“Dark Before Dawn” by Breaking Benjamin: Album Review

It came out last week, but it’s been a roller coaster on my end so I haven’t had time to grab it until now. Better late than never though, especially since it’s been six years since Breaking Benjamin’s last album, Dear Agony, came out! Failure certainly amped up my excitement for the album, so i don’t want to waste my breath on preamble when we could be listening to the album already!

“Dark” opens the album with a quick, rhythmic build into dissonant voices that sound vaguely like a radio broadcast. The song has a slow pace, introducing a variety of instruments one by one until the drums help tie it all together and drown out the opening audio bits for a little while, making a smooth reintroduction to the album and leaving the question of what the rest of the album is going to be like in the back of the mind. “Failure” has been previously reviewed as it was the first single off the album. “Angels Fall” starts with a strong, cinematic hum at the beginning and quickly blends into quick paced guitars that pull the song along to slower paced vocals. The song stays at a quick pace though, and holds the attention well. It’s a very evocative song that blends together beautifully.  “Breaking the Silence” has a bit more vibration to the vocals, with guitar riffs sprinkled intermittently, creating a beautiful explosion during the harsh but melodic chorus. The first four tracks on the album are gripping and really hold up to my expectations for the album in all honesty.

“Hollow” has a slightly empty, echoing hum that cuts out to vocals that are really stark against a backing of a single guitar, before the music explodes around them, blending together perfectly and seeming to embrace the listener from every angle. It’s a beautiful effect, and a soft echoing feeling can be sensed throughout the song, and it simply stays in the mind for a moment after listening to it. “Close to Heaven” starts off hard and loud, quieting off a bit as the vocals start but still maintaining a really heavy feeling. The song twists and turns, and surprises the listener at point by going softer when louder is expected. it’s a beautiful and emotive song that simply pulls the listener in more and more as it plays. It also marks the halfway part of the album. “Bury Me Alive” begins with a heavy guitar hum that fades out a bit before the other instruments pull the speed and sound back up a bit. The vocals cut in, silencing the back drop of instruments and the song takes on a creepy feel for a moment, but makes it work so well. The song really holds up to the first half of the album. “Never Again” has a slightly higher pitched start that quickly tones it down and lets the vocals stand out and be stark against a quieter backdrop. It holds the attention extraordinarily well, and stands out as an evocative song that easily winds its way along.

“The Great Divide” starts with a hard and heavy melody that pushes the track along at a quick pace. The vocals come in, dominating and then moving with the melody dictated by the instruments. It comes out beautiful and holds the attention wonderfully. “Ashes of Eden” opens with an echoing melody that seems to reverberate against silence. The vocals cut out, stark against the strange echoing melody. The vocals cause the song to build slowly, more sounds being added to the background bit by bit. It’s an extremely evocative song that holds its own against the busier tracks of the album. “Defeated” makes a return to the hard and heavy song. It moves quickly, and quickly draws the listener in further and further. It’s a song with a subtle sense of scrappy confidence, and ends on a hum that easily paves the way to the final track on the album. “Dawn” opens with a heartbeat like sound that quickly builds into a guitar matched by an echoing hum in the distance. It’s the perfect compliment to the opening track of the album, and really helps the album to flow together as one single piece.

All in all, I am delighted by the album. It really holds up well to my expectations, and was definitely worth the wait. I definitely recommend listening to it if you haven’t already, or listen to it again if you have already heard it. It’s more than worth the time, and definitely makes me hope we hear more from Breaking Benjamin really soon.

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