P.O.D. undoubtedly have an interesting story to tell, but Veritas just doesn't quite do it justice

P.O.D. push forward commendably, but with decidedly mixed results

(Image: © Alicia Hauff)

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Nostalgia is big business in 2024 – just look at the success of the When We Were Young and Sick New World festivals for proof. There’s never been a better time to be an early 00s nu metal band. Being a throwback ‘greatest hits’ novelty act is not a game P.O.D. seem content with playing, however. Veritas arrives as, somewhat remarkably, their 11th full-length album, albeit their first in six years.

It wasn’t worth the wait. Album opener Drop, ‘starring’ Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe in a cameo that’s underplayed to the point of obscurity, is a mess of stylistic handbrake turns that hamstrings Veritas from the off, and from which it gamely spends the next half-hour attempting to recover. It tackles such a task, to its credit, by going hard. There’s a tight groove to I Won’t Bow Down, and Afraid To Die, with its scene- stealing melodic turn from Jinjer’s Tatiana Shmayluk, sits in the snuggest of pockets. Body Count fans will appreciate I Got That.

Front and centre, as ever, is vocalist Sonny Sandoval. He retains an impressive power and dexterity to his delivery, yet the words that tumble from his mouth shift meaninglessly between the banal (‘Keep it one hundred cuz the struggle is real!’), the derivative (‘We get one life. Let’s go!’) and, well, whatever ‘Let it rock! Let it rock! Let it rock! Till you drop!’ is. These are emojis as lyrics. They do a man who undoubtedly has a more interesting story and outlook to share no justice whatsoever.

It was perhaps too much to expect P.O.D. to dramatically reinvent or reinvigorate their sound. Rather than offering anything new or of note, Veritas serves as a poor facsimile of what once conjured excitement around the band’s name all those years ago.

Veritas is out Friday May 3

Sam Coare

Sam is a writer, editor and music industry consultant who has been covering all things loud for the better part of two decades. The former editor-in-chief of Kerrang! and managing director of Alternative Press, he’s hopped on tour with Metallica in South America, joined Black Sabbath in the studio, followed Guns N’ Roses around the world, and had Frank Iero write a song about him (well, sort of). His debut book, celebrating the first 20 years of the Download festival, arrives in 2024.