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ATP! Album Review: Silverstein - This Is How The Wind Shifts

We've all seen it before: a seemingly talented band puts out a great song with a kickass album to back it up. They blow up on the music scene and no one can get enough of them. Over time, that once great band falls back into the shadows of their peers, not able to live up to the high standards they initially set. Eventually, everyone has enough of the crumbling artist and moves on to the next best thing, leaving the musicians to sulk in the ruins of their glory days. Silverstein is not that band.

The Canadian post-hardcore quintet will be releasing their seventh studio album, This Is How The Wind Shifts, on February 5th. Similar to A Shipwreck In The Sand (2009), this milestone record is a concept album, but this time with a twist. The fourteen-track album is divided into two parts; each track from the first half has a sister track on the second half, which when combined, forms a phrase or joins two corresponding terms together. It is an ingenious spin on a standard concept album. This idea, in conjunction with the record’s lyrical rhetoric regarding the “discussion of life, of loss...of the struggle between your actions and your feelings, and how those don’t always go together” (as per vocalist Shane Told), it’s possible that this is Silverstein’s best record to date.

This Is How The Wind Shifts houses standard Silverstein songwriting mixed in with experimental styles, the obvious being the layout of the album. The track listing is a mind tease, stimulating your word-matching synapses that must have been covered in spiderwebs from when you were young. The record moves smoothly like the changing wind Told consistently refers to throughout. Powerhouse anthems like ‘Stand Amid The Roar’ and ‘Massachusetts,’ which were both previously released tracks, stand out with the crunching guitars brought to you by Josh Bradford and Paul Marc Rousseau (the latter making his Silverstein debut). Told finds room to stretch his voice beyond the loose boundaries he set on previously records. ‘In A Place Of Solace’ displays the complete antithesis of someone in respite, with the ominous guitar tones and Told’s painful lament of heaviest proportions. ‘To Live and to Lose’ has a similar effect with Paul Koehler’s death march drums pounding against the haunting and eerie minor key Told emits. Tracks like ‘This is How,’ ‘The Wind Shifts,’ and ‘Departures’ act as smooth, flowing transitions to make the album come together amongst the band’s famous repeat-button-worthy style of progressive verses and powerfully catchy choruses (‘A Better Place,’ ‘California,’ ‘With Second Chances’).

Unchanging progression: that’s the oxymoron that encapsulates Silverstein’s entire run on the music scene for the past ten-plus years. This is a band who consistently puts out great records, stretches their normalities yet never loses that unique touch. Anyone with half a brain and elementary songwriting knowledge can admit that Silverstein knows their shit. This Is How The Wind Shifts is further proves that Silverstein isn’t a band who creates music for the hell of it, but instead a group of insightful musicians who writes music that can be felt and understood.


Melissa Jones

This Is How The Wind Shifts will be released on February 5th vhrough Hopeless Records.

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