Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Set to a backdrop that brings to mind Creed, Pearl Jam and Tool but still uniquely stands on its own, the album tackles subjects of suicide and basic alienation with relative control and directness.
  2. With Lewis' weighty, tuneful voice and Mike Mushok's meaty, anthemic guitar, Staind recall the Soundgarden/Alice in Chains era of early-'90s rock. Free of phony posturing, DJ scratching and over-reliance on vapid thrash riffs, they're almost like an alternative version of today's mainstream metal.
  3. Raises the nu-metal bar by weaving maturity, passion and the craft of songwriting into its steaming pile of passive-aggressive chord chomping.
  4. At first glance, Staind may look like a Korn tribute band. But within the first few seconds of Break the Cycle, they let loose enough Mothra-heavy riffs to prove they can rock circles around peers such as Limp Bizkit and fellow Bostonians Godsmack.
  5. 60
    Pedestrian? Sure. But in '01, it's doubtful you'll find a more apt soundtrack to a summer of skyrocketing gas prices and stock market tumblings.
  6. Blender
    Unfortunately, the production smoothes down the band's sharp edges to an overly polished finish. [Jun/Jul 2001, p.116]
  7. Cycle is ultimately no more than 50 minutes of standard-issue desolation, but the softness of many of the tracks gives it compassion, something most of Staind's peers have no time for.
  8. Q Magazine
    All this introspection wouldn't be so bad if Stained put a bit of oomph behind it, but the musical changes lack dynamism and frame the groaning vocals almost reverentially. [#180, p.111]
  9. 'Break The Cycle' is nu-metal as envisaged by Tipper Gore - 14 tracks of parent-friendly grunge-flavoured soft rock that make Creed sound like GG Allin.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 69
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 69
  3. Negative: 8 out of 69
  1. robertm
    Jul 18, 2003
    this is their greatest cd
  2. Sep 6, 2012
    This is emotional music with great vocals from Aaron Lewis. This music has meaning and feeling, contrary to the crap most people listen to these days.
  3. Orpheus11
    Mar 22, 2005
    I really hope the people that made this CD were thinking, "Let's make a piece of trash and call it music!"