Regardless of all opposing opinion.
By Noah 1999
To this day, Breaking Benjamin has been my favorite rock band in the world.
They are the very best of all rock bands in the world.
It’s almost poetic, that this band (or idea) was formed in 1999- my birth year. Ben’s lyrics have always struck me with awe and wonder. He wrote three albums drunk, and with the results and success he has, one would swear to God that he’s a magician.
Cons- guitars are a little too polished but that’s not really much of a problem.
Pros- lyrical prowess, consistency, soaringly Angelic vocals with aggressively demonic screams. Godlike guitar work in every single track. Oh, the emphasis on the amount of screaming in this album, though... I’m a death core fanatic, so, I suppose that’s part of why I appreciate such a new feature for Ben and his music. Of course there’s been screaming throughout Breaking Benjamin history, but there hasn’t been this much screaming, and I dare say beautifully well done screaming in one album. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind a little more screaming.
Now for some track by track commentary.
Lyra: a piano track that formally introduces “feed the wolf”
Feed the wolf: undoubtedly one of the most powerful singles Ben has ever written. A personal favorite of mine. It’s one brutal track that isn’t easily forgotten. Not to mention that it has one of the most iconic and powerful choruses of any Breaking Benjamin song to date.
Red Cold River: I’ll just say this one thing, before anything else. This track NEEDED to happen. In fact, not long after finding out about the band’s hiatus, I tried to imagine how Ben would write his new material. I’ve literally dreamed about Ben writing something similar to this. After Dark Before Dawn, I put this notion away. Two years later, they release my dream track, Red Cold River. I had to listen to it a few times before believing it was even real. The chorus, and prechorus, are so perfect that my words just couldn’t capture it. “I can’t feel anything at all. This life has left me cold and damned. I can’t feel anything at all. This love has led me to the end.”
A very relatable set of words, given my current situation.
Tourniquet: honestly this track felt like a filler for a pretty long time. I grew to like it pretty quickly, though. It really is a track that stands on its own because of the lyrical content, and everything else within it that gives it the sharpest contrast in comparison to Breaking Benjamin songs in general.
Psycho: when I first downloaded this track, I binge listened to it for almost two weeks. It personifies insanity, with a cry for help. The main riff is super heavy, and absolutely chaotic, which is part of what I love about this track. The chorus seems to COMMAND awe and respect, and that’s what it gets, at least from me. “In the cold eternal light, I am the ember fading.” As another plus, it has one of the most unique solos in the history of Breaking Benjamin tracks.
The Dark Of You: let us not disregard the fact that this is obviously an obligatory track, like Ashes of Eden, and therefore, a newly traditional track in this new era of Breaking Benjamin. Even amidst that fact, it’s a traditional track done right. The vocals embody the world as it is today, and how this world is often perceived. An experience, and an observation worded so beautifully.
Down: another new kind of track done right. The atmospheric intro, contrasting with the opening guitar riff make this another track to be respected, and It doesn’t stop there. On top of that, we have Ben, using his base range in the verses of this track, followed by him climbing some upbeat high notes in chorus.
Torn in Two: my favorite, next to Red Cold River. Not to also mention the fact that this was the first song to actually make me cry. I don’t cry, for anything, or anyone, anymore. Okay? I just don’t. Since I’m a romantic, though, I relate to this song so much, in terms of my current situation, but, that seems a little exaggerated. I mean, to me, everything about this track is quite romantic. Everything about it works so well. From the time signature, drums, the main riff, verses, the chorus, to the breakdown and closing chorus. The harmonies hit my heart, every time I listen. This song, never EVER gets old.
Blood: Another favorite of mine, with just ONE thing to complain about. The F-Bomb. Sure, it’s one little F-Bomb in the midst of classic, anger pulsing 2000s post grunge lyrics... but, ya see... with the lyrics that Ben writes today, he DOES NOT NEED F-Bombs to emphasize important points in his tracks anymore. The song would stand on its own just as easily without it, but hey, despite all this, it is still an EXTREMELY powerful track. The main riff is so good. I mean, somebody give me a moist, delicious slice of rich chocolate cake. THAT is how good that main riff is. As for the chorus, bridge, and verses, they just compliment one another, so beautifully.
Save yourself: I never could capture what I feel when I listen to this track, with words. It’s one of my best listens ever.
Close your eyes: this track ALSO made me cry. Still trying to figure out why. I guess it’s because like I’m listening to someone telling me, to relax, and let go of all that troubles me, because everything’s gonna be alright. I’m a Koran fan. I mention such a thing because the main riff sounds exactly like something I’d hear from Korn. Which is just straight up cool. REALLY cool.
Vega: an amazing closing track for any album ever. I’ve never heard anything like it.
Additional notes: I’ve come to appreciate every track on this entire album, thanking God for the fact that I, and all fans alike can have new music from Breaking Benjamin at all. I’ve never skipped a track on this album. Not once.
To close, I’m too tired to check for any possible (inevitable) typos. Deal with it.