Sound — 9
With Neil Boshart's departure from the band, this is the first album Silverstein has recorded with new guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau. With this album, it not only shows how well Rousseau blends in, but also how well Silverstein can create something unique. The sound is everything you'd expect from a Silverstein album, but it also adds a certain new vibe to it that none of the past albums seemed to quite have. It starts off on the heavier side with tracks like "Stand Amid The Roar" and "On Brave Mountains We Conquer" which pack a lot of suspense while staying rhythmic. And of course, there's the more melodic tracks like "A Better Place" and "California", which have an instantly catchy rhythm with a dramatic sound. But then there are the additional tracks which have a softer sound, like the track "Arrivals", which is new and completely different, but plays out nicely. The tone on the track "To Love And To Lose" is different as well, having a sort of slow, pop like sound to it, which is quite frankly stepping out of their comfort zone, but they make it work out soo well. Overall, it's incredibly well balanced and isn't overdone with the new ideas brought to the table.
Lyrics — 8
Silverstein has always been known for their emotionally powerful lyrics. This album is no exception. From cleans to screams, Shane's vocals remain as dynamic as ever for each tune. The album is actually a concept album, and the concept being how easily life can be changed in one moment when faced with the other side of 'what if?'. The general lyrics in the song "Stand Amid The Roar" reflects on this with lyrics like: "We were designed for more resilience than this. But we don't know how and we live in the now. If we were smarter maybe we would try to fake it". The song "Massachusetts" is also a good example, talking about a girl who fantasizes about running away every night, but can't find the strength to make a difference in her life. Each song is deep, meaningful, and tells the story differently, having been effected by that one event.
Overall Impression — 9
The end result is a satisfying album which delivers the best that we have come to expect from Silverstein. It may be slightly leaning to the more melodic side, but this is no way a soft album. Whether it be the catchy melodies, the heavy guitar riffs and breakdowns, and everything in between, this album has something for everyone. Most notable tracks would be "On Brave Mountains We Conquer", "Massachusetts", "A Better Place", "California", and "To Live And To Lose". If it were to get lost or stolen I would definitely buy it again and again. It's definitely worth the buy. Especially if you're the kind of Silverstein fan who likes something new with that sound you love.