02 May 2022 - Sebastian
Post-Hardcore | UNFD | Release date: 06 May 2022 | Favorite song: Live Like This
Silverstein are around for two decades by this point and have released several incredible landmark albums. With Misery Made Me the Canadian band now releases another highly anticipated record.
With the start of ”Our Song” every Silverstein fan should feel right at home. It has the band’s typical vibe and singer Shane Told’s voice is just instantly recognizable. Their sound has evolved a lot over the years, but without diverging too far from their roots. The incorporation of more electronic elements never drastically changed their music too much but acted more as an enhancement.
”Die Alone”, which was just recently released as a single, might be one of their heaviest songs of the past few years. With Andrew Neufeld of Comback Kid as a guest it just makes sense to go heavy or go home. The song still has some very melodic parts, but the breakdowns that serve as the chorus are the main attraction of this song. It is gonna be a sick one to hear live I’d imagine.
The release of ”Ultraviolet” also served as an announcement of their new album and it is a pretty great choice. The song tackles the topic of feeling powerless and being controlled by one’s mind, without having a say in the action one takes. The song also shows the versatility of Silverstein’s music with catchy lyrics and a well-arranged instrumental section.
When ”Cold Blooded” starts playing on the stereo, it also becomes evident once again, how well the band can balance between creating a catchy, poppy-sounding song but not become just another pop-rock band like many bands did in the past. The feeling of indifference and apathy is conveyed in the lyrics as well as in the music.
OK, no more chill time. ”It’s Over”! Not only chill time is over, but it seems like the panic creeping in might end it all. The pandemic has hit touring musicians with one of the hardest brickwalls to their livelihoods unlike anything before. Fortunately, the world is starting to open up again and allow bands to tour different countries and continents. We’re lucky it is not over yet!
”I’m feeling ready.” Do you also feel ready for maybe the weirdest song of the album? ”The Altar / Mary” has a somewhat strange sound to it. It starts incredibly heavy and crushing, but then goes over to a slow, very reduced verse just to come back as heavy as before. After the half way mark it then suddenly transitions to the second part of the song, ”Mary”, which feels a bit out of place. It is a minimalistic piece of music, with layers upon layers of effects on the vocals and not much more than a synthesizer and some distant guitars.
”Slow Motion” sounds like it could be right off A Beautiful Place To Drown, especially the intro, if you’ve listened to their previous album you’ll know what I mean. Other than that, the song is pretty much what you’d expect from Silverstein, with the lyrics telling a story of personal struggle. ”Don’t Wait Up” is also nothing ultra-special, but still a very solid song. Most songs on Misery Made Me really have the idea of misery underlying in their lyrics, but it is also a testament to not being weighed down by all the things that happen around you and keeping your head up high.
When Silverstein released ”Bankrupt” in April of 2021 continued with their tradition of releasing a single waaay ahead of even announcing a new album. As a stand-alone single the song is pretty great, but in context of the whole album it really shines. It is not about one singular struggle, but about the same problems Pink Floyd already sung about in 1973, albeit a bit heavier.
”Live Like This” really condenses all the topics of the previous songs into one. ”Wave the white flag I’m at the end / I don’t wanna die but I can’t live like this”. I don’t think I have to go into further details, as the theme of the song should become pretty evident the minute you listen to it.
And thus we have reached the end and ”Misery” starts playing. I really hoped for something equivalent of ”Wake Up” or ”Toronto – Unabriged” unfortunately the track never gets as grand as the other two and serves more as a calm ending to a truly great album. Shane Told’s vocals really shine here, though.
I was really looking forward to the release of Misery Made Me and was not disappointed when I listened to the album. Silverstein will hopefully be around for many more years and many more great records.