Sound — 9
The next instalment from Billy Talent comes in the form of Billy Talent II, and there has been a definite progression in style and musical knowledge. Billy Talent have realised that they don't need to have blistering pace in a song for it to be a hit. Many of their songs have now slowed down, and allowed a lot more technique and thought to be put into the songs. Also, the screaming has become less frequent in this album, but still fairly regular. However, do not fear, as this band are still very much unique and have their own style. They have merely matured and allowed themselves to produce more complete music, and a much more complete album
Lyrics — 8
This album is not quite so focussed on vocals and lyrics, and that as allowed the other instruments to flourish, which indirectly has led to the improvement and wholeness of lyrics. The lyrics are still as strong as ever, maybe even stronger, but they don't have such a prominent role in this album. I believe that the vocals have become slightly more "whiny" in this album, however, this is barely recognisable and it should not put you off buying the album. Ian's backing vocals are still as strong as ever and each song is enhanced by his contribution, as it gives the song another dimension and quality.
Overall Impression — 10
01.Devil In A Midnight Mass: This song opens the song perfectly and immediately states BT's intentions to be much slower and composed in this album, but this is not a slow song, just slower. It has a lot of energy, and is almost haunting, making great use of falsetto. 9/10 02.Red Flag: this song, like Line & Sinker, starts with the chorus, and like Line & Sinker has such energy and power, that it makes it a very punk song. There is a huge focus on the bass line in this song, which is constant and recognisable, especially during the verse. Terrific song. 10/10 03.This Suffering: this is, in my opinion, the best song on the album. It reveals the best of every member of the band, and definitely plays to the individual talents of each member. 10++++/10 04.Worker Bees: the first song that BT have ever released with such emphasis on the bassline, as we enter the song. I love this song - it has such energy, and the title fits perfectly. The drums also play an important part, as they replicate a constant march throughout the song. 10/10 05.Pins & Needles: this song is much more of a ballad than the first four, much like its counterpart, Lies, on the previous album. It does break into heavy, fast guitars though, later on, and makes this song really worth the wait. 9/10 06.Fallen Leaves: the first song I ever heard from BT, and the song that got me into them to begin with. This song reminds me of a sped up, enhanced version of Standing In The Rain, and, like This Suffering presents all of the strengths of the band. 10/10 07.Where Is The Line: one of the weaker songs off the album, but it still has good moments. Although the verse can get quite tedious and boring, when we enter the chorus, Ian's vocals improve the song tenfold. 8/10 08.Covered In Cowardice: the intro seems almost detached from the song itself, but it certainly gets you into the song, and by the time you get to the chorus, and hear Ben's screaming, you instantly fall in love with the song. 9/10 09.Surrender: this song is the most un-Billy Talent-like song they have released thus far. This is the closest thing they have written that qualifies as a ballad. Before I heard this song, I would have cringed at the thought, but after hearing, it is the best thing they have ever done. It shown us another side to them, and made them so much more than a punk band. 10/10 10.The Navy Song: I don't particularly like this song. Nothing special, adds nothing much to the album, and I would have much preferred another song to be included. 7/10 11.Perfect World: this is a great song. Simple as that. However, this song feels very much like the vocals are "whiny" somewhat and that annoys me, because it could have been such a great song otherwise. 9/10 12.Sympathy: everything about this album is brilliant. The heavy, verse riff explores a very different guitar sound, the pre-chourus builds up to the amazing energetic chorus. 9/10 13.Burn The Evidence: this song would have been a perfect single. This song is a perfect end, yet again, to a perfect album, and the emotion and power of this song is breath-taking. 10/10 Overall, this album is, in some aspects, an improvement on the first album, however, they do seem to be becoming slightly radio-friendly, and that would be a step in the wrong direction. However, at the moment they have a great album here full of top quality tracks.