Silverstein - 'A Beautiful Place To Drown' Album Review
1. Bad Habits (Ft. Intervals)
2. Burn It Down (Ft. Caleb Shomo)
3. Where Are You
4. Infinite (Ft. Aaron Gillespie)
5. Shape Shift
6. All On Me
7. Madness (Ft. Princess Nokia)
8. Say Yes!
10. September 14th
11. Coming Down
12. Take What You Give (Ft. Pierre Bouvier)
Twenty years after forming and three years since their last studio album, Canadian Post-Hardcore five piece Silverstein return triumphantly with their tenth studio effort 'A Beautiful Place To Drown'. Merging styles from across their career, whilst also venturing into slightly newer territories, this album can certainly be viewed as a culmination and celebration of the band, which is reflected in Lead guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau’s statement; “To me, the best way to honor the anniversary is to keep doing what got us this far. Being adventurous has always been part of what the band does—we keep focusing on moving forward.”
The album starts off extremely strong with the track 'Bad Habits', featuring fellow Canadian Aaron Marshall of the Prog Metal group Intervals. This track sets up the album perfectly, with amazing energetic riffs, relatable lyrics and and a brilliant chorus. Lead vocalist Shane Told flexes his seamless ability to transition between singing and screaming amazingly on this track, amongst the masterful guitar work from Rousseau and rhythm guitarist Josh Bradford and the powerful backbone created by bassist Billy Hamilton and drummer Paul Koehler to deliver the signature Silverstein sound that fans know and love, which is visible throughout the entirety of 'A Beautiful Place To Drown' as a whole.
The album then continues into lead single 'Burn It Down', featuring Caleb Shomo of Beartooth, one of three old friends of Silverstein to feature on the album. A three minute long powerhouse of a song. It’s very easy to see why the band chose this track as lead single. It doesn’t let up for its entire duration, and will be sure to become a staple of the band’s live set. Caleb Shomo delivers his signature vocal styling perfectly as usual, his building scream punctuated by a hard hitting breakdown which leads back into Told’s beautifully delivered clean vocals with Shomo’s harsh vocals continuing underneath, complimenting each other perfectly to create what will undoubtedly become an iconic song that cements Silverstein’s legacy.
Half way through the album comes, in my opinion, one of the most surprising tracks. A slower, more melancholic track called 'All On Me'. With a softer and more reflective tone, it brings the pace down slightly, especially with the inclusion of a saxophone solo. 'All On Me' is Silverstein’s take on a Pop song, and I believe it to be better than most of the music currently populating the charts. It's evident that it is made with passion, venturing out of the typical comfort zone to create something outstanding, something many bands fail to capture when they create a song that isn’t typically within their wheelhouse.
There is so much energy and passion throughout this album, but I feel the track that encapsulates this the most is, ironically titled, 'Stop'. It is the perfect showcase of the talents of each member of the band, with a racing chorus that just makes you want to get up and move, as well as a breakdown with perfect guitar work and a driving drum beat. I can see this easily being one of my favourite tracks of the year, if not the decade. It has everything I look for in a track from a band like Silverstein.
In all honesty, I find it difficult to write about this album, as every single track is a highlight for me. There are so many bands who lose steam and begin to peter out after creating a certain amount of albums, but Silverstein have managed to sustain a phenomenal energy to create something spectacular that doesn’t feel like they’re repeating themselves or trying to pander to anyone. 'A Beautiful Place To Drown' transitions seamlessly through genres, from the heavier sounds mentioned previously to Pop to a more Pop Punk style in tracks like 'Say Yes', 'September 14th' and 'Take What You Give', featuring Pierre Bouvier of Simple Plan. Told encapsulates this perfectly in his own words: “I think people care less about labels and genres than they ever have, we’ve always been okay with how Emo can mean so many different things, and from the start we wanted our band to bend genres.” I feel like it says a lot when I hold two featured artists in the same esteem, Aaron Gillespie of Underoath, who I’ve admired for years, and a relative newcomer Princess Nokia, who I’d never heard of prior to this album. Silverstein brings out the best in the artists they feature as well as themselves. There is not a bad moment on this album.
Review - Gordon Rae