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Monday, May 18, 2009

Song Of The Week: Silverstein - Vices

Finally, my favourite post-hardcore band for the past 4 years make an appearance on Zetalambmary! :D

Silverstein, the Canadian quintet has made quite a name for themselves on the indie punk scene ever since they formed back in 2000. Revitalising a dying scene with their fresh, earnest take on independent music, this band has been successful in fusing emo, hardcore, and alternative rock tunes into what I would call 'Stein-mo' for nearly a decade now. This week's featured song by them, "Vices" is the first single off Silverstein's 4th studio album, released earlier on this year at the end of March.

When the first few seconds of this epic roll in, any good ol' 'Stein fan can instantly tell that this band has finally matured into something more. Something darker. Something a wee bit more sinister. Something insinuating towards... M-E-T-A-L. Showcasing a very different kind of raw energy on this song compared to the previous few singles from their previous albums, Silverstein is now balancing on the tightrope separating indie hardcore punk from alternative metal, teasing the rope by bouncing gently on it on a few occasions, sometimes even nearly giving in to temptation to jump on it. I haven't heard the album of "A Shipwreck In The Sand" in its entirety yet, but from the sound of the single above, if the rest of the album is like that as well, this would be one of the occasions where Silverstein is boldly jumping on the tightrope, almost daring themselves to push it to its limit until it snaps. Lyrically emo at heart, Silverstein's lyrics are typical indie punk lyrics though, dealing more with human emotions and conflicts with the usual tragic love story thrown into the midst of the lyrics as a story device, or just plain rebelliousness as heard on their first studio album, "When Broken Is Easily Fixed". The song names and album title usually don't really have any synergy.

These outstanding Canadian hardcore rockers are: From left to right - Paul Koehler (Drums), Billy Hamilton (Bass Guitar), Shane Told (Vocals), Josh Bradford (Guitar), Neil Boshart (Guitar)

However, they have finally started to experiment with a conceptual album, and so came along "A Shipwreck In The Sand". Just a note of interest, conceptual albums are usually done almost exclusively by metal bands (e.g. Mastodon, Kamelot, Amon Amarth), and it is indeed very rare to see a post-hardcore band do one. Also, Silverstein's instrumentals have become overall more thunderous and foreboding, as evident from the intimidating opening of thudding drum beats and the reverberating bass line, and even the twin guitar melodies has sped up significantly while remaining capable of dishing out melancholic tunes, bearing a huge resemblance to common melo-death songs. Best of all, vocalist Shane Told's harsh vocals have improved tremendously, as they sound more aggressive yet polished instead of the previously angsty scream-growls that were much more unpolished in comparison. Oh yes, Shane's mellow clean-singing is still in tip-top condition and ready to solicit tears from the eyes of girls, and it really balances out the overall feel of the song by acting as a sort of counterpoint to the angsty, screaming alter-ego of Shane.

This brings Silverstein's unique brand of hardcore to a whole new level, which creates more room for them to experiment with their music in future as the doors to the varse kingdom of metal are now thrown wide open, ready to receive them with warm, molten steel.

All in all, this song is aggressive and gritty, yet pleasant to the ears with the combination of infectious clean vocals. This would be another nice song to warm anyone up to the genres of post-hardcore and metalcore.

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