ALBUM REVIEW: Dead Reflection – Silverstein

With a career spanning over 17 years, you’d think that post-hardcore heavyweights SILVERSTEIN would start losing momentum by now. But where other bands from the same seminal era have attempted to explore new territory sonically, bitten the bullet or begun reunion tours, the Canadian quintet are still working on producing music in a way that they do best.

Now, on new album Dead Reflection, SILVERSTEIN have fleshed out 12 tracks riddled with dark sentiment, retrospectively fuelled by vocalist Shane Told’s descent down a path of self-destruction back in 2015 after an extended, gruelling tour in support of that years album I Am Alive In Everything I Touch.

With a sound that at times does feel a little over-saturated, opener Last Looks cuts straight to the point and introduces SILVERSTEIN‘s aggressive approach to collating Dead Reflection. Menacing, deep fuzz and whirlwind guitars flow with increasing ease, culminating in rasping vocal choruses that rip through with emotionally charged poetic lyricism. Follow-up Retrograde is offered as the first of many racing radio friendly ear-worms, steeped in a sound that SILVERSTEIN fans will absolutely expect by now — evidently heralded as the bands signature formula since 2005’s Discovering The Waterfront.

There’s a lot of similar structures to wade through on this record: where Ghost rears a belligerent, anthemic chorus with thunderous drums imparted by Paul Koehler, both Josh Bradford and Paul-Marc Rousseau begin their flourishing melodies that take similar turns in Whiplash and Demons.

Shifting in pace and tone on The Afterglow, Told and crew take on a more juvenile and playful tone, emulating sickly sweet new kids on the block WATERPARKS, or even ISSUES — only with far more decorum. There are meditative moments on Dead Reflection, slipping into balladic efforts like Mirror Box and Secret’s Safe that emit the true force of Shane Told’s dark period. Lyrics like “Old glass, new scene, same face / Bad blood, deep cut, same place / I just wanna be okay” are offered tenderly across the bridge section in the former track, while in the last verse, Told’s voice finally breaks into grizzly screams for “I’m broken but I’m not the only one” in passionate angst.

Closing the album with an absolute heartfelt wrecker like Wake-Up is where SILVERSTEIN reach their climax. Tender clean vocals ring out across a bed of cascading, polished guitars that make it feel totally relatable, and you can imagine screaming back sweat soaked as the tension in a mosh-pit begins to slow.

SILVERSTEIN haven’t offered anything new on Dead Reflection, or even expanded on their already infamous sound; but what the band have produced is a deeply personal, impassioned collection of songs that reeks of poignancy and lays bare their vulnerabilities — neatly wrapped in a post-hardcore blanket.

Rating: 7/10

Dead Reflection - Silverstein

Dead Reflection is set for release on July 14th via Rise Records.

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