Breaking Benjamin are no strangers to the ups and downs of the spotlight. From the successes of the leading singles of songs such as ‘So Cold’ to the feature film and video game instant classics ‘I Will Not Bow’ and ‘Blow Me Away’, Breaking Benjamin are a band just about everyone knows and appreciates.
Starting in 1998 in the state of Pennsylvania, Ben Burnley founded the band we are all familiar with today. Moving forward in time to the current, we can see a lot of internal drama has been brought out from the media’s constant poking and prodding.
Keeping in mind how everything has thus gone through time and arrangements being made, Breaking Benjamin are back with a entirely new line up behind lead man Ben Burnley who remains the sole songwriter to a majority of the songs that put the band name on the map.
Coming to grips that his search for the answers to his string of illnesses and downtime, Burnley at the height of frustration, shifts gears into a more musical direction and starts writing simple nots and word phrasings until eventually we are at the point of studio conception.
With this new line up contributing to the intro and outro and the first time backing vocals of members other than Burnley, what does Dark Before Dawn tell us about the state of Breaking Benjamin?
Stated from interviews with Burnley, he claims not to reinvent the wheel or to go outside of what has always worked for him. But I beg to differ. A reinventing of sorts has come forth from this tantamount in sound and epic in structure of songs.
The intros are beautifully pieced in to introduce and exit the album in such a polarizing format surely to leave listeners either wanting more, or simply glad they experienced Breaking Benjamin once again.
Breaking The Silence – An anthem of the lowly and silent who eventually breakthrough the fear and speak up in one united voice and chasing the dreams they always held at an unattainable distance. The fourth and most notably heavy songs on the album contributes to that underlying theme all the more.
Not driven to live a life not your own anymore, this song speaks in leaps and bounds about finding that inner fire and letting set ablaze your life for the better setting you on a path where you can truly feel at peace with the person you are becoming day by day.
Close to Heaven – One of the more catchy tracks for me as Ben’s lyrics and melodies of heavy guitars mixing with that bass attack that has always left you in the moment of the song is ever present and essential to the driving point of this song.
Losing your way through the worst of circumstances can create that moment of clarity of weaknesses, strengths, complications, and mindsets broken or unpredicted to the point of realizing your faith in the outcome being a positive one is the best thing to keep in mind.
Hollow – Leaving the pain behind, not letting the emotions and burdens of the past shackle us to a thought of progression being impossible. The most appreciative part of this song is the slow build up and subtle yet warm guitars that carry the verse to the eventual empowering chorus and then sliding right back into the emotions of opportunity wasted and life renewed.
Whether this is inspired by Ben’s personal relationship experience or the burdens of his health issues, he has certainly given longtime fans the fuel to interpret meanings and create connection eternally through the haunting harmonies as each second passes while listening to this song.
Failure – Coming forth as the leading single and introduction to the renewed Breaking Benjamin, we get that taste of the sound that many of us gravitated towards and something new for those who love the more soft songs.
Ben’s vocals are full force from the head pounding intro to the very riff you are aware that this song is meant to get you energized with creativity and motivation to take life head on. The whole premise one could get from Breaking Benjamin is much along the lines of a poetic battle cry.
Ending thoughts: Whether it’s for the hopeless, voiceless, fearful, strong, there is a song to be found and motivated from on Dark Before Dawn. Twelve tracks in all counting the intros is a true story to be told of perseverance through the storms life can create often try to drown us in.
It’s very obvious at this point you are reading and getting the hints that I have deeply been touched by this album and want to spout out vivid word phrases and praise the efforts of a band thought to be lost to inner band drama and sickness.
Dark Before Dawn is proof of a band rising from the ashes to create music that can travel through minds and hearts with an impacting, heavy sound that will leave you wide eyed and insightful to the world around all of us.
So that is my take on a few songs I appreciated out the entire 12 that I LOVED. As always, it’s up to you to take the effort and time out of your day to connect with the one language all have spoken through or listened to, music.
With life and creativity renewed, Breaking Benjamin move forward with a hopeful view and progression from previous circumstances. Dark Before Dawn, worth every bit of your time.
For more information on Breaking Benjamin, please visit the following links:
- Breaking Benjamin Official – http://www.breakingbenjamin.com/
- Breaking Benjamin on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BreakingBenjamin
- Breaking Benjamin on Twitter - https://twitter.com/breakingbenj
Personal Favorite Tracks: Hollow, Failure, Breaking the Silence, The Great Divide, Defeated, Close to Heaven.
Written by James West 7-13-2015