It’s upon us. After six years devoid of a release, Breaking Benjamin has made its comeback with Dark Before Dawn. Complete with a new lineup consisting of three guitarists (including frontman Ben Burnley), a new drummer, bassist, and vocal duties shared amongst most of the members. This album is definitely a new (and at times unexpected) sound from the band. Despite this, the group somehow still retains its distinguishable sound.

Since this album has a different sound than the rest, and the most variety within any Breaking Benjamin album, I’m going to do a track-by-track review.

1. “Dark.” This is the intro track for the album, clocking in at around 2 minutes. It begins with a simple clean guitar riff, and then a voice over kicks in. I still haven’t been able to make all of it out, but it seems to be speaking of fears, perhaps a reference to Phobia. When the entire band comes in, three guitar parts are distinguishable, and all three vocalists (Ben, Rhythm Guitarist, Bassist) are heard singing, leading up to Ben screaming, the only time he does throughout this album.

2. “Failure.” This track is a classic Breaking Benjamin song, and just about what you would expect from this band. However, three guitar parts are distinguishable. Despite that it isn’t really anything new, it’s a solid track.

3. “Angels Fall.” Another familiar-sounding song, this track takes a more positive light than we’re used to from the band. Reminiscent of the Dear Agony album, this track retains a ballad-like feel to it, while staying in the heavy metal realm.

4. “Breaking the Silence.” This song sees a throwback to the Saturate and We Are Not Alone albums, with a lot of screaming, heavily distorted guitars, and pounding drums. As I said before, vocal duties are shared among members, and this is no exception. Bassist Aaron Bruch takes over screaming on this song (and there’s a lot of it), with Burnley and rhythm guitarist Keith Wallen singing together in the chorus. This song is very interesting, as Bruch and Wallen have just as much vocal prominence as Ben.

5. “Hollow.” This track is a throwback to Phobia, with dark lyrics that are open to interpretation. This was quite an unexpected turn for the album, because up until this point, lyrically the album had taken a more positive light. This track is a great song, as Ben’s vocals shine throughout. He has a larger range, and his singing is more refined, which is always a good thing. While the lyrics are reminiscent of Phobia, the delivery style is something new entirely. While it still sounds like the Breaking Benjamin we all know and love, the addition of two vocalists give it a fresh new sound.

6. “Close to Heaven.” Probably one of the best tracks on this album, the lyrics talk of facing your issues head-on, a new positive turn for Breaking Benjamin. Keith Wallen takes vocal duties big time on this song, especially on the chorus. His singing voice is very complimentary towards Ben’s, and you can hear both of their voices equally on the chorus. There have never been harmonies like this on other Breaking Benjamin releases. Yeah, sure, Ben did multiple harmonies, but hearing a different voice is a welcome addition which breathes new life into their sound, and it is most prominent on this track.

7. “Bury Me Alive.” Also reminiscent of Dear Agony And Phobia, this is probably the only track on this album that isn’t all that memorable. It’s a solid track, but there just isn’t anything that stands out.

8. “Never Again.” Another track taking a positive light, “Never Again” is a reflection from Ben’s point of view. The song is about him making it through everything he’s had to deal with in his life, and how nothing is going to hurt him anymore. It’s quite inspiring really. Once again, the addition of new vocalists breathe life to a familiar sound.

9. “The Great Divide.” Another positive track which finds the happy medium between ballad and heavy metal (similar to “Until the End” from Phobia). This song sounds like a love track, lines such as “So I’ll wait for you/As I keep your faith alive/And I’ll pray for you/As we cross the great divide” pretty much sum up the feel of this track. It’s a good song, and a new sound all together for Breaking Benjamin.

10. “Ashes of Eden.” This is probably my favorite track off of the album. This is both a new sound and a completely different direction for the group. This album is a ballad. No I’m not talking about a ballad like “Rain” from We Are Not Alone. This track is a straight up love song. Complete with a full orchestra and a violin solo. It’s a beautiful song, and about as unexpected as you can get when it comes to Breaking Benjamin.

11. “Defeated.” This is the final song on the album (excluding the outro), and Breaking Benjamin decided to end with the heaviest song on the album. Again, a more positive track, with lines “no longer defeated” rendering the negativity of the verses past tense. Great song, and a wonderful final song for an album.

12. “Dawn.” This outro track clocks in at just under two minutes and displays the vocal abilities of Burnley, Wallen, and Bruch. It’s simple harmonic singing to finish out the album. No lyrics, just notes, and it’s a beautiful end to a fantastic comeback album.

So in all, this is probably one of the better releases from Breaking Benjamin, and is tied with Dear Agony for my favorite release from these guys. I’m really excited to see what is next for Breaking Benjamin, and what the four new members bring to the table.

July 2015

  • JUL 1 2015 – THE ORANGE PEEL – ASHEVILLE, NC
  • JUL 2 2015 – ZIGGY’S BY THE SEA – WILMINGTON, NC
  • JUL 3 2015 – GEORGIA THEATRE – ATHENS, GA
  • JUL 5 2015 – THE INTERNATIONAL – KNOXVILLE, TN
  • JUL 6 2015 – MADISON THEATER – COVINGTON, KY
  • JUL 14 2015 – TAGS SUMMERSTAGE – BIG FLATS, NY
  • JUL 16 2015 – SOARING EAGLE CASINO & RESORT – MT. PLEASANT, MI
  • JUL 17 2015 – ROCK USA @ FORD FESTIVAL PARK – OSHKOSH, WI
  • JUL 18 2015 – ROCK FEST 2015 – CADOTT, WI
  • JUL 19 2015 – RIVER RIOT 2015 – COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA
  • JUL 21 2015 – US CELLULAR COLISEUM – BLOOMINGTON, IL
  • JUL 22 2015 – HARRIS BANK CENTER – ROCKFORD, IL
  • JUL 24 2015 – AGRI CENTER – BUFFALO, NY
  • JUL 25 2015 – K ROCKATHON AT NY STATE FAIRGROUNDS – SYRACUSE, NY
  • JUL 26 2015 – MEADOWBROOK PAVILION – GILFORD, NH

 

August 2015

  • AUG 14 2015 – HOUSE OF BLUES – BOSTON, MA
  • AUG 15 2015 – THE PARAMOUNT – HUNTINGTON, NY
  • AUG 16 2015 – THE NATIONAL – RICHMOND, VA
  • AUG 18 2015 – THE NORVA – NORFOLK, VA
  • AUG 19 2015 – THE FILLMORE – CHARLOTTE, NC
  • AUG 21 2015 – THE RITZ – RALEIGH, NC
  • AUG 22 2015 – HOUSE OF BLUES – MYRTLE BEACH, NC
  • AUG 24 2015 – HOUSE OF BLUES – ORLANDO, FL
  • AUG 25 2015 – REVOLUTION – FT. LAUDERDALE, FL
  • AUG 26 2015 – JANNUS LIVE – ST. PETERSBURG, FL
  • AUG 28 2015 – ZIGGY’S OUTDOORS – WINSTON-SALEM, NC
  • AUG 29 2015 – TRUMP TAJ MAHAL – MARK G ETESS ARENA – ATLANTIC CITY, NJ

September 2015

  • SEP 19 2015 – BEST BUY THEATRE – NEW YORK, NY
October 2015
  • OCT 3 2015 – LOUDER THAN LIFE @ CHAMPIONS PARK – LOUISVILLE, KY
  • OCT 24 2015 – MONSTER ENERGY AFTERSHOCK @ GIBSON PARK – SACRAMENTO, CA
#Music #Opinion #Reviews Contributors S. Peterson

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