When I reviewed A Breach of Silence‘s 2013 album Dead Or Alive, I did have some negative things to say, frankly about metalcore music in general, but I believe I put my point across that my opinions on the album weren’t all bad. I’ll start by saying my stance on metalcore hasn’t changed much; I still believe it has become to modern metal what hair metal was to rock music by the early 90s (everyone trying to sound like everyone else). Negativity aside I was thrilled to find out about A Breach of Silence’s follow-up effort The Darkest Road.
Since this album has yet to be released, this article as of yet has very little musical content for me to provide for your listening pleasures.
Opening track TPNE gave me my doubts though. The titled stands for “The Party Never Ends” which is a pretty elementary title and concept for a song. But that’s just me judging a book by its cover. The song is probably the heaviest song on the album, which I’m fine with. It’s a good idea to make a nice loud statement right away to show you mean business, and A Breach of Silence does this well.
I mentioned a few times, even dedicated a whole paragraph to pointing out the significance of bassist Blair Layt‘s vocals, and how they saved Dead or Alive from being just another metalcore album to forget about. That may very well be the case for this album as well. Even better though, the band took notice of this and has added more clean vocals to their music, or so I find. The title track The Darkest Road has some epic clean vocals which immediately gave me hope that this album may actually be superior to Dead or Alive.
There are some memorable songs on the album, such as Vultures, Silhouette, In Reality We Trust, This Is The End and Immortal. All of these songs, be it guitar riffs (Silhouette), intros (This Is The End), or vocals (Immortal) have something about them that show some maturity. When it comes to a lot of metalcore albums, it takes a lot for a song to stand out, given how to unseasoned listeners can easily think every song sounds the same. The fact that there are five or six songs on The Darkest Road that I could pinpoint after only a few listens says something about the quality of this album above other contemporaries.
There are, however, forgettable tracks. Some tracks like Hang em High, A Place I Know and Krazy Bitch I wouldn’t really call forgettable, but they just don’t stand out, however when listening to them they still have dynamics to them that give them diamond in the rough status. There are songs like Lost At Sea which no matter how many times I listen to it, I just can’t get in to. Nothing stands out to me and nothing sticks with me when the song ends.
The Darkest Road ends on a very different note than Dead or Alive did. Time Still Remains is a dark piano ballad featuring Blair Layt as the sole vocalist. Now I personally hoped Blair’s first song as the sole lead vocalist would be a heavy song, just to hear a song without screaming for once, and he does just that on Immortal, and now we get to hear him sing a ballad. I consider it a fantastic way to end the album. It’s not the best song on the album, it falls short at times, but it shows that the band are trying to move forward and I can’t help but respect that.
I do find The Darkest Road to be an improvement. The band’s sound is the same but the musicality has matured in noticeable ways that I applaud. It does have its shortcomings, which I can’t leave out, but A Breach of Silence’s good moments are actually rather great moments and that even things out. I like how, unlike typical metalcore bands, they don’t really have those breakdowns in the middle of songs, you know, the ones where the music stops for about a second and then a single low chord is being played on guitar while the drum beat plays along with it and someone screams over top of it. Listen to just about any Trivium song and you should hear what I mean. I love how A Breach of Silence does not do that. I can’t wait to see this band mature further.
“The Darkest Road” – For obvious reasons, Immortal is my favourite song on the album, but that would not make a logical highlight. The album’s title track is a much more logical choice. It has the second best vocal melodies on the album, while not losing the metal edge, and this song has one of the better metal edges on the album.
7 (Out of 10)
|1||T.P.N.E.||A Breach of Silence||4:02|
|2||The Darkest Road||A Breach of Silence||4:15|
|3||Vultures||A Breach of Silence||4:32|
|4||Silhouette||A Breach of Silence||4:06|
|5||Hang ‘Em High||A Breach of Silence||3:50|
|6||In Reality We Trust||A Breach of Silence||4:02|
|7||Lost at Sea||A Breach of Silence||3:25|
|8||This Is the End||A Breach of Silence||4:08|
|9||Immortal||A Breach of Silence||4:49|
|10||Hannibal||A Breach of Silence||3:49|
|11||A Place I Know||A Breach of Silence||4:46|
|12||Dead and Destroyed||A Breach of Silence||3:28|
|13||Krazy Bitch||A Breach of Silence||3:19|
|14||Time Still Remains||A Breach of Silence||3:50|