Company: Tooth And Nail Release: 2012 Genre: Hard Rock Reviewer: EC
A diverse good time record
"Feel The Power"...yes indeed! Man, I am loving these new metal upstarts that play by their own rules and really bring to life a new intensity and feel that recalls the great melodies of the 70s and 80s with the harder punch of today's more modern efficiency. This new breed is led by bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Black Veil Brides and Falling In Reverse--the young men (and women) that take it upon themselves to cultivate and plow the lands of old with the new formula of being tight, aggressive and maybe even a little over the top. Nothing could be closer to that goal than Blessed By A Broken Heart, a ten-year veteran of the scene that continues to dish out quality goods while still maturing and developing a sense of style and purpose.
This marks the band's third release to date and first for new label Tooth And Nail. The group have been around since 2004 with a revolving door lineup that hopefully will find peace of mind with this golden record. The band's follow-up to "Pedal To The Metal" didn't come easy; the group found itself without label support from Century Media and finally split amicably with the powerhouse. This new label should know exactly how to treat the band and paired them with a non-metal producer in James Paul Wisner (Dashboard Confessional, New Found Glory) in hopes to create a more "organic" sound.
The Canadians combine a number of different elements to come up with their third album. The group are absolutely rock steady on solid 80s styled anthems like "Shut Up And Rock" and "Innocent Blood", both of which have plenty of Bon Jovi "Whoa Whoa Whoa" anthemic writing but also the clean and polished sound of a Def Leppard or Dokken to deliver it. "Deathwish" is a stirring opener that recalls Sunset Strip glory with the only real heavy hard rock number on the record. I love the "she sold her soul to the Devil" chorus bit and the song really captures that hard hitting Crue style.
The album certainly doesn't stay complacent in just 80s "harder rock", instead the band dip into some 70s AOR with catchy number "Rockin' All Night" and the excellent sing along "Forever". We hear the band slip into their roots for a few moments on "Love Nightmare", one of the few screamo effects ala Escape The Fate (the band says they want nothing to do with screamo now). Highlights for me are the easy going tracks like "Sleepless Nights" (dead ringer for Europe) and the more electronic "Scream It Like You Mean It". The album has a throw away (or throw up) in sappy ballad "I've Got You" prohibiting this from being perfect.
The Bottom Line - Another great entry from the band and perhaps the most important of their career with the new label and new lineup. This compares well to the bands of the 80s but still does enough new things with aggressive moments, screamo vocals and a fast "neo-classical" guitar that push the envelope. If you are looking for a diverse good time record then look no further than Blessed By A Broken Heart.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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