Staind are back with another installment of their curiously soulless, carb-free metal lite, and longstanding fans will be pleased to hear that Confessions of the Fallen, their first new offering in twelve years sees the band operating in very familiar territory.

That’s good news for the rest of us too, because if you didn’t like Staind last time they were stinking up the airwaves with their everyman arena rock, you won’t like them now – no action is therefore required on your part.

The band don’t seem to have made any concessions to changes in the musical environment since they were last extant; that’s actually quite admirable, because there are no trap excerpts getting in the way of the meat and potatoes, no sudden metalcore blasts to break up the earnest emoting. There is a little tremor of death metal from Aaron Lewis‘ wordhole, on closing track Cycle of Hurting, but it’s over quickly, allowing our hero to get back to doing what he does best without too much disruption.

It’s not all rotten – Hate Me Too, with it’s muscular riffage and earworm refrain, almost prompts a breakout of air guitar thanks to the committed performances from all involved, whilst the title track at least gives evidence that the band can remember all the main points in the nu-metal playbook from last time around. Mike Mushok adds a nice solo, Lewis breaks out the shouty vocals and a brief ‘woah-oh’… but at track nine it’s too little too late from an album that may well have sent you safely into the arms of Morpheus long before it crashes out of the speakers.

So there you have it; There’s still clearly a market for this kind of stuff in 2023, or BMG wouldn’t be giving the band the time of day. And if you are part of that market then, as noted, you’ll welcome this with open arms.

Confessions of the Fallen releases on September 22nd.