Digital Summer
Breaking Point



by Alex Beebe USER (128 Reviews)
August 23rd, 2012 | 18 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A surprising little gem that holds more power than one would expect based on the genre it’s associated with.

For some reason it is surprisingly difficult for a great amount of modern alternative metal/hard rock bands to have mainstream success. These unlucky bands that get glanced over possess near-identical qualities in sound to the bands in the genre that are fortunate enough to gain the attention they desire, so one would wonder what exactly makes a band qualify for the gift of fame in an over-saturated and barely surviving genre in which most of its rather unremarkable artists do little to distinguish themselves from each other.

Perhaps it’s just the luck of the draw, but it seems that time and time again the bands in the post-grunge/alt metal crowd that have traits that put their rendition of the genre above the rest of the bunch in quality are the one’s who end up being overlooked. It’s a shame that such redeemers of a sound remain virtually unsung, and Digital Summer’s newest release Breaking Point may inevitably become another one of those unfair cases.

Based on the flat material of similar acts such as Breaking Benjamin and Trapt, and judging from how same-old Digital Summer’s genre has become (and how less than notable the band has been on past outings), one would understandably not expect Breaking Point to be an album that emits pleasantly surprising waves of force. The band owes obtaining this in-your-face impact to recently recruited replacement guitarist Jon Stephenson. Stephenson employs a wide variety of different tunings, effects, and riffing patterns in a masterful fashion that shows as much concentration on style and sound as it does talent.

The album itself gives the impression of putting heavy emphasis on the much improved guitar department, starting out strong and bold by featuring guest Clint Lowery of Sevendust fame on guitar to raise the volume of the assault on “Forget You” right from the get-go, and wrapping up the album with an acoustic version of the single-ready ballad “Broken Halo” to show that Stephenson is just as skilled unplugged. However, even with all the stress on the guitar end, Stephenson doesn’t become the star of the show or outshine the music surrounding him, the production balances out Stephenson’s playing quality with the rest of the band, avoiding issues of one aspect of the album hogging the listener’s attention.

Breaking Point is a well-crafted record in that it doesn’t just focus all its effort on its area of specialty while the rest of the areas remain unchanged and audibly inferior. The blunt furry of the chugging, and the wails and shrieks reclaim a certain standard of engaging heaviness that has been lost in mainstream hard rock for quite some time. It allows for this album to push the boundries of how intense an album of its type will typically get, and does so impressively without changing genres.

The lyrical themes of this album may be all too familiar and exactly like too many other artists in the genre, but this was only a problem because the post-grunge music that has encased these lyrics has been so feeble for so long, and it has exhausted the themes into annoying redundancy as a result, but the musical back-bone of Breaking Point accomplishes instilling new and exciting life into the lyrical themes of this type of music again. Digital Summer doesn’t aim to be angst-ridden, and instead opts to revive the interest and emotional value in the topics of love and rage viewed through the lens of post-grunge style, and vocalist Kyle Winterstein does so with a tinge of confidence in his delivery.

Instead of abandoning these well-known themes for the route of pretentiously cryptic lyrics like most alternative metal have in an attempt to rely on that to make their music creative, Digital Summer decide to bravely act as redeemers of a tired method.

Breaking Point will undoubtedly surprise any listener with just how heavy-hitting of an impact it has, and that's what makes it worth sifting through the seas of alternative metal artists to hear it. It’s a refreshing and solid album that makes its genre powerful again, which is just as respectable as creating a variation of the sound. Showing how much difference one change can make for the better as long as it is handled properly, Breaking Point is the savior of an album its genre needs in wake of the genre's dwindling progression.

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A skilled take on alternative metal that unfortunately falls just short of separating itself from th...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
August 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Wanted to have this up 2 weeks back but couldn't because I haven't had time to review, just now getting it up because I wanted to get it out of my system before I move on. It sucks when late at night is the only time you can find for a reviewing session.

Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2012


Good review, man. I dont really know anything about this band, but may check out some songs just to see what theyre like.

August 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you kind sir. ;D

August 23rd 2012


Sounds like something I'd like a good deal.

I'll pos, but I'm hoping this is better than Believe.

August 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Lol, trust me man, I'm sure you'll find this one is much better than Believe.

August 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

I always seem to get that one neg.

August 23rd 2012


nicely done, alex. have a pos thingy

August 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Gyro!

August 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, have a pos. And alt-metal that's actually good? Must check this one out

August 23rd 2012


i'll check em. This has nothing to do w/ your review, but the description of the band on the sputnik page is laughably bad: "Digital Summer is an at times mistakable five piece band originating from Phoenix, Arizona.Made up of heavy/melodic guitars and raw emotional vocals, Digital Summer creates an edgy, powerful, yet soothing tone for a radio friendly world. Influenced by multiple music genres, Digital Summer is a rock band to the core."

wtf is an "at times mistakable five piece band" lol

August 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

I have a feeling that it's supposed to mean they're the type of band you hear on the

radio and think they're a different more popular band lol. Still, really poorly written

band-page, as unpopular as these guys are they're bound to get a badly thrown

together page haha. These guys are really awesome though, they deserve a much

better bandpage than the one they got and a hell of a lot more recognition for their

work. I might edit the bandpage myself actually.

August 23rd 2012


Nice review, man. i gotta say, there are definitely parts that could be shortened extensively, like this line:

"the bands in the post-grunge/alt metal crowd that have traits that put their rendition of the genre above the rest of the bunch in quality are the one’s who end up being overlooked."

And there are multiple instances of this. I'm able to identify it well because I struggle with it sometimes. But just watch your "wordiness," and other than that you're set. :]

August 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the honesty and the feedback bro. I'm not as bad at run on sentences as I was when I first started out, but I really do still need to work on sorting my thoughts out and simplifying what I'm saying. I just like using a lot of words I guess lol.

August 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I love this band, but im dropping this down to a 4, it still rules, but it doesnt have the standout moments counting the hours had

Digging: Fog - Ether Teeth

August 24th 2012


Sorry Alex, but I really don't like this.

Reviews great, though

Digging: Opeth - Ghost Reveries

August 24th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks mindle. Yeah, I knew this probably wouldn't be a lot of other people's thing, but what can I say, I got a soft spot for music like this haha.

September 5th 2012


Album Rating: 5.0

Alex, great review! I'm sure the guys would enjoy it!

I've been following DS for a few years now, and they never fail to impress me! For those who don't know their full story, they are a 100% completely independent band. They've turned down numerous major label offers, management deals, etc. They literally do EVERYTHING on their own! I think it's really impressive the following they have (which seems to be unnoticed by readers in their thread), but they launched a Kickstarter campaign on raised $51,000 from their fans to put "Breaking Point" out.

Breaking Point debuted at #13 on the iTunes rock charts and the first single (Forget You) debuted at #46 on the Active Rock charts. I also read somewhere that the new album broke the Billboard Top 100 in rock...I'm almost positive this hasn't been done by any unsigned band before!

Anyway, as a huge fan, I give Breaking Point the best rating possible. Everything about this album was stepped up from the previous albums. I wouldn't be surprised if these guys are a huge breakout artists for 2013!

Rock on everybody! m/

May 27th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

Great review. I love DS but 4.0 is a bit high though. This is very well done album but not original for 1 cent.

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