When I first looked at the track list on iTunes some months ago, I assumed that Dark and Dawn would be intro/outro bookends for the album, and I was right. What I didn’t expect was that it would be the audio from the Coming Soon video. I was so excited when I heard it. :D It’s an excellent piece of music, and I’m probably going to try to figure out the monologue that’s going on over the song. Basically, Dark is GET HYPE for Dark Before Dawn.
I loved Failure when it was first released, and it’s still great even after a few months of constant listening. It’s a very classic Breaking Benjamin song, kind of a blend of Phobia and Dear Agony’s sound. Compared to some of the songs on Dark Before Dawn, it’s a little weak, though. But I don’t need to review it, because we all know how great it is. :P
3. Angels Fall
Another song I probably don’t need to review. Lol. Angels Fall is an excellent song, melodic and strong, full of staple Breaking Benjamin themes. The lyrics make my heart happy. :)
4. Breaking the Silence
I heard a teensy snippet here on Tumblr and I was like, YYEYEEEAAAHH! So when I heard the full album, I was totally pumped for this song. It feels like a return to form for Breaking Benjamin, calling back to We Are Not Alone in the song structure. I can’t figure out what Ben’s growls are saying other than maybe “Wake up”, but I still love it. The chorus is super catchy, the verses are really great… This whole review is going to be full of me not having the right words to express the goodness. haha.
Something about the structure of this song reminds me of Dance with the Devil, and the music reminds me of the intro of The Diary of Jane. In any case, when I first listened to this, my chest began to swell with happiness. There are standard BB lyrics and themes, but the vocal melodies in the verses are so smooth and moving. Actually, the second verse made me think that maybe the song is based on Destiny, the Xbox One game. If so, that’s pretty cool. If not, it’s still a fantastic song. The solo is really superb in this song, which makes me happy. Dear Agony lacked a bit when it came to solos, preferring lyrics in the middle-eight. Dark Before Dawn seems much more varied that Dear Agony when it comes to musical themes, which pleases me to no end. It’s kind of a return to Phobia’s variety of song structures.
6. Close to Heaven
Honestly, I wasn’t too blown away by the verse on my first listen. It’s great, but not super special after listening to Breaking the Silence and Hollow. But when the chorus began, holy butts, was I excited. Ben’s voice is so emotive, and the chorus soars with excellence. I had chills! So naturally, the next verse was super impressive to me, just because the song had won me over. I think the song is a great mix of typical BB and Ben’s return to form. The breakdown is chunky, the lyrics are lovely, and I am super pumped to hear live versions.
I love the way Ben enunciates in the chorus. I love this, but that’s not gonna stop me from making fun of it. Lol. “I’ll keep love togetherrrrrrrrr, and I’ll stay yours forevrrrrrrr!” hahaha.
7. Bury Me Alive
Bury Me Alive reminds me a lot of the songs on Dear Agony, at least when the music is concerned. Ben’s vocals in the verses are really interesting to listen to, and the lyrics are cool too. The song as a whole, however, was a little underwhelming after the other songs. It’s still a strong track, but it’s not an immediate favourite. The middle-eight was pretty cool to listen to, though, and it’s a driving track, with some great headbanging potential. Just not one that I was straight up in love with.
8. Never Again
I feel a little bit conflicted about Never Again. The intro and the first verse were heavy and gravelly, and then the chorus bursts in and suddenly the song feels super positive and triumphant. The dichotomy between the moods of this song makes me feel really pumped, and so this song is kind of super adorable. Some of the lyrics seem kinda cheesy, and I’m surprised that this is a love on first listen song for me, but it’s just super good. The lyrics make me think that this song is Ben’s letter to himself about how he’s striving through the torment of his illness. He’s not going to let it hold him back anymore. And I just love it. It’s a kind of messy song, but it’s so pleasing to me.
10. The Great Divide
Another song that feels like staple Breaking Benjamin. I love the positive feel to the song, and the choruses are so perfect. It’s a really beautiful song, and the cues it takes from previous BB albums have been improved and polished into this gem. I love the lyrics. I love the verses. I love the chorus. I love the middle-eight. I especially love how the mood is so uplifting. This is a song I’ll definitely be singing out loud, and often too. This is an anthem, and it’s an excellent one at that.
11. Ashes of Eden
THIS SONG IS THE BEST SURPRISE ON THE ALBUM! I had hoped for a more stripped song like this from the album, but I didn’t think we’d get it. I’m so, so happy that we did. Ben’s voice is beautiful, the lyrics are beautiful, everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. I’m not even sure how much I can say about this song, other than that I’m positive that everyone will love it. It’s a peaceful, gorgeous song, and a moment of clarity that I felt was missing from Dear Agony. I can’t even express how perfect it is. Best song on the album.
I’ve probably discussed how much I love Defeated before, but it is a fantastic track. It’s powerful and punchy, and the lyrics are great, and the vocals are great, and I love the way it makes me feel. It’s awesome, and strong, and relentless. A great way to go out.
Such a beautiful, peaceful piece of music to lead us out, Dawn is a lovely outro. There’s a drum-ish effect that I think is supposed to represent a heartbeat, and it’s really calming. The vocal harmonies that present themselves are beautiful, and I feel like this is the loveliest album closer that I could have imagined for the album. It harkens back to Ashes of Eden real hard, and it’s perfect.
FUCK YES THIS IS FANTASTIC. There’s so much work and love in this album, and you can really hear it. It moves so smoothly from the ‘dark’ into the ‘dawn’, and I think everyone will be super happy with this album. I certainly am. :)