Review Summary: Silverstein have silenced all their critics with their best album to date
‘This Is How the Wind Shifts’ is Silverstein’s sixth album.
Most post-hardcore bands are enjoying less commercial success at the moment. While Silverstein’s ex-Victory contemporaries such as Aiden, Atreyu, and Hawthorne Heights had their fair share of fame in the genre around the mid-2000s, Silverstein’s belief, creativity and bold vision has kept them relevant after 10 years.
‘This Is How The Wind Shifts’ is a concept album about duality, partnering songs from two different outcomes. It is their first album without lead guitarist Neil Boshart, who is replaced by Paul Marc Rousseau. Paul has made the band push themselves with an ambitious mix of fast and slow tracks that work equally well. Even the slow songs have an intensive memorable sound. Paul wrote ‘Stand Amid the Roar’, ‘Arrivals’ which he sings beautifully on and ‘Departures’.
I’m sure we all know Shane’s gritty emotional vocals have not always fitted Silverstein’s songs as effectively as they could have, however he has upped his game here, took his time and made them fit perfectly into every song. These lyrics are still typical Silverstein, about being romantic and broken hearts.
Each track from the first half of the album has a corresponding one in the second half, telling the story from a different point of view with one crucial detail changed:
"Massachusetts" pairs "California"
"Arrivals" pairs "Departures"
“On Brave Mountains We Conquer” pairs “In Silent Seas We Drown”
and so on.
The best example here is the title tracks “This Is How” and “The Wind Shifts”. The whole concept of the album is that a single decision / event can change the course of history, depending how the wind shifts. Played the same time you get this: https://soundcloud.com/deadoaksband/silverstein-this-is-how-the
There are quite a few stand out tracks throughout "This Is How The Wind Shifts" such as ‘Massachusetts’ about an abusive relationship and the struggles a person goes through to get out of it. ‘A Better Place’ although a sad song lyrically, is up tempo (like ‘The Ides of March’ from ‘Discovering the Waterfront’) with a catchy as hell chorus and ‘California’ a triumphant song about positivity, hope and inspiration.
It’s quite an achievement that Silverstein still manage to keep their sound. As stated above with ‘A Better Place’, the song ’Hide your secrets’ also sounds similar to ’Giving Up’ off their very first album ‘When Broken is Easily Fixed’.
Halfway through the album we are treated to Silverstein’s heaviest work to date in songs “In A Place Of Solace” and “In Silent Seas We Drown”. These songs truly have made Silverstein one of the best at what they do making heavy melodic songs translating the pain and struggle a person can go. The lyrics are fun at times such at at the start of the latter ''I'm running just like the wind'' making me want to get up and do some exercise.
On “In Silent Seas We Drown” Shane sings what I believe are his best vocals to date ‘’I silenced all my critics, silenced everyone except myself’’. The vocals are screamed with such intense passion and angst. He then follows it up with ‘you won’t believe what I’m capable of’. No doubt he has now fully found his voice and it’s superb.
Overall this is without doubt Silverstein’s best and most consistent work to date. I can’t wait to see what they do next.