Shinedown paint a bleak, chilling picture of the future on Planet Zero

A concept album about social media, cancel culture, and growing toxic intolerance? Step right this way!

Shinedown: Planet Zero cover art
(Image: © Atlantic Records)

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Having tackled mental health and addiction on 2018’s Attention Attention, Shinedown have now turned their sights to the threat posed by social media, cancel culture, and the growing toxic intolerance that is being exploited for personal and corporate gain. 

Planet Zero draws a bleak, chilling vision of how this could play out – the restrictions on individual liberty and freedoms – in a way that makes George Orwell’s 1984 seem positively benign. 

Singer Brent Smith creates an insidious robot character to guide you through the authoritarian dangers of this dystopian world, emphasising that you will be fine as long as you don’t rock the boat. He unleashes his fury at the power-hungry tech behemoths while gently extolling the vulnerable human beauty they seek to pervert. 

Meanwhile, the band utilise the well-honed dynamics of their visceral arena rock as a potent soundtrack. A shame they haven’t taken down their Facebook page, though.

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.