Billy Talent
Afraid of Heights


3.0
good

Review

by E0CDragon USER (3 Reviews)
July 29th, 2016 | 124 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not bad, but not as interesting or inspired as other Billy Talent albums.

Compared to other bands that I listen to Billy Talent is rather new for me. I've only really started listening to them about a year ago but in that year they have slowly become one of my favorite bands. Outside of "Billy Talent III" I genuinely enjoy all of their albums, especially "Dead Silence" which I felt was more mature and in some ways darker than previous albums from the band. Upon hearing that the band would be dropping a new album this year I was pretty excited but after hearing the first single "Afraid of Heights" I started to fear for the album. The song wasn't bad but it certainly didn't feel as inspired or interesting as previous Billy Talent singes have. Sadly the same can be said for the album. It's not bad but compared to other Billy Talent albums it just feels uninspired and less interesting.

Let's start with the good as there is actually a fair bit of good to talk about. Production wise the album is solid. All of the instruments are clear and understandable with no major hiccups. The opening track "Big Red Gun" is a pretty solid hard rock track and it starts off the album rather well. It doesn't try anything new really but it's nowhere near bad and the chorus is just plain fun. "Afraid of Heights" while not anything spectacular has definitely grown on me since my first time listening to it. Truth be told I'd like it to be a little faster paced but it's not bad and once again, the chorus is pretty solid which ties the whole song together pretty well. "The Crutch" is a fantastic track and is definitely the standout track to me on this album. It has a nice catchy and bouncy riff with a pretty great solo and lead singer Ben Kowalewicz pulls off a pretty fantastic performance showing off his range and ability to really bring aggression to the forefront of the song. "Ghost Ship of Cannibal Rats" and "Time Bomb Ticking Away" show that Billy Talent still knows how to make some fun mid to fast tempo rock songs, with the latter being some of the most fun I had listening to the record and Billy Talent in general. Expect it to show up at live performances because it makes you really want to just get up and bounce along to it. Rounding all of this out is the fantastic ending track "February Winds" which is a mid tempo hard rocker that really shows off the talent of both guitarist Ian D'Sa and lead singer Ben Kowalewicz. It is a great end to the album as a whole.

Sadly the other five tracks of the album are not up to par with these and feel like B-Sides that were plastered on when the band realized that they were out of good songs for the album. "Louder than the DJ", "Leave Them All", "Horses and Chariots" and "This Is Our War" are flat out unmemorable and uninspired. Despite having listened to this album more than ten times, one of these being half an hour before writing this if you sat me down, pointed a gun to my head and asked me to hum a melody or lyric from any of these songs, the situation would likely end with my brain being splattered against an adjacent wall. "Rabbit Down the Hole" is actually a bit memorable but it gets a mention in the bad half of the album for having easily the worst performance by Kowalewicz on the entire album. Overall on this half it feels like Kowalewicz and D'Sa just did not give a damn about what they were doing here and it really kills the album to have such a lack of energy or care given to these songs.

Overall "Afraid of Heights" is not a bad album but it certainly isn't one of the bands best. A good chunk of the album feels like it really could have gone somewhere and if it had kept that consistency it could have been one of Billy Talent's best albums to date. Sadly though half of the album just feels like what you would expect to hear on a B-Side if that. I've said it above but I must reiterate. The lack of care or energy put into half of the songs on the album really weighs it down and makes it feel really lopsided. The good is really good but the rest is just a chore to listen to. If you're a big fan of Billy Talent I'd say pick this record up but if you aren't or are just getting in I would recommend skipping it altogether for now or checking out some of their old work.


user ratings (123)
Chart.
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
SPRFanOf5H
July 29th 2016


831 Comments


This came out like 20 minutes ago dude

E0CDragon
July 29th 2016


22 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Officially yes, but it has been leaked since the 18th when I was shown it by a friend. The songs have also been on YouTube for at least 24 hours.



RadicalEd
July 29th 2016


9484 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Also SPR you're not really one to talk when it comes to quickfire reviews, are you?



Review is okay, could've done a better job describing what the album sounds and feels like and compared it a bit less to their previous works. But still, have a pos.

Digging: Fennesz - Agora

Spec
July 29th 2016


35668 Comments


sweet forgot they had a new one coming

E0CDragon
July 29th 2016


22 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I will try and get better at doing so in future reviews RadicalEd

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2016


15240 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Might check this, but I'm seriously not expecting out. Their output has been terrible post II.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2016


15240 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice rev. pos.

E0CDragon
July 29th 2016


22 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like Dead Silence personally but BT3 was just a disaster with the exception of the song "Saint Veronika". Honestly if you don't like Dead Silence then you probably won't enjoy this very much at all.



Calc
Contributing Reviewer
July 29th 2016


16107 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

horribly boring album.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2016


15240 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Calc has spoken.

Flugmorph
July 29th 2016


20869 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ayy gotta cech this

Digging: La Dispute - Panorama

bloc
July 29th 2016


55044 Comments


This is a REALLY disappointing album. I actually was shocked as I was listening to it. I do think the title track is enjoyable but that's it.

Digging: The Chemical Brothers - No Geography

Sinternet
July 29th 2016


19092 Comments


Is anyone really surprised that they suck these days?

Digging: Marina - LOVE

IceDoesntHelp
July 29th 2016


132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

So dissapointing. Loved Dead Silence, and I even find III to be better than this.

Sabrutin
July 29th 2016


5996 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I always laugh at the hate BTIII gets, will check this for sure even though the singles weren't that promising (t/t was cool).



EDIT: oh right Dead Silence exists. Well it had a few killer tunes so I'm still a bit optimistic for this one.

Flugmorph
July 29th 2016


20869 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

they have some distinct southern rock flavours on here. the crutch rules

Snake.
July 29th 2016


21566 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

what kind of garbage album cover is that supposed to be

WatchItExplode
July 29th 2016


6542 Comments


What is the major change from the first two albums to this? Did they lose some band members or something? They used to have all these wonderfully inventive slinky guitar lines and now they just sound horribly bland and generic with a crappy singer. This is not a winning formula.

SPRFanOf5H
July 29th 2016


831 Comments


@Radical: I think I've learned my lesson from that two months ago? Honest reviewers make mistakes man.

bloc
July 29th 2016


55044 Comments


"What is the major change from the first two albums to this? Did they lose some band members or something? They used to have all these wonderfully inventive slinky guitar lines and now they just sound horribly bland and generic with a crappy singer. This is not a winning formula."

I think they're not angry anymore. Maybe the singer found love.



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