Review Summary: Good CD, with a few skippable tracks, is different that most mainstream music, while providing a listenable album.
This is a rewrite of my old review.
Breaking Benjamin is a group that gets so much hate for being so generic. While I will agree somewhat with the above statement, this album tends to differ in a number of ways. There is actually a lot of originality on this album, and most of it lies within Ben’s lyrics. While they may not be as dark as some nu-metal bands, they do have a melodic and dark feel, as the sound of this album carries the overall effect. You match that with Ben’s lyrics, and you get a pretty damn good CD if you ask me.
Ever since Jeremy Hummel (former drummer) left the band, the drum patterns and parts have become significantly complex, more enjoyable, as Jeremy was starting to bore me on We Are Not Alone
, the band’s second CD. They brought in Chad Szeliga, a professional drummer, and he makes a solid debut on this album, and the drumming in The Diary of Jane
and Evil Angel
show improvement in the band’s and album’s rhythm section.
Aaron Fink has made improvements to his guitar playing, and has more solos in this album, and they are more technical, such as in the songs Had Enough
and Here We Are
, although the rhythm guitar playing (Ben Burnley, also the singer) is similar throughout most of the songs, the lead guitar and the drums are what make the songs different and enjoyable to listen to.
Mark James Klepaski has done a fairly good job on bass, making it audible on every track, but the bass line tends to hug just a bit too much, although the rhythm he uses differs a bit each time. Not too bad, but not something significant.
I usually don’t do a track by track, but I feel I do better with a TBT, and I am not very good at writing overall reviews at the moment.
– As the guitar makes its way into the album, you are surrounded by plane noises. Ben has stated that he has a fear of flying overseas, and has declared Breaking Benjamin as an American rock band, so it is kind of neat. This is overheard by a soft, yet mysterious lead guitar part. It is really an intro to the next song, and I think you have to hear this before the next song, or you won’t get the mysterious high that this album can produce with the Intro and the first single.
The Diary of Jane
– This starts out with a clean, simple guitar part, but is then lead into the chorus by more harmonics that add to the overall mysterious effect. The Drums are the driving part in this song, and the beginning of the song shows this well, and the rest of the song does not let up. At the end it kind of drags on, but not a bad song to begin with. This is the first single of the album.
- This is the second single off of the album, and for some it is more a radio type song, but there aren’t that many of those on this album. The intro is well done by Aaron (guitar), and features him doing some soloing around the rhythm guitar part. The vocals are the high point, though, and Ben’s point is pretty sharp, saying you will be what he/she is, and is talking about a relationship. Not a bad song, but the first single was better.
– A different song for Breaking Benjamin, as this has a more progressive feel to it. The song title explains the meaning, and the guitar is the melodic and very dark sound in this song. It is well done, and the rest of the instruments aren’t that bad either. This is more lyrically driven, but is led by the instruments throughout the song.
– Another progressive song, but this one is much better, as the drums come in strong, and don’t let up. Both guitar parts rock hard, and the verses are soft, unlike the chorus. The bridge is a bit different, as it is rhythm driven, and much harder than the rest of the song. One of the better ones on the CD.
Until The End
– The format of this song is just about the opposite of the last one. It features a loud, and hard rocking verse, and then makes it’s way into a soft chorus, yet followed by a loud bridge. The guitar intro matches its rhythm with the drums and bass, and those two enter nicely. The transition between loud and soft was done nicely, and this song never gets old. It is one of the better songs on the CD.
Dance With The Devil
– Probably the most original song on the CD, as the chorus is catchy as hell, and the drum part is amazing throughout the whole song. Aaron does a great solo around the 2:50 mark, and adds to the mysterious effect again. The ending is done well, and features the piano well. Ben’s Lyrics are about us, trying to get rid of the stuff that is bad for us, and it will be better for us. It is one of the best songs on the CD. The ending leads into the next song.
– This song doesn’t really have a meaning to me, but it is fun to rock out to, as it is one of the hardest songs on the CD. It was a live song that Breaking Benjamin would play, and everyone would like it, so they took it into the studio and fixed it up a bit, and they came out with a pretty good result. Basic mainstream rock song, but still good, nonetheless.
Here We Are
– This song is out of place on the CD, this song is totally generic, excluding the solo that Aaron does. It sounds a lot like Nickelback, but it shows the better side of it. The drums take a soft spot on here, as the bass as well. The guitar is somewhat decent. This song is sort of a let down from the rest of the album.
– This is a song through the eyes of a dying soldier, and the guitar intro sounds like it was being played from Avenged Sevenfold, but that changes quickly, but it still is (musically) good. It is also a little different from the overall sound of the album, but can still fit in. It tends to drag on at the end.
– This is the angriest song on the album. The lyrics are supposed to be aimed at the bands former drummer (Jeremy Hummel) for the lawsuit that he charged Breaking Benjamin with. This is yet to be proven, but it goes so perfect. This could be about anything, from any type of revenge on anyone. It reminds me of “So Cold” from WANA, but a much better version of it. The band shines perfectly in this song, and it is one of the best on the CD.
You Fight Me
- Strange enough, Ben Burnley is a Billy Corgan fan. This song is a bit different from the rest of the album, and the piano throughout adds to the effect, as the guitar and bass do their job as well. The piano is done well. Not one of the best songs, but is still listenable.
– Much like the intro, the soft, yet mysterious guitar part comes in, but this time it is played behind a rhythm part that is well played and timed with the drums. Aaron does his soloing thoughout the song and makes his guitar start screaming at the end. Some voices come in at the end of the song, hence the plane that Ben hates to fly on, has landed, so to speak. It could be a bit longer.
Diary of Jane (piano version)
– It is much softer and slower than the regular version, but Ben and Chad do some great singing, and the piano by itself is a magnificent instrument (I’ve played for 13 years, I would know) backed by some soft cello parts.
The mysterious sound of this album will always bring me back for more, although there are a few skippable tracks. A great listen for a lot of people
Songs to recommend:
Intro/Diary of Jane
Until The End
Dance With The Devil