You would be forgiven if you thought Breaking Benjamin’s 2009 Dear Agony would be the last album bearing the Breaking Benjamin name. With front-man Benjamin Burnley’s illness, inter-band issues resulting in law suits and only one original member left standing – i.e Burnley – who would have thought a new Breaking Benjamin was on the cards?
Luckily for fans, Shaun Foist joined Burnley on drums, Aaron Burch took over on bass, Jasen Rauch took on lead guitar dutes and Keith Wallen stepped up on rhythm guitar and backing vocalist. And together Breaking Benjamin was brought back to life.
It would seem that Burnley’s influence runs deep, as despite being the only original remaining member, the old Breaking Benjamin sound remains. With such a drastic change to the line up, you would think that a new album may sound at least a little different to its predecessors. It doesn’t. With Dark Before Dawn though, the question is does it need to sound completely different? Probably not.
With the future of Breaking Benjamin on such uncertain terms, fans are probably just happy there actually is another album. This doesn’t mean though, that Dark Before Dawn is a bad album. It might sound like what we have heard in the past, but clearly this isn’t an issue with Breaking Benjamin fans seeing as they never exactly experimented with their sound before. And who knows? Perhaps Burnley will loosen the reins a little and some of the new band members’ influence might make its way over to the next album.
Dark Before Dawn reminds us that the band hasn’t gone anywhere, and clearly don’t plan on going anywhere any time soon. Second song on the album “Failure” definitely brings that point home, with Burnley seeming to share his feelings that his fed up of letting his shortcomings bring him down, and he is now really ready to “tear the whole world down.” Every song on the album seems to share that theme. I guess it was necessary for Burnley. He met his demons. He fought them. But he is ready to continue.
Maybe I just have a soft spot for the band as they were one of the first “heavier” bands I started to really get into as a teenager, and scribbling their lyrics over school books, and papers was how I would spend a lot of time. All that aside though, Dark Before Dawn is a great Breaking Benjamin and the Breaking Benjamin album we needed.