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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Review: Story of the Year - The Black Swan

Artist: Story of the Year
The Black Swan

BSTscore: 81

Few bands ever have continued success album after album, and unfortunately for Story of the Year, the success of Page Avenue did not carry over to their next album In the Wake of Determination. This translated into the band signing with Epitaph and getting back to basics. The Black Swan doesn’t reinvent the wheel for the band, but certainly pulls from the strengths of the previous releases, while adding a little more edginess that may have been missing.

Songwriting has always been the band’s best attribute (even when they were Big Blue Monkey). Driving guitars, solid melodies, and strong vocal harmonies are the band’s backbone. The Black Swan has more angst in its songs, both musically and vocally. Political and social issues are addressed from the initial sound bite in “Choose Your Fate” until the last note in “Welcome to Our New War.” The band has done a great job of turning negative energy into a positive message on this album.

Other than the “Pale Blue Dot (interlude)” which continues with the political theme, there isn’t a wasted second on this album. It is a great listen from start to finish. The band plays to its strengths and has created a really strong album. It’s no surprise to me that they will be a headlining act on this year’s Warped Tour. Story of the Year has recaptured what works for them (not that they really lost it) and I think this album would be a good listen for anyone.

Musicianship: 85
Vocals: 80
Creativity: 75
Impact: 85

Favorite Song: "The Antidote"

Listen to Story of the Year

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