Dark Before Dawn was released by Breaking Benjamin, after a four year hiatus, on June 23rd. The time between albums saw an overhaul in the lineup, with every member being replaced, apart from Benjamin himself. This change comes through in the writing and delivery of this album.
Whilst the sound in very reminiscent of the band’s previous work – this is due mostly to the fact that Benjamin Burnley has always been the main songwriter for the band – there are deeper sounding vocals, and some very satisfying riffs, thanks to new guitarist Jasen Rauch.
Burnley’s vocals sound as wonderful as ever, with a lot of production behind them. It works for what is trying to be achieved here, but I’d love to see some of these songs live.
We are treated to a heavy, almost industrial style intro, in “Dark”, and this goes into a great power anthem, “Failure”, which is one for us all to learn the words and sing along to. It was definitely the best choice for a single.
Halfway through the album, “Close to Heaven”, and “Bury Me Alive” offer some gratifying catchiness, the latter being a must see at a live show, I can only imagine. One of my favourite bands, Young Guns, toured with Breaking Benjamin earlier in the year, and I wish I had been able to catch them.
The album winds down fittingly during “Ashes of Eden”, but the power is switched back on for another anthem in “Defeated”. This song has some great lyrics, reflecting on the band’s struggles with legalities, illness and lineup changes, and being able to come out the other side. It’s a great song to end on, being followed by “Dawn”, a positive, uplifting, instrumental outro. I can only take it to mean that things are bright in Breaking Benjamin’s future, and look forward to further evolution of their sound thanks to apparently better relationships between its members.
- “Angels Fall”
- “Breaking The Silence”
- “Close To Heaven
- “Bury Me Alive”
- “Never Again”
- “The Great Divide”
- “Ashes Of Eden”