ALBUM REVIEW: Silverstein – Misery Made Me
Photo Credit: Wyatt Clough
They’ve been consistently churning out record after record for over two decades, but the prospect of a new Silverstein album is always one that fans welcome wholeheartedly. With a little over two years since A Beautiful Place to Die, their last studio effort, the Canadian outfit have returned to the studio and are now back with a new collection of songs for everyone to enjoy: Misery Made Me.
Even though it’s been 22 years since they first burst onto the scene as one of the resident emo bands in Canada, the energy that Silverstein carry through their music is always welcome. That is very much the case for Misery Made Me, which may very well be one of their most balanced records in recent years – let us explain what we mean by that, because it’s not a bad thing by a longshot.
With this record, there’s songs that represent all facets of the band’s sonic palette. If you want their heavy side, then you’ve easily got that in Bankrupt or Die Alone, which also features Andrew Neufeld of Comeback Kid fame, screaming alongside frontman Shane Told. There’s also the ‘standard’ Silverstein songs, both heavy and melodic – It’s Over, Ultraviolet or Our Song, all three of which are strong contenders for the catchiest songs on offer, and through Misery, they’ve even thrown a ballad into the mix.
The features we were met with on A Beautiful Place to Die aren’t missing here, either. Aside from the aforementioned appearance by Neufeld, three more guest appearances are sprinkled throughout the tracklist. Trevor Daniel joins Told on Cold Blooded, one of the more mellow songs on the record, while The Devil Wears Prada screamer Mike Hranica helps kick things into sixth gear on Slow Motion.
Perhaps the most surprising feature, however, is found on the band’s most recent single, Live Like This, where nothing,nowhere. links up with Silverstein. We say surprising because his voice is actually quite similar to that of guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau (who is known for taking over vocals from time to time, namely on Bad Habits), and because the music released under the nothing,nowhere. moniker isn’t necessarily the most similar to that of the band, particularly thanks to the American singer’s occasional trap influences and sensibilities. That being said, his voice proves to be a more than adequate match to that of Told’s, to say the least.
The surprises don’t stop there, however, as Misery Made Me provides listeners with one of the most interesting wild cards in the band’s discography in recent years – perhaps even more so than their collaboration with Princess Nokia. We’re talking about The Altar – Mary, but we don’t want to spoil it too much for everyone, so we’ll just say this: there’s a switch in sound somewhere on that track which really caught us off-guard, and it ended up being among our favourite tracks. We’re low-key hoping they’ll keep venturing in this direction in the future.
A special shout-out must be given to the rest of the band members, as their recorded performances are top notch, as is to be expected of a band of this calibre. Paul Koehler‘s drumming shines throughout, especially on Die Alone; Billy Hamilton‘s basslines rumble on Our Song, and Rousseau’s and Josh Bradford‘s riffs and leadwork are exemplary, particularly on Don’t Wait Up and the rest of the singles.
So, in the end, that’s what we mean by ‘most balanced’. Misery Made Me continues Silverstein‘s streak of great records, while simultaneously representing all aspects of the Canadian band’s sonic palette. It also paves the way for a possible future sonic direction they could take, so we’ll be keeping our eyes on them. Until then, shall we go through their discography (again) in preparation for Slam Dunk?
Standout Tracks: Our Song, Ultraviolet, It’s Over, The Altar / Mary, Don’t Wait Up, Live Like This
For Fans Of: Beartooth, The Devil Wears Prada, Underoath, A Day to Remember
Written by: Florin Petrut