Dead Language review by The Flatliners

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  • Released: Sep 17, 2013
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (4 votes)
The Flatliners: Dead Language

Sound — 9
It's finally here. The long anticipated full-length album "Dead Language" from the Canadian Punk group The Flatliners has arrived and boy, am I not surprised it sounds incredible! Although The Flatliners didn't put one single ska riff into this album, their new sound is powerful, driving, and melodic; a nice blend where all the instruments compliment each other. Chris' voice throughout the band's existence is always changing; album through album; and this time... It's jaw-dropping. He reaches notes others don't dare to approach while screaming. His singing voice is still great in the songs like "Birds of England," "Ashes Away" and the slowest song on the album: "Tail Feathers." While screaming, Chris still maintains tone which is a skill very few singers have. The sound of the album is excellent, very good quality, no more flat sounding drums, and clever guitar riffs that take more than a few listens to get used to. "Dead Language" sounds more like "Cavalcade" than any other album they've released, mostly because there's a lack of ska sound and more just a more amplified, heavier drive to it. If you were expecting songs like "This Respirator" or "Do or Die," you may be disappointed. However fear not, their new material is a lovely substitute! The album starts with a quiet snare drum, then in comes a pleasant guitar riff and then before you know it: you're on a roller coaster featuring The Flatliners you know and love! Stay tuned for awesomeness...

Lyrics — 10
As per usual, Chris sings a lot about failure, corruption, insecurity, Canada, and people that were once close to him. Even though he's done this for a few albums, Chris still manages to amaze me with his lyric writing skills, and his ability to stitch them into the music flawlessly. "Dead Language" features a lot of group shouting, much like their previous work, which fits in with the music perfectly. The song that impresses me the most lyric-wise is the 7th song on the album "Ashes Away." The chorus shouts "The can collectors seem to know us better when we're singing about those days. And I can't remember, where I found your letters but they're drifting as ashes away," which gives me a solid 5 minutes of goosebumps each time. And from the song "Quitters," a line you hear a few times is "I'm running low, was once misfortune's foe." In the song "Hounds," he repeats the chorus, and each time it seems like he's running out of breath, giving it a unique and tiresome feeling when you hear "Like a loyal dog I sit, sit and wait for this to break, to break, to break, to break... So I can sing out each mistake..." Very clever and profound lyrics will be heard throughout "Dead Language"'s entirety so sit back, open up your favourite lyric website, and watch as the hair on your arms stand up still!

Overall Impression — 10
"Dead Language" is a great piece of artwork. You'll experience The Flatliners like never before with their new sound. There are heavy songs like "Drown in Blood" and "Dead Hands," but there are also softer songs like "Tail Feathers," "Birds of England" and "Ashes Away." My favourites off the album are "Tail Feathers," "Ashes Away," "Sew My Mouth Shut" and "Quitters." This album is for the ears who enjoy their previous works, punk, hardcore, metal, and alternate rock. It's hard to find a band to compare it to. "Dead Language" has only one problem: the sound begins to become repetitive. I would have spread the songs out differently myself, but hey, it ain't broken so why fix it, eh? I'm glad I purchased this album, I'm not disappointed in any way, worth every penny. I'm excited to see what's down the road for The Flatliners! Thanks for reading, let's go Blue Jays!

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I think you may of understated the repetitiveness issue. This album is fine but I have two major issues with it. One, it's way too much like Cavalcade, which is a huge departure for The Flatliners since every album beforehand has had its own flavor. This felt like a b-sides of their last album to me. Second, there just aren't any hooks or songs that stand out to me. This album is missing its KHTDR as well. The ending of their albums have always been solid, unique, and epic, and this one just felt solid, but not memorable. Still love this band though.
    It's true that Dead Language is repetitive however for some people that isn't really an issue. I mean just look the genre hip hop... people soak up that C G Am F chord progression, which you hear in almost every commercial as well. Bands tend to have repetitive material because that's just their sound. I wish they would have put some ska in there, like This Respirator had and Do or Die. Next album. And yes this album is much more like Cavalcade, and it is missing those hooks you mention. KHTDR was an excellent way to end The Great Awake, now that you mention it: this album ends on a G# in the key of C... odd... Perhaps my love for this band has simply brainwashed me into enjoying it, but that's just music isn't it? I still love this album and I'm still rocking it everyday and I'm excited to see what's ahead for my fellow Canadians.
    Great review. Agree with everything said. This is my favorite of all their releases. They just keep getting better!