Boston-based alternative metal group Godsmack originally comprised vocalist Sully Erna (a devout Wiccan), guitarist Tony Rambola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Tommy Stewart. After debuting in 1997 with All Wound Up, Godsmack signed with Universal, which in 1998 reissued the LP as a self-titled effort with a handful of new tracks; at that point Stewart -- who'd left the group in mid-1997 and was replaced by drummer Joe d'Arco -- returned to the lineup on a permanent basis. The band's audience built slowly but surely, and Godsmack was certified gold in 1999, the same year the group was invited to join the Ozzfest tour; by the next year, it had sold over three million copies, thanks to hit singles like "Whatever" and "Keep Away." In 2000, the group again played Ozzfest, and released its second proper album, Awake, that fall. In January 2001, Awake earned the band a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for the song "Vampires," and by March, it had sold two million copies.
Hot on the heels of their continuing success, their single "I Stand Alone" propelled the hype of the movie The Scorpion King in March 2002. As the single maintained Godsmack's strong presence at modern rock radio into the summer, founding member Tommy Stewart left the band in June. The David Bottrill-produced (Peter Gabriel, Tool, Mudvayne) album Faceless appeared in April 2003. It also marked the debut of ex-Amen drummer Shannon Larkin. The all-acoustic Other Side arrived in spring 2004. In 2006, Erna stepped behind the board to helm IV, a collection of new material that reached number one while both retaining the group's trademark heft and expanding its sonic palette. A greatest-hits collection, Good Times, Bad Times: 10 Years of Godsmack, arrived in 2007, followed by the band's fifth full-length offering, The Oracle, in 2010. The band followed up with its first live album, Live & Inspired, in 2012. Godsmack continued to return to their roots with the release of their hard-charging sixth album, 1000HP, in the summer of 2014.
Melodic hard rockers Shinedown hail from Jacksonville, Florida and originally featured vocalist Brent Smith, guitarist Jasin Todd, bassist Brad Stewart, and drummer Barry Kerch. Snapped up by Atlantic Records during the early-2000s flurry of post-Creed and Nickelback signings, the group released its debut album, Leave a Whisper, in 2003. Whisper ended up doing quite well for the band (eventually going platinum), aided by its single, "Fly from the Inside." Shinedown also supported it with a heroic slate of live shows, remaining on tour for most of 2004. The following year the band issued a live album documenting those shows, then returned in October 2005 with its sophomore effort, Us and Them, which went gold. The band underwent a few lineup changes in the years to follow, re-emerging in 2008 as a quintet that included Smith and Kerch along with guitarists Nick Perri and Zach Myers and bass player Eric Bass.
The long-awaited Sound of Madness, featuring Grammy-winning producer Rob Cavallo (Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day), arrived in July. In 2009 the band parted ways with Nick Perriand continued on as a quartet. Fitting with its driving sound, the band loaned some of its songs to the WWE to use during their pay-per-view events, as well as a number of other soundtracks, all the while touring for Sound of Madness. All this touring eventually led to a CD/DVD set, 2011's Somewhere in the Stratosphere, which featured a pair of complete live sets from their Carnival of Madness and Anything & Everything tours. Preceded by the emotionally charged first single "Bully," the band's fourth studio album, Amaryllis, was released in the spring of 2012. In June 2015 Shinedown issued a new single, "Cut the Cord," in anticipation of the release of their fifth studio long-player, Threat to Survival, which dropped in September of that year.