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The Eastern Echo Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Print Archive
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Review: Sum 41's 'Heaven :x: Hell' is their farewell

An era may be ending, but music is eternal

Every beginning has to have an end. The punk gems that ruled someone’s early adolescence are not going to be around, but they will still live in that period. 

Background

Sum 41 has been around for 28 years, originating in Canada but eventually becoming world-renowned. They were especially popular in the 2000s globally. They announced that their album "Heaven :x: Hell" is going to be their final album indefinitely, and it acts as their final goodbye. This album is 20 tracks long, the first half being considered "heaven" and the other half being "hell."

Album Highs

One thing this record does well is capture some of the popular themes that punk fans know and love. Drawing musical tones from earlier works, such as "All Killer, No Filler" in "I Can’t Wait" and "Underclass Heroin "Time Won’t Wait," is a clear indicator that they are putting the band to a close, and it will be especially nostalgic to people who grew up on those masterpieces. The first studio album they put out has the classic punk sound with rough vocals, "Underclass Hero" is melodic by nature. Sum 41 captures both throughout the hour of playtime. 

Another thing that this album does well is being able to touch on tough subjects with catchy melodies. The biggest example of this comes from the track "Radio Silence," which touches on grieving the loss of a loved one or sense of self. This song is particularly powerful with roaring guitars and perfectly articulated lyrics, all the while having a melody that will be stuck in someone's head for days. 

Album Lows

One of the downfalls of this album is the length of it. It makes sense for their final album to go out with a banger, but it is rather difficult to listen to in one sitting. It feels like they pushed two albums together for the price of one, which isn't favorable. Perhaps they didn’t want to draw out the end of their musical career, so they decided to just put it all together. 

Another negative about this album is that the first half is significantly stronger than the second. It has more depth to it lyrically and musically. If there was any recommendation for this album, the first half is going to be the most worthy of someone’s time. 

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More: Living in Fiction makes us fall more in love with a political anthem

Verdict

Overall, this album is 6.5 out of 10. 

Sum 41’s final album "Heaven :x: Hell":

Kasper Mielke is a music reviewer for The Eastern Echo. He is a women and gender studies major with a minor in creative writing. He has worked for The Echo since the summer of 2022 and has stuck to writing music reviews.