Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A Breach of Silence "Dead or Alive"

I feel as though I’ve started off so many articles saying this but “screaming” in music is something I don’t enjoy. I mean, especially in punk/pop-punk/anything remotely related to modern punk with screaming is just so bland. There are exceptions when it comes to metal related screaming though, but only some. I look at screaming in metal the same way people in the early 90’s looked at the high-pitched voices of what 80’s “hair” metal became, it all sounds the same, which is why I downright dislike bands whose sole vocal performance on every to almost every song involves nothing but screaming. It’s good to listen to when a little anger is needed to be offset, but that’s about it. Bands like, off the top of my head, All That Remains who, even in their heaviest days, combined screaming vocals with clean vocals fairly evenly and feature no real punk elements, so they can still retain my attention. Australia’s ABreach of Silence also fit under this category.

This genre, known as “metalcore” (or "melodic Death Metal") derives from punk, solely on its vocals (for those who don’t know, the title is essentially “metal” and “hardcore” [an offset of punk] together in one word). What makes metalcore bands different and slightly more appealing to me than punk-related screaming bands is metalcore bands attempts at making catchy guitar riffs rather than just playing chords. A Breach of Silence’s album Dead or Alive does just that.

Opening track Blind starts off which a huge growl from vocalist Rhys Flannery with a mixture of thrashing instruments playing in the background, including a guitar riff that gets kind of washed out from the rest of the intensity, just like pretty much every other metalcore song out there. One thing A Breach of Silence has that I really enjoy is the clean vocals of bass player Blair Layt. He is heard in every song, unfortunately this track specifically he’s not heard nearly enough.

Blair’s voice stands out much more in songs like the second track, Dawn To Rise, as well as To Oblivion, Circles, There Will Be Blood (in which he unleashes his inner King Diamond),Empty Smile, Like Sand Through The Hour Glass, and the albums closing track Final Breath. His voice, at many points, reminds me of Atreyu’s clean vocalist/drummer Brandon Saller. Blair is the main thing stopping this album from being a complete cliché of a metalcore album. After the first few tracks, you actually begin to look forward to his portion of every song.

Despite each song having its differences in riffs, pace and beat, the songs can begin to sound the same. I don’t really see how much more of a future metalcore has, and I definitely can’t see its audience growing any more than what it is already at, so it’s hard to predict where the band will go. However, this is still a better metalcore album than what has been released from other new bands I’ve heard lately.


There Will Be Blood” –­ This song has one of the better riffs, and it has the most clean vocals out of every song. As mentioned earlier, Blair Layt releases his inner King Diamond; by that I meant he hits what I assume is his highest pitch as a vocalist, which is a pretty high pitch, similar to that of King Diamond. This song should generally be the main standout track for anyone after their first listen of the album.



7 (Out of 10)


Track List:

Dawn To Rise
To Oblivion
Eyes of the Enemy  
There Will Be Blood
Night Rider  
Empty Smile  
Like Sand Through The Hour Glass  
Hollow Grounds
Final Breath

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