Dear Agony review by Breaking Benjamin

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Sep 29, 2009
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (149 votes)
Breaking Benjamin: Dear Agony
1

Sound — 10
The sound has evolved a lot since Saturate. Phobia introduced more heavier songs and riffs and I will say that Dear Agony follows Phobia quite a bit. There are many elements from We Are Not Alone too. The tunes may be just a little less melodic than those found in Phobia, but it does fit very nicely. Ben does an amazing job, and I especially loved the drummer Chad. The songs are mainly just alternative rock. There are softer songs too in the mix, which I think is actually a great thing. Powerful riffs and singing is a perfect combination and BB does a great job of achieving this. I really like the new styles and the songs feel fresh but at the same time familiar, and that's a very rare (and great) thing in the music industry.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are quite good, but not their best. Ben still knows how to sing it out even though there are some repeated words. Ben's voice can be soft but brutal, and it works very well with the music. He sings in a lot of different ways in this album. Ben's awesome singing doesn't come to a surprise since he's always done very well.

Overall Impression — 9
I would like to say that I enjoyed this one more than We Are Not Alon and Saturate, but I think Phobia tops it by a slight edge. The album is not bad in any way, though, it's actually quite excellent. The tracks: 1. Fade Away: 8/10 Sounds a little sort of middle-eastern in the beginning. The main riff is decent, and the verse is good. The chorus is actually really good, and I really like the solo. 2. I Will Not Bow: 10/10 One of the heavier songs. It starts out really powerful. Everything is brilliant in this one. Ben has a very powerful voice and it really makes the song really enjoyable. 3. Crawl: 10/10 Wow. Fantastic verses and chorus slams right in to your face. Some repeated lyrics, but that's a very minor complaint. 4. Give Me A Sign: 9/10 A more melodic and softer tune in this one, but it gets stronger towards the chorus. The only thing that I didn't love was melody at the line "The scars will remain". But that doesn't really matter. 5. Hopeless: 9/10 A very heavy song. Lots of low riffs and the chorus fits nicely between the verses. I thought the scream was maybe a little too growly, but that's really the only con of the song. 6. What Lies Beneath: 10/10 Starts out soft, and becomes stronger. The verse is fantastic and the whole tune is simply epic. 7. Anthem of the Angels: 10/10 My favorite off the band. I could listen to this all day. Powerful lyrics, and the strings were a nice touch. It's not very classic BB, but my oh my is it awesome. 8. Lights Out: 7/10 This is a good song, but not very memorable. The bridge wasn't anything special and the chorus didn't really do it for me. The verse is better, though. 9. Dear Agony: 9/10 Also a softer song. Nice lyrics, and the tune works extremely well. The verse is awesome, the bridge decent and the chorus good. 10. Into the Nothing: 8/10 The riff is good if sounding done before. I like the verse very much and Ben's voice is very passionate. The chorus was decent. 11. Without You: 8/10 Slightly more melodic this one. Everything works pretty well together, but the bridge clearly stands out as the best part. Verdict: A really awesome album. It shouldn't come to a surprise looking at the previous albums, and the band has worked very hard on this. I'm very glad, since it payed off. Extremely good stuff. Anyone who likes rock/alternative rock or just likes Breaking Benjamin should definitely get this.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Soreanol
    "Anthem of the Angels", "What Lies Beneath", "I Will Not Bow" and "Crawl" were my absolute favorite songs from the album. I love BB, but I'm not a die hard fan of the first and second album. I mean We Are Not Alone is good, but Saturate didn't do it for me. I'm very glad I stumbled upon this incredible album. Best I've heard in a long time from BB. Great.
    DeclanFrew
    I think the new album is really good lyrically, and the sound is amazing. I love "Crawl", "What Lies Beneath" and "Anthem of the Angels", they all show amazing lyrical structure and flaunt fantastic sound.
    Brendan.Clace
    Logan_B wrote: shallowbay1314 wrote: Brendan.Clace wrote: JinKid wrote: Um Brendan Clace I'm pretty sure most of the songs are played in A# not C#. According to Shallow Bay (old format, cant find on new, will keep searching), his custom "BB" PRS Hollowbody is tuned to C#, and this is his workhorse guitar. Email them or Bendeth and find out for yourself, but I am 99% confident they are in C# All of Saturate was in C#, WANA was split in C & C#, Phobia was mostly in A#, with a few songs in C#, one in standard, and one in C, and Dear Agony is a mix mainly of A# and C#. LOL at Brendan.Clace...Here is my question to you. If Ben's "Workhorse guitar" is tuned co C# on the new album, then they would NEVER be able to have made such low sounds on most of the songs on the new album ESPECIALLY Fade Away, which is quite obviously in A#, just listen to the heavy palm muting in the verse!
    I hope you realize one day that 90% of low end on ANY professionally produced album is mainly bass.
    Maneertje
    This album is a kind of mash-up of all of their previous albums, but it also has a new feel and sound. It's just amazing, and these guys overdo themselves with every album they make. Rock on BB!
    Fender700
    Brendan.Clace : Logan_B wrote: shallowbay1314 wrote: Brendan.Clace wrote: JinKid wrote: Um Brendan Clace I'm pretty sure most of the songs are played in A# not C#. According to Shallow Bay (old format, cant find on new, will keep searching), his custom "BB" PRS Hollowbody is tuned to C#, and this is his workhorse guitar. Email them or Bendeth and find out for yourself, but I am 99% confident they are in C# All of Saturate was in C#, WANA was split in C & C#, Phobia was mostly in A#, with a few songs in C#, one in standard, and one in C, and Dear Agony is a mix mainly of A# and C#. LOL at Brendan.Clace...Here is my question to you. If Ben's "Workhorse guitar" is tuned co C# on the new album, then they would NEVER be able to have made such low sounds on most of the songs on the new album ESPECIALLY Fade Away, which is quite obviously in A#, just listen to the heavy palm muting in the verse! I hope you realize one day that 90% of low end on ANY professionally produced album is mainly bass.
    Lawl. Dear Brendan. Clace, congratulations for being the worst tuning expert on this site! The bass guitar plays key roles in a band like BB, I have seen them twice live. Mark James has an incredible tone, and often strays from the guitars often playing higher octaves than them. So to say that 90% of the heaviness comes from bass is a load of CRAP! I know for a FACT that BB play most of their songs In A# tuning. and the gitars make it quite obvious. thanks failing. peace
    rkobe
    "Dear Agony" is such a damn good album. I cannot stop listening to the songs and it's BB's best album out to date imo. Without You is my favourite track, the violins at the end is an incredible end.
    Brendan.Clace
    Fender700 wrote: Brendan.Clace : Logan_B wrote: shallowbay1314 wrote: Brendan.Clace wrote: JinKid wrote: Um Brendan Clace I'm pretty sure most of the songs are played in A# not C#. According to Shallow Bay (old format, cant find on new, will keep searching), his custom "BB" PRS Hollowbody is tuned to C#, and this is his workhorse guitar. Email them or Bendeth and find out for yourself, but I am 99% confident they are in C# All of Saturate was in C#, WANA was split in C & C#, Phobia was mostly in A#, with a few songs in C#, one in standard, and one in C, and Dear Agony is a mix mainly of A# and C#. LOL at Brendan.Clace...Here is my question to you. If Ben's "Workhorse guitar" is tuned co C# on the new album, then they would NEVER be able to have made such low sounds on most of the songs on the new album ESPECIALLY Fade Away, which is quite obviously in A#, just listen to the heavy palm muting in the verse! I hope you realize one day that 90% of low end on ANY professionally produced album is mainly bass. Lawl. Dear Brendan. Clace, congratulations for being the worst tuning expert on this site! The bass guitar plays key roles in a band like BB, I have seen them twice live. Mark James has an incredible tone, and often strays from the guitars often playing higher octaves than them. So to say that 90% of the heaviness comes from bass is a load of CRAP! I know for a FACT that BB play most of their songs In A# tuning. and the gitars make it quite obvious. thanks failing. peace
    Nice fail on your part too. PLease re-read what I said. A live show and in the studio are 10x different. In the studio, the bass hits every time the kick drum does. In a live situation the band can do whatever, because you are less likely there for the quality of the music than the experience. Learn some stuff about producing and then come back and argue with me about their tuning.