For any artist, be it an actor, musician, painter or writer, staying relevant over a long period of time is extremely difficult. People find their comfort zone and tend to stay in it while others whiz by taking on the latest trends. Formed in 2000, Canadian post hardcore outfit Silverstein are a band that have managed to stay relevant and have stood the test of time quite easily throughout the 8 releases that make up their current discography. As the band is approaching the release of their 8th full length album and 9th overall release, it’s never been clearer that these guys are more than the typical band with stereotypical releases and instead, Dead Reflection proves that they still have plenty of tricks up their sleeve, delivering a sound that is far from stale and one that deviates from the atypical Silverstein approach.
If there is one thing that Silverstein has become quite versed in, it is their innate ability of combining sonic heaviness with accessible moments that derive from pop music all the while still making every album somehow different. Surprisingly, Dead Reflection ends up being one of their heavier albums on the spectrum as they continue to do it all, from the crunchy riffs that litter “Last Looks” and “Retrograde” or the soaring choruses found in “Ghost” and “Mirror Box”. While these types of moments have an expectation to them on any bands album, it’s how they’re delivered and composed that truly makes them unique, proving once again that Silverstein aren’t simply a one trick pony and can deliver their signature sound and style in plenty of ways. This is also what makes the album even more impressive as each song seems to stand proudly on its own with rarely a dull moment while never overly relying on the same composition methods from track to track.
In regards to the album flow and variety brought forth, one can think of Dead Reflection like a house. The opening slew of tracks are the foundation, all full of familiarity that longtime Silverstein fans crave. As the album teeters towards the midway point, the creativity inside a house takes center stage as there’s a heavier emphasis on pop anthems and uniqueness to the instrumentation with the likes of “Aquamarine”, “Mirror Box” and “The Afterglow”. Topping off the album is a third round of songs that blend the old with the new, creating a strong covering to the home with more new aged techniques. Don’t fret though as the softer, more subdued sounds still ooze Silverstein, thanks to the incredible performance from frontman Shane Told who displays impressive range and growth in his vocal delivery. This becomes more evident over multiple listens to the album as the transitions between shredding screams and pop infused choruses glide with ease. On the instrumental side, the band is better than ever as crunchy, sonic riffs, poppy leads and blistering drumming accentuates the whole sound. While Shane gets the notoriety due to being the frontman and leading voice, this is a band that has always been more than one person as each member plays off of each other brilliantly, never outshining one another which ultimately leads to Dead Reflections showing off their incredible band chemistry and strong ability to work together.
In a day and age when there is so much music with a cornucopia of artists to discover thanks to the advent of streaming, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find albums that one can listen to start to finish. It’s even more rare to find one that you’ll want to repeat in full immediately after finishing the first play-through. Fortunately for fans of Silverstein and fans of fantastic music in general, Dead Reflection is an album that fills both niches and one that needs to be experienced from beginning to end. Each song is memorable and stands tall with its own identity, making Dead Reflection a smashing success. It has everything you could want from a post hardcore band, whether it’s the older style of raw, sonic heaviness, the newer sounds of crooning pop choruses or even a ballad-esque track found in “Wake Up”. After what will be their 8th studio album and 9th overall release, Silverstein continue to show why they are still relevant and prove that they aren’t running out of steam anytime soon.