Review Summary: A bitter and crisp divorce.
Lyrics of a song can be presented and executed in a vast number of ways. They can be personal, thought provoking, or even surreal. Lyrics portray emotions that the listener can comprehend and even feel. We all feel something when listening to our favorite lyrics, be it we all interpreted them in different ways. Art is supposed to drip with different thoughts on its subject matter, without a sense of unique qualities art can fail on becoming thought provoking or meaningful. Then there is art which follows a linear line of events that are stitched with symbolic materials along the way. Shipwreck follows this pattern, but the materials run on a thin line of lace that leaves little room to the imagination.
Shipwreck is a concept album. It tells the story of a heartbroken man who burns his house down to kill his wife sleeping inside.She has been unfaithful to the man, as she has been caught sleeping with the man’s best friend. The man then realizes that his daughter is also trapped in the house, and rescues both of them in the consuming fire. Though he brings the two to safety, he is immediately taken to court on accounts of Arson and mental insanity. The court however can’t prove that the man started the fire, and release him. The man ends up losing the custody of his daughter, which is the only thing he has to live for, and slits his wrists in a hotel. I do care a little for the story; it isn’t mesmerizing or sublime in the way it presents itself, but the honest way the lyrics play off do add intensity and heat to the fire.I feel that the sorrow and anger of the man with most verses, even though they can sound pretentious at times. I even like the albums closing duet which puts a spin on the wife’s point of view. Being a post-hardcore band, the band had to find a way to make dark growls and screams feel right at home by making anger the main emotion of the album. However, I feel it comes off as a bit rash and whiny at some points of the album mostly due to Shane Told's clean voice.
Vocally speaking, Shane’s voice is filled with angst and betrayal. He constantly slings acquisitions at his partner with a rather boring tone to it. His growls are by far his better trait, as they do get pulled off with intense enthusiasm and anger, but his clean vocals are sloppy and whiny. There are moments in this album that do make Shane sound like a love sick teenager most of the time, which breaks off the serious tone the album is committed too. Guest vocals are mostly good, with a standout to Lights on the finale. Her voice is innocent and down to earth as she sings away her part in the mess, feeling that this could have happened if the man wasn’t so pretentious and a little more caring. Drums are way more interesting than the guitar, as the rolls are fierce and quick. Crashes are well produced, as they each lay down explosive powder to the dynamics. The guitar is forgettable with only one memorable riff on the album, found in “I am the Arsonist” where the fast layered riffing in the beginning is filled with brutal rage.
The closing track on Shipwrecks is by far the most intricate and enjoyable song on the album. It’s a mostly acoustic eight minute long spectacle of a song that plays off of all events on the album. Lyrics are spot on and honest, as the man and woman give their grave opinions on each other. Each side has its reasons, and it’s hard to pick who is actually right. The ending is cliché, yet grand. It builds up with the two confessing their love for each other, while the drums and other instruments douse out the flames of anger and torment. The fireworks explode, for a few minutes, as some of the best lyrics on the album are sung with sorrow and agony. As the flames of the singed relationship come to a close, the the album finishes in the midst of the star lit night with Shane announcing “This union, was never about love”.
Louder then ever and full of utmost rage, Silverstein delivers the darkest album of their career. Focusing on themes of betrayel, Silverstein weaves a story of promising proportion, but lacks the colors to make it an incredible one. Stiff guitar playing and mediocre clean vocals hold this back from acheiveing a greater status, but there are songs that cannot be missed. The End is memorable and grand, and even the first two tracks are angry and fierce. Some songs are bland and boring, blemishing the face of the album with a few scarres and scratches, but I reccommend it if you want to hear a new age concept album with a great story to it.