1. Home
  2. Reviews
  3. REVIEW: Sum 41 Offers Very Solid Final Album ‘Heaven :x: Hell’ To Bid Farewell
REVIEW: Sum 41 Offers Very Solid Final Album ‘Heaven :x: Hell’ To Bid Farewell 7.5

REVIEW: Sum 41 Offers Very Solid Final Album ‘Heaven :x: Hell’ To Bid Farewell


Pop-punk legends and veterans Sum 41 have dropped their final record, ‘Heaven :x: Hell’, after announcing their breakup last year. The record dives into the two sounds that have made this band iconic and stand apart from their peers for so many years. ‘Heaven’ dives back into their pop-punk roots, while ‘Hell’ dives into their heavy metal roots. It’s a record that encapsulates their entire career in a really solid way, to please fans old and new. 

The record opens gracefully with the best way to start ‘Heaven’, with “Waiting on a Twist of Fate”. It’s the third single and a wonderful opening song, as it dives into nostalgic aspects going into some real ‘All Killer No Filler’ vibes straight away. The chorus is insanely catchy and it’s a real summer kind of jam, and a track that I can see going over well live especially as an opener. It’s a strong start to this hefty record, which is nice. We continue onto the first single from the record, and continue the summer vibes with “Landmines”. The song has recently had some radio success and it makes sense to drop this as the first single, and captures their pop-punk sound nicely. I wasn’t as big on the song at first, but it’s grown on me since it’s just fun to jam out to. Shoutout to how fun and throwback-y the music video is also. The record shifts into a faster territory with “I Can’t Wait”, and immediately gives off Blink-182 vibes. I appreciate the energy to this song and it really does show that pop-punk is alive and well, at least Sum 41 show us one last time how it’s done. We continue on with one of the easy highlight off this record for me, with “Time Won’t Wait”. The chorus to this one is easily one of the more memorable ones off the album, and I’m surprised this wasn’t a single. It gives off real American Hi-Fi vibes, and it dives into the early 2000’s in a real genuine way. We close off the first half of Heaven with another fast one, with “Future Primitive”. This track has some nice riffage to it and dives into some of the metal aspects we’ll get later on Hell. It gives off real nice Green Day vibes, and feels like a homage to 2003’s ‘Does This Look Infected?’. The solo is pretty damn sick too, as it’s just the beginning with those. 

The second half of ‘Heaven’ starts with another highlight off this record for me, with “Dopamine”. It’s a song that feels catchy throughout with the great melodies shown in this. It’s got some old school pop-punk vibes that feel akin to the 90’s. I love the vibe on this one and the chorus is another memorable one, and I just love how Sum 41 really does shine in some parts like here for their final record. We jump to the next track, with “Not Quite Myself”. This song feels very more in line with more modern pop-punk bands instrumentally, like from the 2010’s which surprised me. Despite the lyrics feeling a bit basic on this one, I think the energy of the song really saves it here. We keep up the energy with the next track, in “Bad Mistake”. This one has some huge Offspring vibes and it’s so apparent, especially in the chorus, but they pull it off nicely with Deryck‘s voice carrying. The buildup in the bridge and then shredding into the solo is a nice touch as well. I appreciate the placement of this song on the record, it feels right at home. We reach the penultimate track on ‘Heaven’ with a short and fast one, with “Johnny Libertine”. It’s another track that feels very influenced by Blink, especially given how short it is. All I’ll say is it makes the most out of its minute and a half duration and it scratches that specific itch before this side of the record ends. Heaven closes off with a ballad-type of track, with “Radio Silence”. It’s a nice, fitting way to close off ‘Heaven’. I kinda wish this was the closer of the record in general, since it’s such a great one and one of my favorites for sure. The verses contrast so well with its huge chorus, and Deryck‘s delivery of the lyrics are done so well and more subtle during the verses. This is another track I wish could’ve been a single somehow, but I get it being the closer to this side of the record.

We open ‘Hell’ with an interlude type of track, with “Preparasi a Salire”. It’s a nice way to bridge both ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’, and works great as a precursor into the next song. We jump almost seamlessly into the next track and the second single from the record, with “Rise Up”. This song is one I didn’t think much of at first, but it’s definitely grown on me. The chorus is pretty fun, and instrumentals remind me of someone like Escape the Fate. Also, Dave Baksh‘s guitar work in the bridge…with a nasty riff and following it up with a gnarly solo is a nice touch. It’s definitely a fitting way to start the Hell section of the record along with the previous track. The next song, “Stranger In These Times”, starts off with an insane riff. This one definitely leans more on the heavy side and really captures a hellish sort of vibe, like the energy doesn’t stop. The chorus has grown on me with multiple listens, and it’s just a fun track overall. It’s certainly a highlight as well, especially on this side of the record. The next song continues on with the hell kinda vibe, with “I Don’t Need Anyone”. Baksh‘s guitar work really shows off well here, with another wild riff to start off with and the solo too. This one gives off an octane rock kinda vibe, but in a way that suits them and works in Sum‘s favor. The chorus is probably one of my favorites from this record, making it another highlight. I appreciate how distinctive Heaven and Hell are on this record, and that it fully captures the spirit of what makes this band special and their corner in the scene. The following track, “Over the Edge”, doesn’t let up the energy even for a second. The riffs are endless, and the fact this track has a breakdown is wild to me. It’s a track I can see going over well live, hoping they include it on their final tour. I feel the verses really capture this side of Sum really well too. It also transitions into the next song pretty effortlessly. 

Starting off the final five tracks, “House of Liars” keeps up the vibe but in a way that feels like it changes it up but it’s right where it needs to be on the track listing. Like it’s got such a unique sound to it, which speaks to their overall sound as a band. It almost gives off some Iron Maiden vibes, which I’m sure has influenced this side of their music for a long time. We follow that one up with “You Wanted War”, and the riffs continue to impress. I also feels the drums delivered by drummer Frank Zummo shine pretty bright on this track. It’s got another solid chorus, and a solo that’s sure to melt your face off. This is the kind of song to feel at home in a Guitar Hero game. We continue on with their cover of “Paint It Black”, originally by The Rolling Stones. I don’t have much to say about this one, given that I’m not a fan of bands throwing a cover onto an official album. It’s a decent cover, but it doesn’t belong on their final album. We reach the penultimate track where the energy picks back up, with “It’s All Me”. The energy is maybe the most chaotic here compared to any other song on the record. It’s another highlight and sticks out in a good way on this side of the album. Baksh‘s guitar work continues to shine incredibly well, and just shows why he’s one of the best guitarists to come out of the scene. We reach the end of the record, and possibly Sum 41‘s final track with “How the End Begins”. It’s a very personal song and it almost doesn’t feel real this is it for them. It’s a very solid rock song I’m sure fans will connect with and hold onto as this band rides into the sunset. And shoutout to the lyric, “I gave it all I could give only to question if this is how the end begins”. It’s a line I’m sure that could read many different ways, but I see it as them contemplating being the end and being in our position where it doesn’t feel real yet. 

So to sum it all up, “Heaven :x: Hell” feels like a worthy final record for Sum 41. It feels like a record I’m sure to give many fans closure and one last journey experiencing this band. Sum 41 will always be an unstoppable force in the scene and their legacy will never be forgotten. 

Check out the video for “Waiting on a Twist of Fate” below. 



Reader Rating: ( 1 vote ) 10

Mathew Abraham I love movies just as much as I love music.