In the nine years that followed the 2007 release of Music from Regions Beyond, Californian …
It’s about time that The Amity Affliction embraced the need for focused, conscientious songwriting and on This Could Be Heartbreak, the group’s fifth studio album, the results speak for themselves. Where previous efforts like Chasing Ghosts and Let The Ocean Take Me saw the group move into a more polished, repetitive, rhythm-oriented metalcore sound, TCBH is a record concerned more with refinement than outright experimentation. Each song sounds like an Amity song, but the kicker is that they’re some of the best Amity songs to date.
This Could Be Heartbreak is a record concerned more with refinement than outright experimentation. Each song sounds like an Amity song, but the kicker is that they’re some of the best Amity songs to date.
Picking up where fan favourite Never Alone left off, the record’s title track sports a monster hook and stratospheric chorus, while down-and-dirty bruisers like Wishbone, Fight My Regret, and the staccato mosh revelry of Some Friends keep things equally heavy and interesting. Lyrically, vocalist Joel Birch’s mental health is prevalent and paired with a sombre, funeral dirge aesthetic, while in contrast, bassist Ahren Stringer provides the uplifting, angelic choruses—allowing both men to act as a much needed counterpoint for the other.
Having Will Putney behind the boards once again ensures that TCBH sounds crisp and clean, without feeling overproduced. Less emphasis on keys has allowed guitarist Dan Brown and drummer Ryan Burt to come to the fore, with moments like the blazing solo on I Bring The Weather With Me; the soft, acoustic balladry of All Fucked Up; or the seismic fills which ripple across closer Blood In My Mouth. Now you could be forgiven for thinking that, in 2016, Amity’s style comes off as a little half-baked … But to do so, would kind of miss the mark entirely. Sure, they haven’t fucked with the formula, but Amity also haven’t sounded this positively energised since Youngbloods, and that’s exactly where they want to be.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Some Friends, Wishbone, This Could Be Heartbreak
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