Review Summary: Chug heavy? Yup. Generic? Uh huh. Breakdown loaded? Of course! Extremely fun to listen to? Oh yes.
Breakdown Of Sanity have never made any effort to go outside of the box, and yet this band with no marketing or production assistance from a label has just dropped album number three into the hands of it's large and eagerly waiting fan-base.
Perception is a large step up from it's predecessor, Mirrors. While Mirrors had the energy that the band's fans have come to crave, and a great performance from front-man Carlo, it was almost painfully predictable and chug heavy. Perception shows off a band that has found a great balance between melody and brutality, and improved greatly in the songwriting department. In the past the band's guitarists hinted that they were capable of much more than they generally had on display. The lead work Perception is much more standout than it ever was in the past, there are beautiful solos and plenty of gloomy melodies that keep the songs from becoming stale. Crumble and Broken Wings display short but gorgeous solos while tracks like The Writer show the duo working well with keys to create some very dark atmospheres. It's great to finally hear them out of their shells.
While the music does remain very chug and breakdown heavy, the band's energy and momentum keep the music from feeling lackluster. The band's music is completely self produced, and the sound that has resulted from that has always been something that set them apart from the crowd. Everything they do sounds absolutely massive, and the guitar tones are standout enough to make even the most chug heavy sections enjoyable.
The drumming on Perception is as enjoyable as it has been in the past. None of the material is mind blowing, but he makes good use of his entire kit, throwing in nice little fills whenever possible and providing some pretty fun double bass work.
The vocals for this band are considered by many to be the strong point. Carlo's performance on Mirrors was impressive to say the least. He displayed excellent range and power. Some of his lyrics were hilariously bad but in the end he brought a lot to the album. As someone who has heard his performance on every album released, as well watched plenty of his live performances, I'm both confused and disappointed by his performance on Perception. It's not bad, or even close to it, but it's oddly limited. As familiar with his range as I am, I know that he's barely touching his highest range here, and some sections would have benefited greatly from it's use. He sits in the mid range for most of the album, using lows mainly for breakdowns. His mid range is enjoyable but it is a shame to see someone so talented give such a limited performance rather than utilizing everything he has at his disposal. There are clean vocals used here and there, they add some much needed variety, despite the fact that there's nothing special about them.
A somewhat lacking vocal performance aside, Perception is easily the best thing the band has put out. The songs flow very well, they don't run together like some tracks on their previous releases. And most importantly, each track is a blast to listen to. Breakdown Of Sanity may never have any desire to push the boundaries of metalcore, and that's just fine, they've found their spot in the genre and are making the most of it.