Breaking Benjamin/Dear Agony


Breaking Benjamin are an American Rock band from Pennsylvania. Formed in 1998, the band is led by frontman Benjamin Burnley. With a total of 4 studio releases to date, Dear Agony hit the shelves on Sept, 29th.

Fade Away—-This release pick right up from where Phobialeft off….the poweful guitar riffs and the angst ridden vocals are perfect. Ben has the uncanny ability to crunch his vocal that just pleases me and brings a smile to my face. The music is a tad bit lighter, at times the band almost seems anemic, but have no fear….the vocal is fantastic.

I Will Not Bow—-Much more aggressive from the onset, the guitars quickly subside in Breaking Benjamin style. The sound of the song is almost predictable but really pleasing to die hard fans that have certain expectations of the band. The chorus of the song has a nice ebb and flow that allows in some gutteral hollers that show the legions that Ben is as serious and tortured as we are. The drum track is very nice..powerful and in your face. The production is a little to tinny for me, the bass seems pushed way to the back, but overall the song is incredible!

Crawl—-Heavy from the onset, the guitars are much more upfront and aggressive, of course you get the trademark lull of energy that allows the somewhat introspective lyric to enter the fray. Ben delivers some from the gut hollers that give me goosebumps…the emotion and feeling is very real. The guitars swirl and crunch along with the mood swings of the song. This is really great!

Give Me A Sign—-A nice ballad delivery with a slight rock edge, the vocals are almost gentle for the first few bars of the song. The voice becomes more alive as the song continues and displays a remarkable melody that really permeates your soul as well as your brain cells. This is moving and intense and requires a few listens to really settle in your gut. The true hallmark of a great song.

Hopeless—-With the trademark grinding guitar intro that is quickly silenced with the vocal intro, the song is almost predictable. Then the chorus hits you like a brick in the face. The deep growls set with the gentler vocal is a nice contrast and the song really rocks at points of its delivery. The lyrical content is intense as always, this band does not make poppy fueled blast of sounds. Every song is a lesson in life. This is fantastic!!

What Lies Beneath—-Finally a song that leads off with a nice deep tone…the vocal is a quiet introspective delivery. The song swirls and then comes alive in a nice manner. The lyrical content is almost devastating in the level of its emotion. The feelings will pour from your pores as you listen to the anger and sadness that are delivered together and separate all in one song. Magnificent!!!

Anthem Of The Angels—-Wow….the song begins with a nice quasi-orchestrated feel that is huge in sound and atmosphere. The vocal is sedate and quiet at the onset. There seems to be some ‘electronic’ sounds going on throughout the song until the chorus comes in…the result is a grand emotional fueled extravaganza of human emotion. This band can not go wrong in my book, Wonderful…listen…again and again!

Lights Out—-Tight and heavy from the first note, the band breaks the mold of quiet and introspection to deliver balls to the walls rock edge song that conjures up the best of the bands past material. The song is aggressive and the vocal is nothing nice…no nice quiet interludes or introspective moments…the song is angry and fueled by real emotion. I could never ask for more!

Dear Agony—-Falling into comfortable patterns, the song is typical fare, but in a good way. Ben has an emotive quality that produces goosebumps and watery eyes no matter how tough you perceive yourself to be. The song has a nice pop feel to it but never loses its metal roots. This is quality music….the track is as great as The Diary Of Jane, but with more balls!!! Great!!!!

Into The Nothing—-You know at once, even if you listen o this as a complete random track the band that you are listening to. The groove of the band improves with each new song and the second half of this release is much better than the first. The first half of the CD seems to be filled with ‘pop’ styled delivery, the second half is much more nailed to the wall Alternative Rock. This is masterful and intense…the lyrics shine and the emotion of the vocal matches every word. Stellar!!!

Without You—-At the very first notes of the song, you notice the really great drum delivery of the song. The vocals of Ben are freakin’ classic ‘Benjamin’…I really love this band. The release could be a complete failure and I would probably swoon, but the result is quite the opposite. I waited a vert LONG 2 years for this and it was well worth the wait. This will be on heavy rotation in my MP3 for quite sometime. A great and masterful return.

****1/2 out of 5

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