THE AMITY AFFLICTION – THIS COULD BE HEARTBREAK
Release Date: 12 August 2016
℗ 2016 Roadrunner Records Inc.
August 12th saw Aussie hardcore band The Amity Affliction put forth their latest offering, This Could Be Heartbreak, the follow-up album to 2014’s Let The Ocean Take Me.
The band are known for their dual vocals shared between bass player Ahren Stringer (clean vocals) and Joel Birch (unclean vocals) and the band have unmistakably stuck with those roles in this album as well. It’s a good dynamic that works well for the band, the unclean vocals pushing the most emotional parts of a song to its absolute limits.
The first few songs on the album, like the title track and Nightmare, seem to adopt a bit of a poppier melody that you probably won’t think is that great at first but then find yourself hearing it in your head over and over again throughout the rest of the day. That being said, some further listening shows that these songs don’t detract from the heavier moments in the album. Tearing Me Apart is a straight up stand-out track that’s so familiarly an Amity song, but still so damn good like you’ve just discovered the band once again.
OMGIMY is another one of those heavily emotional songs that is disguised as being upbeat and reminiscent of Never Alone off of their previous release, both songs ending with a voicemail recording, OMGIMY being the closure.
Another stand-out track would have to be All Fucked Up, a slower, ballad-like track to change up the tempo of the album. It’s got everything a good ballad needs and is sure to become a crowd favourite, both live and recorded – giving the listeners something to sing along to in between all that moshing.
Fight My Regret is the perfect amount of heavy and raw and will go down a treat in the pit and is followed by a much more melodic Some Friends, with a catchy chorus and dirty breakdown to boot. The final three tracks Wishbone, Note To Self and Blood In My Mouth close the album in the same way it progressed, pretty good songs but nothing really new.
Although This Could Be Heartbreak just falls short of a potentially great album, it still quite an enjoyable listening experience and thirteen years into their career, The Amity Affliction have succeeded in staying relevant and interesting in this tough industry. The band have tirelessly worked their way to the top and evidently, punters still want to listen.
In the end, a band puts out what they want to put out and there will be mixed opinions regardless. The Amity Affliction are an important band in the Australian music industry and it will be interesting to see what direction they choose to take in the future.