Silverstein – ‘Dead Reflection’ (Rise Records/New Damage Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Jonni D   
Monday, 17 July 2017 04:30

Silverstein coverEver since their inception in the early 2000s, Ontario’s Silverstein have been an old reliable of the emo/post-hardcore scene.  Thanks to heavy touring schedules and the consistency of their recorded output, the band has retained a creative vitality while many of their contemporaries have faded into obscurity. 

 

Although the band seemingly reached its commercial peak with 2005’s ‘Discovering The Waterfront’, each successive release has expanded Silverstein’s core sound incrementally.  The most recent album, 2015’s ‘I Am Alive In Everything I Touch’, was the band’s most artistically coherent effort to that point; a greater realization of their dextrous handling of melody and aggression, along with a greater mastering of atmospherics.  However, due to the remarkably high standard of the song writing present and its cohesiveness as a body of work, ‘Dead Reflection’ may prove to be a career-best record for Silverstein.

 

As per previous albums, ‘Dead Reflection’ finds Silverstein embarking on some sonic exploration.  Similar to A Day To Remember’s recent ‘Bad Vibrations’, the band has adopted a heavy groove element to their previously angular riffing style; resulting in songs like ‘Retrograde’, ‘Last Looks’ and ‘Ghost’ boasting overall looser rhythms and in turn, a bigger, beefier sound without simply relying on the dense layering of tracks.  However, when the more traditional post-hardcore vibe does rear its head on songs such as ‘Cut And Run’ and ‘Whiplash’, it sits comfortably alongside this more experimental sound. 

 

The heavier cuts on ‘Dead Reflection’ are some of the most visceral in the band’s catalogue, with Shane Told’s aggressive vocals sounding more barbed, yet controlled than ever.  ‘Retrograde’ is certainly one of the best songs in Silverstein’s entire arsenal, the main riff bolstered by a tumbling swing and an atypically spacious chorus.

 

Of course, the band has always maintained a penchant for the melodic, and ‘Dead Reflection’ is chock full of impassioned, soulfully delivered choruses.  ‘Aquamarine’ and ‘The Afterglow’ lean heavily into the mature pop-punk territory of The Starting Line, while ‘Mirror Box’ bears an emotive fragility that brings to mind Silverstein’s former label mates, Hawthorne Heights.  As with his screams, Shane’s clean vocals have continued to develop in richness and range, which along with some vivid lyrical imagery (“I need this/ Like a city needs a wrecking ball”) adds up to some of his most competent and diverse performances on record to date.

 

 

There’s an immediacy to each of the songs on ‘Dead Reflection’ from the first listen and at a brisk 41 minutes, the album maintains momentum throughout.   With each track bearing its own discernible identity and a stellar quality control from start to finish, these are songs of substance that linger with the listener. 

 

It’s commendable that, 14 years after the release of their debut full-length, Silverstein is still continuing to scale new creative peaks, delivering the strongest collection of their career.  Without question, ‘Dead Reflection’ will be a tough act to follow.

 

‘Dead Reflection’ was released last Friday (14 July). You can get your copy HERE.

 

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