In '10 Godsmack released their sixth studio album, "The Oracle." With frontman Salvatore Paul "Sully" Erna, a Lawrence, MA native, the group's self-titled debut came twelve years earlier ('98) and along the way they picked up a handful of Grammy nominations - but no winners - and a 2001 Billboard Rock Artist of the Year honor.
Erna started as a drummer and performed with Strip Mind, a band that released one album, "What's In Your Mouth," before imploding. Then he was off to Godsmack where he became the Metal band's vocalist and primary songwriter. But Erna didn't completely leave the drums behind. In concert he played the bongos and a large drum set, dueling with Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin.
Erna released his percussive leaning (figures) solo album "Avalon" in '10.
"Avalon" is nothing like Godsmack. Rather, the songs are driven by tribal beats and Middle East rhythms. This makes for a creative and entertaining set that's certainly unexpected, considering the source. Obviously, percussion is still important to him.
The songs don't hit the listener right between the eyes - the way a great Godsmack song does - but there's a tumultuous energy fused with subtle craftsmanship that brings organic life to the title track, "Sinner's Prayer" and "My Light."