 2008, "Second Chance" hit the number one spot on the U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Chart and held the spot for ten weeks, losing their number-one streak to Nickelback on March 7, 2009. "Second Chance" reached the number one position of Billboard's Hot Adult Top 40 Chart on June 20, 2009.

"Second Chance" is Shinedown's biggest hit to date, being their first single to reach the top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100, where it has reached #7 as of the June 20, 2009 issue.

Sound of Madness

"Sound of Madness" has been confirmed as the third single by the band after a poll by a fan on their website. It has already been getting some airplay on some radio stations and the making of its own music video.

"Sound of Madness" was released on February 23, 2009 as a single in the United Kingdommarker, and hit number one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Chart in the US.

If You Only Knew

Several websites and sources have been told that "If You Only Knew" will be the fourth single from "The Sound of Madness". It's speculated that "If You Only Knew" will impact rock radio sometime in late August. It has been confirmed by an Email released by Atlantic records that the song will indeed be the next single released from the The Sound of Madness. It is already being played by some radio stations. The video for the single was available online at on October 6th. It began showing on television on October 10th courtesy of VH1 as well.

Track listing


  1. "Devour" - 3:50
  2. "Sound of Madness" - 3:53
  3. "Second Chance" - 3:40
  4. "Cry for Help" - 3:20
  5. "The Crow & the Butterfly" - 4:13
  6. "If You Only Knew" - 3:46
  7. "Sin with a Grin" - 4:00
  8. "What a Shame" - 4:18
  9. "Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide" - 3:11
  10. "Breaking Inside" - 3:51
  11. "Call Me" - 3:42

Other editions

  1. "I Own You" - 3:37
  2. "Energy" - 3:28
  3. "Son Of Sam" - 3:38

Japan release

  1. "Son Of Sam" - 3:38
  2. "I Own You" - 3:37
  3. "Junkies For Fame" - 3:26

Track notes:
  • The song Junkies For Fame, rumored to be released as an album track, an iTunes exclusive, a retailer-exclusive bonus track and later falsely confirmed by the band to be a Target exclusive song debuted via the video game Rock Band on July 22. On August 18 the song was released for download on iTunes and Amazon.


The Sound of Madness received mixed reviews. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave the album two-and-a-half stars, stating,"Nothing is left to chance so nothing surprises, which is not only the way Shinedown like to play it, but that's the way their fans like it." However, Ed Thompson of IGN wrote a positive review, saying,"Shinedown is a Rock and Roll band. Period. Nothing more, nothing less."

The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at Number 8 and Number 3 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart, behind Mötley Crüe's Saints of Los Angeles and Coldplay's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. The Sound of Madness sold 50,000 copies in its first week.

Chart performances


Year Single Peak positions
U.S. Hot 100 Mainstream Rock Modern Rock U.S. Pop 100 CAN Hot 100
2008 "Devour" 114 1 13
"Second Chance" 7 1 1 5 29
2009 "Sound of Madness" 85 1 5
"If You Only Knew" 48 4 14


External links

  • Amazon

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