Sound — 9
I have to say, Dear Agony is their greatest album yet. It is extremely different from Saturate, which, honestly, I have to say I didn't really like that much. Instead, Dear Agony is a complete mix of We Are Not Alone and Phobia, with its dark sound and lyrical maturity. All of the songs are very dynamic, EXTREMELY well-written, and very thought-processed. Ben Burnley seems to have put a lot of time and effort into making these tracks one-of-a-kind. True, some songs sound like other songs from their previous albums, however, they are different in a way musically and lyrically that makes that forgivable. Everything is just so well balanced in this album. The singing, the guitars, the bass, the drums. Everything is just put together so well, almost everything in the album is flawless.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics in every song tell a story. Or at least it seems like it. As said before, Ben Burnley put a LOT of time and thought in his lyrics for Dear Agony, and it pays off. Ben Burnley in my opinion is a lyrical genius. He knows how to tell a good story in a song and make it seamless with the music. That's what Breaking Benjamin is famous for. Even though Phobia was a HUGE step in lyrical maturity for the band, Dear Agony is still a step further. Most of the lyrics are dark in a way, but the singing is very dynamic and there is a lot of variety.
Overall Impression — 10
01. Fade Away: the opening track. When I first listened to it, for some reason, my adrenaline rushed the first time he says, "I'm cold and broken." For some reason, that made me believe that this was going to be their best album yet. The intro just takes you in on a journey and prepares you for the rest of the album. The guitars are heavily down-tuned to drop B-flat. The chorus has a lot of energy and emotion, and it's a great way to start of the album. 10/10 02. I Will Not Bow: their first single that blew my mind when it came out in early September. This is the next Diary of Jane. "I will not BOW." The chorus hits you hard. When Ben sings "bow" the guitars, the bass, and the drums kick in altogether at the same time, making it hard-hitting. The solo is amazing. I can't get enough of it. The next Breaking Benjamin landmark. 10/10 03. Crawl: I don't see all the hype over this song. I'm not saying it's a bad song whatsoever, I mean I love it, but everyone says it's their favorite song. The verse is catchy, and the bridge where he says "I'm becoming a monster..." is my favorite part of it. I always bob my head to that part, it's almost scary. A very good track. 8.5/10 04. Give Me A Sign: I love this track a lot. It's still heavy in a sense, but it has a lighter side to it. It's a love song. The intro is very nice, the verses are very good, and I LOVE the build-up to the chorus, which blows my mind. The ending is very good. Epic as hell. 9/10 05. Hopeless: I gotta say this is one of my favorites off the album. An extremely dynamic and heavy intro leads you up for a pounding verse and a hard-hitting chorus. Ben's screams are deep and promising, and they're almost frightening. This track is said to be their next single... not a bad choice. 9/10 06. What Lies Beneath: this is my favorite track of the album. The clean-toned intro, the gentle verse, and the AMAZINGLY epic chorus. I love it. This is one of Breaking Benjamin's best songs in my opinion. The lyrics are phenomenally well written. This track shines out through most of the rest of the tracks. 11/10 07. Anthem of the Angels: the beginning is extremely misleading. The orchestra playing makes you think this is going to be a gentler song. And it is to a degree, but it's a power ballad. The chorus is even more epic than What Lies Beneath. The lyrics, as always, touch you emotionally and I can't get enough of that. This is a true Breaking Benjamin classic. 10/10 08. Lights Out: ehhh.... I gotta say this is my least favorite track on the album. I'm not saying it's bad in any way, it's just my least favorite. The solo is pretty nice, but something about it just makes me feel like this track was just thrown in there. True, the song has a lot of energy and reminds me a LITTLE of Saturate, but it just doesn't shine like the rest of the tracks. 8/10 09. Dear Agony: an amazing piece of art. Breaking Benjamin's best work. Ever. This song... touches you deeply and the chorus just made me want to cry. It's an amazingly beautiful song that is extremely dynamic musically and lyrically. Just listen to it, you won't be able to get enough of it. 10/10 10. Into the Nothing: one of my favorites. The intro is a little generic, but the lyrics are have amazing variety. It reminds me of I Am Ghost's lyrics a little bit, and they're my favorite band. An epic chorus makes a great song!! 9/10 11. Without You: I love this song. An awesome closer. The chorus stands out from the rest of everything in the song. The transition from major to minor chords, and the lyrics are just amazing. The final phrase "The end..." makes your mouth water and beg for more. A true closer. 10/10