Billy Talent
Dead Silence



by Flame12 USER (13 Reviews)
January 5th, 2013 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mature? No. Any good? Yes.

Billy Talent had been enjoying success for quite some while before this album came out and it's easy to see why. The band had a knack for memorable choruses and riffs (courtesy of Benjamin Kowalewicz and Ian D'Sa respectively) right from the start with Billy Talent I producing quality single material such as Try Honesty for people to latch onto and they certainly didn't go on to lose that quality, with Billy Talent II being an even bigger hit and spawning their biggest hits still in the form of Red Flag and Fallen Leaves. Billy Talent III, while perhaps not receiving the kind of praise the band may have wanted as it received a mixed reaction can surely not be considered a failure as album sales weren't exactly disappointing, especially in days where releasing an album that actually makes up the money it cost to create and release in sales is considered a big achievement. Dead Silence, outside of the obvious change in album title trend also, according to the band, signalled a change in style for them with Dead Silence being more mature and darker compared to their previous output and also because Ian took the helm on producing this one.

So is it more mature, more adult" No, is the quick answer to the that particular question and its probably best to get that issue out of the way so I can concentrate on reviewing actual songs. Arguably some of it deals with more depressing themes than on their numbered albums but come on, their third album contained White Sparrows which while perhaps not exactly My Dying Bride certainly wasn't a walk through the sunny park of life either and there were not any parts on this album that particularly topped that for me. The other excuse for claiming this is a more mature album is that it begins with a sparse acoustic guitar piece which features ticking and both a male and female vocalist called Lonely Road To Absolution but having a short unhappy songs about angels falling to the ground doesn't really make your album deeper and the whole thing is kind of blunted by the fact that the next song is called Viking Death March.

But enough calling out the essential 'this album is so much more complex and different form all our other ones' bull*** as Talent are definitely not the only perpetrators of that crime (*cough* Amon Amarth *cough*) and in the end the album should be judged on the quality of its songs and the Billy Talent crew once again do not fail to impress. While Viking Death March is dent it is Surprise Surprise that is the first indicator that the band have not lost their touch with a really neat solo and possibly the best section in a Billy Talent song in the form of the 'upper class daughters' bridge with a startlingly catchy vocal line and some pretty sweet cowbell. If nothing about this bridge impresses you then that probably makes you technically dead. Songs after that fare well too with Running Across The Tracks and Love Was Still Around boasting the strong guitar work and sing-along vocal parts that you expect from the band. As previously mentioned Ian's guitar work is nothing to be ignored as he has a talent (Yeah *** you, that made me chuckle) for using jazzier chords than aren't normally used in this kind of music and they do spring up pleasingly often on the album with some newer interesting parts such as the start to Don't Count On The Wicked with its hooky use of harmonics.

One of the things most original about the bands sound and also the thing that most consistently turns people of the band are Bens vocals as he has always employed quite a high pitched and arguably quite a nasal vocal sound and while some people find this off-putting I personally find that it works to the bands advantage and that they gain quite a lot of their personality through his unique singing. And also, with songs this good it wouldn't matter if he sung all the songs in the style of Rod Stewart or Bob Dylan (though obviously it would). A bit of a criticism I do have however is about the choruses which employ another favourite of Billy Talent's the sing-shout play off where Ben will sing a line and there will be gang vocals shouting back at him in return, these do work well and have done so on all of their records but the band seem overly aware of this as maybe a few too many songs do use it as it feels slightly tired by the end. With a different producer I expected the album to have a pretty different sound too it but Ian must have learnt a lot from their previous producer as this is basically identical to their previous sound. That is certainly not a bad thing however as the production is very good giving good exposure to all of the instruments simultaneously. I have focused mainly on guitar and vocals in this review and that is for the reason that the album musically focuses on them as well. The drumming is good and provides a strong backbone for the songs and the bass does the same but I don't remember any particular strong moments for either of those instruments, this is very much the Ben and Ian show.

All in all, if you are a fan of Billy Talent you have probably already picked up this album and are enjoying it thoroughly, this is an album of strong song writing by a band with great chemistry that while certainly not deviating from the rock formula completely has the decency to bring a few new ideas into their music. If you are a fan of rock music and you have not given the band a listen (in which case, seriously") then do so now and enjoy the wealth of good material that this band has already crafted.

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user ratings (358)
other reviews of this album
Eucatastrophe CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
And the town gets some of its power back......

Starblind (3.5)
Dead Silence might not be anything revolutionary, but then again, if it ain't broke, why fix it?...

KentAlways (3.5)
Billy Talent pushes subtlety to the side with their fourth LP...

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 5th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

As you have probably noticed this is very much a review written by the fan of the band so you will have to take in that their is most likely some bias as I did really enjoy all of the bands stuff before this.

Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2013


Album Rating: 2.0

First two albums are amazing, third was absolute balls, this one -judging from the singles- doesn't sound much better.

January 5th 2013


Album Rating: 3.5

It's better than the third.

Good review, albeit informal and a bit too personal.

Digging: Children of Bodom - Hexed

January 5th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, and yes the review does come across as informal at points so I may try and change that somehow, the 'personal' feel to it may come from the fact that I really like this band though, I even quite enjoyed the third although it does pale a bit compared to the first two.

January 5th 2013


At least it's better than III

Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2013


much better than their last album

Digging: Madison Cunningham - For the Sake of the Rhyme

January 5th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

this is really good. btw III sucked ass

January 5th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

I didn't realise quite how much dislike there was for III! Did anyone else enjoy it at all?

January 5th 2013


Album Rating: 3.5

I did. It's pretty overhated here.

January 5th 2013


Album Rating: 2.5

Not a bad review, but it's obviously written by someone without much reviewing experience. A few pointers:

Avoid being self-referential

A lot of the review is about maturity. Use examples from other albums to show why this album was or wasn't more mature than before (I.e. Nothing to Lose was their maturity peak, nothing on here equals that)

Consider your comparisons. Tom DeLonge is a much better person to compare Ben Kowlawicz to than Bob Dylan.

Don't swear or target specific bands that aren't related to your review (Amon Amarth in this context.

Use more commas

You've got talent, keep writing.

January 5th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a lot for the criticism, I realise now that quite a few of the references were really really weird in relation to Billy Talent. The whole self-referential thing should be slightly better if I review bands I'm less attached too.

February 3rd 2013


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

III is dark as hell, this one is so positive and really enjoyable.

June 13th 2013


Calling Ian D'sa a "female vocalist" on "The Lonely Road To Absolution" is a bit strong

February 8th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Album is still probably the best thing they've done

Digging: Klaatu - 3:47 Est

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