Silverstein
Dead Reflection


3.5
great

Review

by Ebola USER (22 Reviews)
July 10th, 2017 | 129 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A tale of two halves.

In retrospect, Silverstein couldn’t have played their hand more poorly leading up to the release of Dead Reflection. Though the record’s four pre-release tracks were brilliant singles, Dead Reflection as a whole rarely comes close to even matching the bar they set. The heavy, crushing direction promised by those cuts also proved little but a red herring, as dynamic opener “Last Looks” is the only non-single to boast this guitar-driven sound. To make matters worse, Silverstein chose to follow “Last Looks” with three consecutive heavy pre-release cuts, leading to a front end that resembles its latter half in neither sound nor quality. With this remarkably poor album construction, paired with a classic case of unmet expectations, Dead Reflection stumbles before it even has a chance to get going.

Yet, it’s still a pretty damn good record. Though the sound and quality disparity between the two halves is jarring, even the “average” Silverstein tracks that make up its back half are solid almost across the board--only “Cut and Run,” with its awkward “woah-oh” chorus, falls mostly flat. “Afterglow” marks a pivot towards the pop punk end of the spectrum, yet it’s one of the record’s most immediately engaging cuts, boasting a quick tempo and light, summery chorus. However, the bright, insubstantial atmosphere of Dead Reflection's lighter songs clashes with that of the darker preceding section in a manner that’s not entirely helpful. Thankfully, Shane Told’s vocals are unsurprisingly impeccable, injecting even the more average songs with an extra dose of likability; yet, as a whole, though this brighter group of songs proves pretty decent for the most part, it comes more than a little short of the quality Silverstein have shown themselves capable of maintaining.

With this being said, it all comes back to the singles. “Retrograde,” “Lost Positives,” and “Whiplash” capture Silverstein at their best and most visceral, while “Ghost,” though a notch below the other three, is better than most of what Dead Reflection has to offer. Though criminally misused in the album’s construction, the quality of these tracks (and “Last Looks”) salvage the album from the generally pedestrian nature of its back half. “Retrograde” distinguishes itself as perhaps the band’s best track to date, while the others aren’t far behind. Though regrettably not indicative of the album’s sound as a whole, this batch of songs at the very least prove that Silverstein isn’t slowing down quite yet.

It’s important to approach Dead Reflection with an open mind. Listening to it through the lens of its singles is sure to lend little but bitter disappointment, but by accepting it as its own unique entity, one will find a lot to like here. It’s easily Silverstein’s most inconsistent record to date, but aside from a few minor hiccups, the songs never fall below a solid baseline of quality. Veteran fans will likely find Dead Reflection a mostly fulfilling entry to the band’s catalog, but newcomers probably won’t be impressed with much past the first fifteen minutes. It's no This is How the Wind Shifts, but it’ll do in a pinch.



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user ratings (152)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ebola
July 10th 2017


2868 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This one is just about as frustrating as an album can be.

C/C welcome and encouraged. Thanks for reading!

ianblxdsoe
July 10th 2017


1339 Comments


damn, was gonna check this out and maybe give it a review but you already did a damn good job, good shit, pos'd. maybe i'll do a coinflip to determine whether i listen to this in full lol

ianblxdsoe
July 10th 2017


1339 Comments


also damn not even been up 5 min and theres already a ghost neg rip u bro

JWT155
July 10th 2017


13599 Comments


Some people just like to be dicks, have a pos. Need to check this out asap

Ebola
July 10th 2017


2868 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Such is life. Thanks for reading!

coma2rium
July 10th 2017


56 Comments


Totally disagree with the two halves assertion. They've always been about blending and juxtaposing disparate styles of music and its done as impeccably as ever here, if not better than they have since This Is How The Wind Shifts.

The two halves thing doesn't really hold up either when you look at the back end of the album and realize some of the album's heaviest cuts fall there in the form of "Whiplash", "Demons", and "Wake Up".

Beefing up the guitar tone and opting for a heavier feel throughout the whole album adds a much needed bite to the more pop oriented cuts, and makes the heavy songs like "Last Looks" and "Retrograde" that much more poignant. Not to mention the super poppy cuts "The Afterglow" and "Aquamarine" end up being two of the best tracks on the album, and I think the way it ebbs and flows from heavy to poppy between tracks and within them is classically constructed 'Stein.

Also the singles (save "Retrograde" and "Lost Positives") are borderline weak compared to the strongest tracks on the album as a whole ("Last Looks," "Wake Up," "Aquamarine," and "Secret's Safe."

Speaking of "Secret's Safe".... As a recovering addict, that tune hits me right in the fucking feels.

Review is good enough, even though I disagree with the central philosophical idea behind it.

Ebola
July 10th 2017


2868 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Whiplash is the only cut that comes anywhere close to the heaviness of the first four tracks. Demons and Wake Up use harsh vocals pretty heavily, but they lack the groove or beefy guitar tone. The poppier tracks, as you mentioned, are pretty decent, but the first four songs, for example, have little in common with the next four that follow. Ie. there's nothing close to as heavy as Last Looks or Retrograde, the first two tracks, until Whiplash, the second-to-last song. I think the album would've flowed much better had the beefier tracks been evenly spread out rather than shoved at the front. And I completely disagree with the assertion that Lost Positives or Retrograde are anywhere near weak, but I suppose that's more a matter of taste.

Regardless, that's fair criticism and I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

LoLifant
July 10th 2017


1258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aren't reviews taken down if they're written before official release (aside from staff ones of course)?

Ebola
July 10th 2017


2868 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

It seems they stopped doing that a while back

ianblxdsoe
July 10th 2017


1339 Comments


lmao i didnt even notice this wasnt out oh well good review so i hope it doesnt get taken down

Ebola
July 10th 2017


2868 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

They haven't yanked the Make Them Suffer review (which doesn't come out for another couple weeks), so I figured this one wouldn't be too controversial.

Spec
July 10th 2017


34815 Comments


missed the last album gotta check

coma2rium
July 10th 2017


56 Comments


I was saying Retrograde and Lost Positives are the best singles and that there are songs that are way better than Whiplash and Ghost, my bad lol.

Also, the band is selling this at their merch booth on warped, so reviews are fair game even though the street date isn't till Friday.

Ebola
July 10th 2017


2868 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Oops, I read that wrong, my mistake. I agree for the most part--Ghost is definitely the weakest of the singles imo.

Aerisavion
July 10th 2017


1278 Comments


Enjoyed the review, have a pos. I probably should check this out at some point

Digging: The Heavy Horses - Murder Ballads & Other Love Songs

SteakByrnes
July 10th 2017


4556 Comments


Sweet review dude, I agree for the most part. I don't know what to rate this tbh, I'm leaning towards a 3, but with a couple more listens it might make a leap up who knows

Digging: Ghost Atlas - All Is In Sync, and There's Nothing Left to Sing

Comatorium.
July 10th 2017


4794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's some super solid Silverstein doing their Silverstein-ey thing with just enough growth from the last album that they can't be accused of stagnation quite yet. I think these guys have a magnum opus in them yet that will surpass Dis How Da Wind Be Shiftin

Ecnalzen
July 10th 2017


7156 Comments


Ever since Rescue, I have always had the feeling that I am done with Silverstein, and I have enough of their music. But, then I finally listen to the new album, and I end up getting it.

I just can't quit you, Silverstein.

henryChinaski
July 11th 2017


3883 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I liked the previous singles and I am enjoying the newest one Mirror Box as well. Interesting point about the two halves really. Now I'm even more curious to listen to the whole thing.



Nice write-up!

Digging: Kiasmos - Blurred EP

cosmopazz
July 11th 2017


410 Comments


artuma's favorite album



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