Posted on December 1, 2015 by The Deviant
Dream On Dreamer
Songs Of Soulitude
s/r; 2015

In order for my readers to understand this post, I must first define the term “breakdown”. Technically, it refers to the portion of a song where certain instruments have solo parts, according to the Wikipedia article on breakdowns in music. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakdown_(music)) In metalcore and post-hardcore, breakdowns feature guitars and drums. The guitars depend mostly on the open lowest string or power chord played in different patterns of note values and rests, but pinch harmonics and dissonant chords can also be incorporated to make it sound less homogeneous. The bass drum is played according to the rhythm of the guitar, along with a crash or china cymbal on every or alternating beats and a snare drum on every third beat if the song is in common time.

What I hear off this release deviates very much from what they sounded like on some of their previous releases. Hope (2010) and Loveless (2013) had quite a thing for complicated breakdowns, and Heartbound (2011) had programmed synths and drums on many of its songs as well as breakdowns.

The songs this time around tend to lack breakdowns, which are very typical of mainstream post-hardcore/metalcore songs, and they are usually replaced by bridges throughout the album. The few breakdowns on this album, such as the one at the end of the ninth track, “Pariah”, are not overly complex at all. I feel that if a band tries to enter the breakdown complexity war, they will not stand out at all because they are not using their instruments well.

The album in general doesn’t focus too much on technicalities, one of them being time signature changes. The only track that incorporates such elements I can think of is the first track, “Souls On Fire”, where the part between 0:33 and 0:47 is played in 5/4 time and the part between 0:47 and 0:58 is played in 9/4 time. I’m wondering if the verse-chorus song structure has something to do with it. If anything, such a song structure is one of the things I am quite uneasy about because to me, it indicates a slight inclination towards mainstream music, which is not what metal in general is about.

The messages conveyed by some of the songs on this album are quite reminiscent of a phenomenon known as “hope-core”, which is becoming more common among metalcore and post-hardcore bands alike. “Hope-core” bands intend to convey positive messages in their songs. Many view this phenomenon negatively, saying that it is a generic way to sell out. I think that such bands have good intentions, and given the large listenership of metalcore and post-hardcore, I think that they are doing something good by conveying the intended messages.

Overall, this warrants a four out of five rating. I would recommend it.