It’s hard to hear that a band you’ve been listening to for decades is coming to an end. Sum 41 has been making raucous metal-tinged pop-punk for more than two decades, producing classics like “Fat Lip,” “In Too Deep,” “Still Waiting,” “The Hell Song,” “Motivation,” “Underclass Hero” and “Walking Disaster,” among others. Their live shows are full of energy and intensity. It will be sad to see them go.

Before they go, Sum 41 pulls out all the stops for one final album. Finding inspiration from both their pop punk and metal sides, the double LP Heaven :x: Hell puts it all out there. It’s an energetic, loud, fast-paced plow-through of an experience from start to finish. 

The pop-punk Heaven kicks the whole thing off with power, launching out of the gate with “Waiting On A Twist Of Fate,” an opener with the melodic aggression of some of their biggest anthems. It then goes into “Landmines,” an earworm of a single that could easily become one of their classics. 

It’s not just the openers that hit you with a 1-2-3 blast of power chords, rhythmic percussion, and melodic lyricism. “I Can’t Wait” is a fast and aggressive track that sounds like it would be great live. “Time Won’t Wait” has a bouncy chorus reminiscent of peers Simple Plan.” Future Primitive” and “Bad Mistake” have that go-go-go energy similar to Sum 41’s early singles. “Dopamine” and “Not Quite Myself” get to the more melodic side of their sound. Even the slower tempo “Radio Silence” hits in a powerful way, similar to the 2005 single “Pieces.”

Breaking up the two sections is “Preparasi A Salire” (translated to “Get Ready To Go Up”), a slow, melodic lead-in to Hell opener “Rise Up.”

Go up in intensity the album does. Hell provides some of the band’s heaviest tracks. “Rise Up” is an aggressive track that amps up the bass as it toes the line between punk and metal. Guitarist Dave Baksh’s shredding interludes on tracks like “Rise Up,” “I Don’t Need Anyone,” “You Wanted War,” and “It’s All Me,” an iconic part of the Sum 41 sound, are as raucous as ever. “Over The Edge” gets into thrash territory with its heavy bass and aggressive drums. They continue in that vein on their cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black,” making it their own with thrashing guitars and militant drums before completely taking it over with their own take on the lyrics and melody. “It’s All Me” comes in hard with gritty guitars, bass and vocals. 

The album ends with “How The End Begins,” a contemplative commentary on the nature of the end. It’s lyrically deep and gut-punchingly heavy with its slower tempo. 

Despite it being their final album, Heaven :x: Hell doesn’t feel like the end. Instead, it’s a well-rounded album that feels like a celebration of Sum 41’s history and sound. Taking on an ambitious double album with such bold, aggressive tracks on both the pop-punk and metal sides, has Sum 41 going out on top.


Sum 41’s Heaven :x: Hell was released on March 29th via Rise Records. Order your copy here