When this band was billed as Hopeless Records’ “new hope” of the melodic punk/hardcore scene, a heavy burden was quickly placed on their shoulders. Looking back at the previous two releases that have faired well for Hopeless/Sub City like Avenged Sevenfold and the almighty Thrice, you’ve got some large shoes to fill, sales-wise speaking of course.

It still remains to be seen whether or not Break the Silence will hit as hard as those previous bands did when they first broke on the scene, but they sure seem like they are trying. Holding ex-members of the highly underrated 88 Fingers Louie, it is to no surprise that Break the Silence have similarities with the member’s former outlets. Taking little to no time letting you know the tempo and pace that this record will carry as guitars wail, screech and harmonize with a vocal attack that flirt the line between monotonous and interesting. Overall it reminds me of a poor man’s version of Rise Against’s Revolutions Per Minute. While Near Life Experience is not a disappointing record, it does leave plenty to be desired; and it was far less engaging than expected. 

It boasts that edge of aggression; the guitar work is great as the interplay is interesting enough to hold your attention, but it sorely lacks that intangible quality that makes you want to listen to a record again and again. There is also a very unfortunate “ehhh” rendition of an At The Gates song that falls hopelessly as one of those “good on paper” ideas but not so cool when laid on tape.

This was a difficult review to write as I fell right on the fence of whether or not I liked it. However, after the fence fell, I found myself on the side of passing it onto a friend that was just getting into the whole melodic-punk seasoning of bands (the EpiFat mold) as I can see this going over well with that crowd. For what it is, the results are reasonable, but just not done with enough gusto to make me want more.

(Hopeless Records)

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