Record Review 

Of all the Ozzfest bands, very few stand out as having the potential for long-term crossover success. But Godsmack does. Of course, they won't be posing a threat to Britney or Creed anytime soon. But what they have are songs written solidly enough to carry them into a diverse listener's collection.

Continuing the blueprint drawn on their self-titled debut, Godsmack's Awake is chock-full of hard-hitting crush grooves with a real flair for melody. Vocalist Sully Erna delivers his vulnerability while standing on the listener's neck.

Godsmack undoubtedly has the Black Sabbath taint intrinsic to all self-respecting metallers, but their soul comes across like an extroverted Alice In Chains. Sure, there's plenty of pain, anger and depression, but they never jump off the precipice into despair. They chronicle it, kick its ass and move on.

Subtle textures are woven richer on songs such as "Awake," "Mistakes" and the interesting instrumental ode to the undead, "Vampires," than anything found on their first disc. Awake doesn't break new ground, but it definitely is the work of a band aware of its growing strength and confident enough to show the source of the web it's weaving.

Godsmack play Philips Arena, Sun., Dec. 17.

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