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This Could Be Heartbreak is The Amity Affliction’s fifth studio album. TAA is a five-piece metalcore band hailing from Gympie, Australia. Well-known for their bleak lyrics exploring the realm of mental illness and depression, this album upholds tradition, starting with the album cover. The cover features a bird’s eye view of a funeral internment surrounded by mourners with black umbrellas, which ends up being a good indication of the album’s content.
The opening track, “I Bring the Weather With Me” begins with the tolling of bells and the sound of steady rain. Frontman Joel Birch then comes in raspy and strong. ‘I bring the weather with me!’ Melancholy instrumentals take over and then Birch rings in, ‘It’s time to lay my head down, I can hear the weeping songs…until the world is dark.’ Vocalist/guitarist, Ahren Stringer joins in with his token, yet utterly impressive, clean vocals, ‘Will you miss me when I’m gone? I am the storm that never leaves.’ Though some could argue that TAA fails to evolve from Stinger’s and Birch’s signature vocal combination, others agree that they are a strong identifier in establishing their sound.
July-released single, ‘This Could Be Heartbreak,’ seems to take a happier turn with catchy, pop-punk style intro that continues throughout its entirety. Though it’s catchy and destined to be a fan-favorite, the lyrics are quite contrary. ‘God, help me, I’ve fallen away. The leaves are dancing on my grave. Strings are sounding low; we already know that our world is ending slowly. As sad as it sounds, will I miss them when I’m underground?’
The Amity Affliction, much like Issues, seems to have figured out their style and they’re sticking to it – a very balanced, but very invariable combination of Birch’s unclean vocals and Stringer’s crisp cleans.
O.M.G.I.M.Y is the third track, and is captivating with their signature vocal formula, memorable chorus, and ambient, choir-like backing vocals. The guitar riffs perfectly compliment the lyrics and mood of the song, and still offer up a few unexpected surprises throughout.
While there is an air of monotony throughout the album, it can’t be denied that they’ve created an interesting and successful style for themselves. The perfectly balanced combination of clean and unclean vocals, the addition of a backing choir and violins, they present a lyrically somber album in such a way that just listening to the instrumentals, you’d never know it.
‘This Could Be Heartbreak’ is a musical journey that satisfies post-hardcore tastes – guttural growls, ample mosh-worthy breakdowns, pop-punky, sing-along choruses, and a variety of guitar riffs and a solid rhythm section laying the foundation.
PopD gives this album 4 out of 5 stars.
Songs to listen to: I Bring the Weather With Me, O.M.G.I.M.Y., This Could Be Heartbreak