Breaking Benjamin is an American rock band founded in 1998 by Benjamin Burnley in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Having outlasted significant lineup changes, Burnley is the only founding member remaining in the band, and serves as the primary songwriter, lead vocalist, and guitarist. He is currently accompanied by bassist and backing vocalist Aaron Bruch, guitarist and backing vocalist Keith Wallen, guitarist Jasen Rauch, and drummer Shaun Foist. The band has released five studio albums: Saturate(2002), We Are Not Alone (2004), Phobia (2006), Dear Agony (2009), and Dark Before Dawn (2015), collectively selling over 7 million units in the United States alone. In 2010, the band entered a hiatus due to health and legal issues. A best hits compilation album was also released in 2011. In 2014, the band reformed with its current lineup and released its fifth studio album following hiatus.
Since signing to Hollywood Records in 2002, Breaking Benjamin has produced two platinum records, one gold record, and one gold single in the United States. Among the group’s most successful charting albums include Phobia, which reached No. 1 on the Top Digital Albums and Top Rock Albums charts, as well as Dear Agony, which reached No. 1 on the Top Alternative Albums and Top Hard Rock Albums charts. Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin also topped the Hard Rock Albums chart for three consecutive years from 2011 to 2013. These records and others have spawned a string of chart-topping singles as well.
Dark—-At once, this is familiar and welcoming. I have become a HUGE fan of this band and have missed them incredibly It is nice to hear a familiarity still exists in the band…even though it is practically a ‘new’ entity. I welcome them home…this intro is just a promise of what is to come..
Failure—-This lead-off single is exactly what I was hoping for. The band maintains it’s sound….damn…Ben can sing like no one else. The crunch of his vocal is intact and the mix of backdrop vocals makes the sound even beefier. This is just incredible. I try not to read to far into the lyrics…I know this record is personal and full of innuendo of the past legal battles…but this is like a fresh breath of air…so pleased!!!
Angels Fall—-The sharp guitars with the deep bass line begins this track….the voice comes in…quet but so powerful. The words are deep and intense…there still seems to be some sadness hanging around. The double layered voice is incredible…this is better than the best…this band is fully intact and delivering music they should be proud of. The guitars are nicely intense without drowning out everything…just exquisite!
Breaking The Silence—-Ben opens his vocal sounding clear and concise…the guitars are bursts and then all of a sudden you get a deep growling vocal that has not been heard on a BB release in forever. The vocal gives the song that needed anger…this is just stellar…my God there is some nice anger here….
Hollow—-stripped down and lonely at the onset, the song opens up after the first bar…but the angst and hurt is palatable. Ben has a certain way of phrasing his words and accentuating his voice with a crunch I have never heard from other vocalist. This is a stellar track…fresh but what the fans needed to hear…this s incredible!
Close To Heaven—-With a nice guitar static…Ben brings smile after smile to my face as he delivers stellar track after stellar track. This has an incredible harmony that is bolstered by the vocal…this is just beautifully constructed…sad…angry…introspective…..just incredible!!!
Bury Me Alive—-Guitars pushed way to the back at the onset come forward and smack you in the forehead. The whispered vocal is kind of odd….I’m not sure about that. But the death growl is there and all of the sudden the magic melodic vocal s fully intact. This is stellar…I love that fucking growl….just like the early days….fantastic.
Never Again—-That wonderfully familiar bass line begins the song and delivers even more classic sounds from this band. This is a true return to form…sometimes…I think you must have to step back and regroup…it has served Ben very well….ths band is stronger than it has ever been…beefier and better….just fantastic!
The Great Divide—-Aggressive right from the onset, the voice enters a bit sedate with further tales of alienation and disappointment. The songs on this release…although heavy…manage to sound beautiful and incredibly genuine. I truly love this band….I hope to catch them live…finally.
Ashes Of Eden—-Gentle acoustic sounds introduce this track….simple and stripped down. Ben enters with his vocal..it is laden with sadness and a melancholy that just touches my heart….how magnificent is this…..such a heartfelt delivery….this is something of a miracle….the sensitivity and the wonderful emotion….damn…I love a guy who can feel!!!
Defeated—-Returning to a full on assault, the voice seems double tracked and moved to the rear of the mix a bit. I hear the drums more than anything else. The chorus is huge…reminding me of So Cold….this is a ‘comeback’ track as Ben declares himself no longer defeated…..he has championed and I am glad. If you like this band even a little….you must own this release!
Dawn—-Coming out of the silence with a heartbeat and gentle acoustic guitar, this is still familiar and signifies the end of what has been a very long and arduous journey for the front man of this band…but he persevered….returned and made a release that he can be proud of for a very long time….a brilliant record!
***** out of 5 [!!!!!]