Billy Talent are a band unlike any other. Drawing large crowds despite never really being held up as “cool” is easier said than done, but it’s because of this that they’ve remained one of the most honest and talented bands in alternative rock for so long. When seeing the band live you realise just how many of the songs you know – despite the fact you may not know it – and there’s something about the band that garners respect.
This album is the first that breaks the tradition of eponymous albums, and this should be taken as an early indicator that Billy Talent are looking to mark their territory in a wholly different way with ‘Dead Silence’. It’s strung together with all the usual elements of the Billy Talent sound that you’d expect – ‘Viking Death march’ and ‘Surprise Surprise’ both have that bouncy instrumental and nasal vocal that they’re so known for – but the depth of the album and fantastic execution means it contains some of their best work to date.
Particular highlights are the previously mentioned first two singles, but it’s two of the gentler moments in general that make the album in the end. ‘Stand Up and Run’ and ‘Swallowed Up By The Ocean’ are exactly how to get away with the inclusion of mid-tempo numbers, and the build up in the later is fantastic. The former carries elements of The Cure that compliment the grittier moments of the album surprisingly well, and the album as a whole is very, very well put together. ‘Crooked Minds’ and ‘Hanging By A Thread’ are well worth a listen as well if you want to get an idea for the overall sound.
‘Dead Silence’ arguably takes a few listens to click, but once it does, it’s a real treat. Even those who haven’t had the time to get into the band yet will have many reasons to delve back into the band’s catalogue, and existing fans should find stacks to love about it. It’s worth going in with expectations of a more commercial sound, but Billy Talent really have delivered the goods here – avoid at your peril.