Breaking Benjamin
Phobia


2.5
average

Review

by Slaytan USER (16 Reviews)
May 2nd, 2007 | 19 replies | 3,610 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There was quite alot of hype leading up to Breaking Benjamin's third release Phobia; but unfortunately, it's just another average hard rock album.

3 of 4 thought this review was well written

Breaking Benjamin burst onto the hard rock music scene in 2002 with the release of their debut album, Saturate. The album was well received by those looking for a band with solid hooks, all while retaining an angsty sound, if you will. Their next release came in 2004, in the form of We Are Not Alone. With such radio friendly singles like "So Cold" and "Sooner or Later", the band managed to expose itself to a whole new group of listeners, all while retaining a majority of it's current fan base. Considering Breaking Benjamin's previous albums, and the steady increase in songwriting ability that came along with them, one would be expecting something special from their third album, Phobia, but sadly, that is not the case.

Breaking Benjamin (Phobia) is...
Benjamin Burley - Vocals, Guitar
Aaron Fink - Guitar
Mark Klepaski - Bass
Chad Szeliga - Drums

The album in general is generic. From start to finish it blends together like one long boring song. The main reason it does so is the guitars. They seem to repeat the same tuned down riffs over and over again. For instance, the main riff in "Breath" sounds just like the main riff in "The Diary Of Jane", which sounds just like the main riff in "You Fight Me." For an overwhelming majority of the album, they play the hard rock riffs and rhythms that you would expect them to, and rarely break away from that pattern. The solos on the album are few and far between, and even when they are present, they are ridiculously simple. They follow the vocal melody, or consist of a four note pattern played several times and several different tempos. Needless to say, Ben and Aaron failed as far as coming up with original and interesting lines on this album.

Chad, on the other hand, does a nice job of coming up with beats to play underneath the guitars. He is smart enough to know when to play a simple 4/4 drum beat, and when to play a more unconvential beat. His high hat is used in many cases to compliment the bass lines and vocal melodies, seeing as he opens and closes it at ideal times. Tracks like "You Fight Me" show off his power behind the kit, while other such as "Evil Angel" show how even his simple, low key beats are more than effective. All in all, he is one of the bright spots on the album, and does a nice job of interacting with his fellow bandmates...too bad they don't do anything interesting.

Bassist, Mark is inaudible for a large majority of the album; when he is heard though, he is following the stale riffs of the guitars. This is a dissapointment, seeing as how so many of the verses on their second album relied on him to come up with interesting lines for the vocals to flourish on.

Vocally the album is strong, but lacks the lyrics to make Ben's voice worth listening to. Most of the time he is singing about failed relationships or inner demons, the same way he has been singing about them for years. His clean vocals are well done, but don't really add anything new to the songs, and his harsher more rasp like vocals don't really fit in when they are used. In short, it's disappointing.

As previously stated, from start to finish this album is disappointing. Breaking Benjamin have always been a mainstream band with an edge, but seem to fully embrace being a mainstream band with Phobia. Apparently this album is a must for die hard fans of Breakig Benjamin and mainstream hard rock, but for the rest of you...pass.

OVERALL RATING: 2.5 Broken Bens Out of 5

P.S. If you are going to get this album, buy it in person, not off of iTunes. On the actual CD is a bonus track: The Diary of Jane acoustic. It's a nice break from all the monotony, if you can make it to track 14...



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user ratings (1289)
Chart.
3.5
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Pluh
May 2nd 2007



579 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"attempt at change failed worse Napoleon's attempt to take over the world" ... you should put the word "than" in between the worse and Napoleon's. Just something i noticed :/


But for the most part i agree with the review and it was nicely written... good job.

Slaytan
May 2nd 2007



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Thanks for finding the error.
Thanks for the compliment.

clairvoyant
May 2nd 2007



765 Comments


short but sweet

pretty good review, i just feel like its kinda short :/

Slaytan
May 2nd 2007



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

It is short. There's just not much else to say about it IMO...it really does all sound the same after a few listens. But thanks for commenting.

Altmer
May 3rd 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

album sucks

Abaddon2005
May 3rd 2007



684 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, the average rating is 2.5, even though it says it's 3 when you submit it.. a little bug.

Slaytan
May 3rd 2007



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Thanks.^^ I thought it was 2.5...

ironman4444
May 3rd 2007



276 Comments


I was considering checking this out, but now i'm not. Sounds preety generic, I'll stick to downloading the singles. Good review by the way.

Big Tone
May 4th 2007



50 Comments


I was given this CD as a gift sometime ago and haven't listened to much of it, I liked Diary of Jane. Pretty good review, nice job.

Slaytan
January 2nd 2008



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Wow, I can't believe I actually submitted this review back then...it's embaressing, haha.

Spectrum
January 2nd 2008



347 Comments


If the singles are the two strongest tracks on the album, then I don't think I'll be checking this one out. "Diary of Jane" is pretty good, and "Breath" is really very good, but not enough to justify owning the album, I guess. Good, short review.

Slaytan
January 2nd 2008



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Good, short review.

Thank you, even though now, I must disagree.This Message Edited On 01.02.08

Spectrum
January 3rd 2008



347 Comments


Oh, please. Before I switched account names, I wrote worse. In fact, I once accidentally submitted a Sound Off as a review and it was months before it was presumably noticed and summarily deleted. I used to do TBTs, for pete's sake.
This review is fine.

Poet
January 3rd 2008



5910 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I can only really listen to Evil Angel and The Diary of Jane off of this anymore.

Slaytan
January 8th 2008



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Oh, please. Before I switched account names, I wrote worse. In fact, I once accidentally submitted a Sound Off as a review and it was months before it was presumably noticed and summarily deleted. I used to do TBTs, for pete's sake.

This review is fine.

Haha. Well now I don't feel so bad. But still, I'll probably re-write this.


brandtweathers
January 8th 2008



2009 Comments


2.5 though... really?

Slaytan
January 9th 2008



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, it's really, really generic; I wouldn't go so far as to call it bad, just another mainstream hard rock album.

Slaytan
January 9th 2008



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Also, what happened to the neg on the review?

EDIT: As opposed to rewriting the review, I just rearranged it and combined some paragraphs. I like it better how it is currently.This Message Edited On 01.10.08

Toondude10
March 10th 2014



1786 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you Jesus, that neg review was awful. Granted I don't agree with this one but it is a decent
write up. Pos'd

Also, as far as that last comment is concerned, that bonus track was a Best Buy exclusive track. And
they don't sell those anymore (for this album at least).



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