Shinedown have become a real force in Heavy Rock in recent years, and whilst the hub of their popularity certainly sits in the USA, with a strong set of records behind them they’ve made a real impact across Europe as well. The new album Threat To Survival is their fifth studio release and the first bit of new music we’ve had from the Shinedown camp since 2012’s Amaryllis. By the fifth record they’ve settled well in to their formula, churning out Heavy Rock tracks full of catchy riffs and melodies and chant along lyrics, but is it all just a bit safe?

Lead single released from the album Cut The Cord epitomises all of this in itself. It’s all very easy listening Heavy Rock; you won’t finish listening to this record and feel like you need a bit of a breather. The lyrics are painfully bad at points, but you’ll still be inexplicably singing them a few hours later, we’re looking at you How Did You Lose. In a sense it feels like an album that you’d play in the background whilst you get along with your daily chores, containing tracks you’re likely to hear at a future WWE event or at the end of an episode of Criminal Minds. They’ve got their fans, and they’re catering to them superbly with Threat To Survival but if this was to be your first exposure of Shinedown it’s unlikely that a week later you’d be shouting about this album in any way. It’s not that it’s boring, actually is a bit, but it’s more the fact that it just safely plods along. It’s American Heavy Arena Rock though so what do you expect really? For what it is, they’ve hit the spot. Whilst not as strong as the kind of Music being produced by the likes of Alter Bridge or Volbeat, Shinedown will have people flocking to their shows, singing every word and being wonderfully content.

Overall then, if someone was to ask you to describe what average American Heavy Rock sounded like, we suggest you include Threat To Survival as part of your response.