Album Review: Breaking Benjamin – Dark Before Dawn

Formed in 1998, Breaking Benjamin came on the scene with Saturate in 2002 with their debut single ‘Polyamorous.’ Finding moderate success with Saturate, the band followed up with the Certified Platinum We Are Not Alone. We Are Not Alone brought the memorable singles ‘So Cold’ and ‘Sooner Or Later’ to the charts with their classic Breaking Benjamin sound. Two years later, the release of their Platinum 2006 album Phobia had several notable hits including ‘The Diary of Jane’ and ‘Dance with the Devil.’ Since then, the alternative rock band have released Dear Agony, featuring the three singles ‘I Will Not Bow,’ ‘Give Me A Sign’ and ‘Lights Out.’ In 2010, the band entered a three year hiatus which ended in the departure of their guitarist, Aaron Fink, bassist, Mark Klepaski and later, drummer, Chad Szeliga. As for Benjamin Burnley, who retained the rights to continue making music under the name Breaking Benjamin, reformed  the band with all new members as a quintet  to release their newest album, Dark Before Dawn.

Despite the changes, Breaking Benjamin’s style continues to sound almost the same way as it did in the past, at least for the first quarter of the album. After that, it becomes more heavy metal  oriented with a fair amount of grunge, thus making the band edgier than it previously was. Although Burnley’s voice is still as distinctive as it was before, it sounds a little more refined and dominant. He also seems to have a greater vocal range now, allowing the band to be more harmonious and in sync with one another.

The lyrics aren’t too far off from their general style with the mention of the deep flaws individuals can have, although it doesn’t go into any specifics. In fact, none of the songs go into any specific vices or story-telling–rather, just biblical references with the mention of angels and devils. Despite this, no one is being condemned. If anything, the lyrics are more relate-able to audience members since the band focuses more on the suffering one endures along with the emotions and decisions they make as they journey through what can be described as purgatory.

Despite the break and major changes, Breaking Benjamin has managed to stay pretty consistent with the sound and style they had since they became famous in 2002. With slight changes made to their music, Dark Before Dawn is a fairly strong addition to the band’s discography and although it doesn’t necessarily demonstrate the band’s talent, it at least displays their capability of making enjoyable music.

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