Many artists have come to truly appreciate the art of experimentation and progression, letting their real inner selves out and showcasing different ideas, creation methodologies and sounds too old and new fans alike. On the flipside of this, there is a large and somewhat vocal group of fans that are clamoring for the music they initially fell in love to return. After all, why does every artist need to take a new approach when some of them enjoy the continuity and familiarity of making the music they’ve made throughout their whole careers. Based off of their prior output, one would be under the assumption that metalcore mainstays The Amity Affliction fall into that latter category as many music observers continuously indicate their albums don’t vary much. That lack of variety isn’t necessarily a bad thing as their upcoming fifth studio album, This Could Be Heartbreak, is their best work yet, showing it doesn’t take a massive shift in style and sound to evolve as a band.
It should be noted that while the band has stated that This Could Be Heartbreak is a concept record, it is more conceptual in theme and lyrical content in comparison to overall sound. That is to say, this is a very mature and emotionally driven record as it covers the dark state of mind unclean vocalist Joel Birch was in for a period of time in his life. As someone listens to the record, the depth of that darkness becomes clearer as each track delves deeper into the unfortunate world of depression, loneliness and self-worth. From the pre-chorus off of “Nightmare” that declares “When it all comes crashing down and you don’t know where to go // Yeah you think the world is ending? That’s a feeling that I know…”, “O.M.G.I.M.Y.’s” feeling of loneliness and emptiness to “All Fucked Up’s” opening verse of being thankful for sleep as it’s the only period of normalcy, there’s a large swathe of relatable subject matter for a variety of people.
The Amity Affliction’s music video for ‘ This Could Be Heartbreak ‘ from the album, This Could Be Heartbreak – available now on Roadrunner Records. DIGITAL: http://flyt.it/tcbh-itunes PHYSICAL: http://smarturl.it/TAA.store Directed by Mark Staubach Subscribe: http://bit.ly/171a3Ya Site: http://theamityaffliction.net Facebook: http://facebook.com/theamityafflictio… Twitter: http://twitter.com/amityaffliction Instagram: http://instagr.am/theamityaffliction
On the sonically driven side of This Could Be Heartbreak, The Amity Affliction bring forth their signature style, but not without a lack of subtle improvements. There are subtle nuances added that help create a slightly atmospheric and more distinct sound such as the pouring rain and tolling bell to open up “I Bring The Weather With Me” and it’s ending guitar solo, the backing orchestral arrangements scattered in “Tearing Me Apart”, the stuttered riff opening up “Fight My Regret” to the skittered synth layered throughout “Blood In My Mouth”. All of these tiny elements are coupled with a stronger musicality aspect; the production is tighter showcasing crisp guitars, pulsating drums and a rhythmic bassline while the sound booms in a way that is truly fit for a sold out arena. To put it aptly, rather than go down a path leading towards different sounds and styles, they chose to go bigger and louder and achieved that goal admirably.
While there will assuredly be a vocal minority that groans about the continued familiarity in sound and style from The Amity Affliction, This Could Be Heartbreak is a massive step forward for the band. This is a record that not only gives fans a deeper look inside the minds of the people who make up the band, but it does it in more approachable and methodical way while improving upon the formula they’ve become associated with. From the aforementioned subtle nuances and details that help craft each song to the stronger and tighter production that helps the record feel cohesive, this is a shining example that experimentation isn’t always a necessity.