A Change Of Direction?

Dead Silence has, to a certain degree, a different feel for Billy Talent - it feels more straightforwardly rocky, and dare I say it more mature. There are some decent catchy melodies of course but the things that really stand out are the immediately noticeable differences - a toned down vocal approach, lack of raw scuzzy distortion on the guitars and more ballad-type tunes (oh, yes and of course the fact that it's not called IV). The focus here is on lyrics and more complex song structures. This approach will undoubtedly divide fans, but there's no denying that on this record they are trying to move in a different direction (albeit slowly).

Admittedly on the first play through I became one of those die hard fans proclaiming it was not as good as their old stuff, however after a few listens I've changed my tune a touch - it really feels like the band have put a lot of thought into this record, into trying to change things up a bit, and credit is due to them for that. They have had a tendency to retread familiar and comfortable territory in the past - albums often have a couple of tracks that feel recycled, and while there are a few moments like this (Surprise Surprise) overall they inject more complexity on this record and slide away from punchy and melodic punk songs.

There's no doubting they have the talent (no pun intended) to mix things up and it's nice to hear them stretching themselves a bit more, those tracks that mix the old killer sing along moments and great driving riffs with something more epic and emotional work extremely well - see Cure The Enemy and Swallowed Up By The Ocean for solid examples. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the Canadian four piece and judging by what we've heard here we'll still be along for the ride.