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Album Review: Dead Reflection by Silverstein

Ontario, Canada’s post-hardcore heavyweights, Silverstein release their new album Dead Reflection on 14th July via Rise Records. Dead Reflection is Silverstein’s eighth full length, a feat reached by very few bands, especially within the heavy music world where youthful fire and aggression is often finite. Silverstein, however, have always been an outlier, and this proves that the band still has plenty of fight left.

It’s an album on which the band push their big riffs and immediate choruses making them fully relevant and putting them to the top of their game. While it may be one of the most accessible heavy albums you’ll hear this year, you’ll find it to be relatable and highly enjoyable. On the surface, it’s probably a little too mainstream for Alt Dialogue, but hell when it’s this enjoyable you can’t ignore it.

Silverstein have always managed to be completely comfortable in their own skin while never being afraid to grow, however, the evolution from Ontario basemen shows to touring the world over and selling over a million records hasn’t always been easy. Dead Reflection finds Silverstein once again fuelled by the darkest of times. After finishing a gruelling touring cycle in support of 2015’s I Am Alive In Everything I Touch, vocalist Shane Told found himself at his lowest point. Told related, “I was not in a good place a year ago. This record tells the story of how broken I was, how I found myself on a path of self-destruction, and how I had to fight to get my sanity and happiness back”.

For every big accessible mainstream track like ‘Lost Positives’ there’s another more abrasive and notch heavier like ‘Retrograde’. They sit perfectly together, the former sounds like Funeral For A Friend bastardised by Linkin Park while the latter lays the riffs on heavily with little respite. While the latter is more obviously heavy, ‘Lost Positives’ still contains crushing riffs, just filtered and made radio friendly.

‘Ghost’ is an excellent track before ‘Aquamarine’ ramps up the pop sensibilities and makes for an instantly catchy and infectious track. It’s Silverstein at their most accessible albeit with every ounce of vitality and energy of their heavier material. ‘Mirror Box’ marries the pop sensibilities with a purer post-hardcore sound paving the way for ‘Demons’ to offset the instant choruses against crushing riffs and screamed parts. You’d be hard pushed to find a catchier post-hardcore duo than ‘The Afterglow’ and ‘Cut and Run’, the latter runs the thin line between Silverstein’s accessibility and full on pop rock. There’s a bittersweet fragility to ‘Secret’s Safe’ before the post-hardcore ferociousness of ‘Whiplash’ stands out as the best track on Dead Reflection. Final track ‘Wake Up’ is the archetypical ‘slow with a big crescendo’ finisher. While there might be a hint of it being a touch contrived it ends up affecting and rousing.

AD Rating 7.5/10

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