Story Of The Year – The Black Swan


Album

The Black Swan

Label

Epitaph/Shock

Year

2008

Genre

For Fans Of

Stretch Armstrong – Funeral For A Friend – Boysetsfire

Summary

Giving the bird to the major labels…

Rating

86 / 100

Story Of The Year have
been through a lot. From mainstream darlings to major label discards
the band has been on the receiving end of the best and the worst that
the music industry has to offer. After the breakout success of their John Feldman produced debut, SOTY found themselves label-less
after their sophomore record In The Wake Of Determination only
(and I use the term loosely) sold a few hundred thousand copies.  

Well, if ever a record was a big
fuck you to the detractors then The BlackSwan is that
record. Taking the pop sensibilities of their debut and successfully
merging them with the metal inspired guitar work of their more recent
material, Story Of The Year have written that all important third
album which should keep their existing crowd on board as well as winning
over a host of new fans.   

The crunch of the album’s first
track “Choose Your Fate” should serve as a warning to anyone expecting
a collection of radio friendly hits. As always the guitar interplay
is top notch and the transition from grooving metal to balls out punk
is seamless. Without missing a beat SOTY kick into one of their
trademark anthems, the chorus of “Wake Up” being on par with anything
the band has released previously. 

“The Antidote” is an obvious
choice for a shot at being a single as Dan Marsala’s hook laden
vocals combine perfectly with the arena sized guitar riffs that Ryan
and Philip (SOTY axe men) so effortlessly put out there… and
the odd guitar solo doesn’t go astray either. “Tell Me” is reminiscent
of After The Eulogy era Boysetsfire (which is a good thing) with it’s bouncy guitar parts that should
have dance floors across the world buckling under a crowd’s heaving
weight.  

A hell of a lot of bands have
tried to merge screamed vocals and metallic guitars with quiet vocal
passages over the last few years, but very few have had the same success
as Story Of The Year, “Angel In The Swamp” being a prime example
of the aforementioned description. Seriously, who else can piece together
a banging guitar riff with an introspective verse that slips back into
a punk beat? While being vastly different songs sonically, “The Black
Swan” and “Message To The World” both have one thing in common…
fucking huge choruses! “Apathy Is A Deathwish” is indicative of
the fact that the SOTY six stringers spend a lot of time listening
to Pantera while “We’re Not Gonna Make It” has sing-a-long
written all over it. 

The album lags somewhat thanks
to “Terrified” and the interlude “Pale Blue Dot” however the
riffing of “Cannonball” and the creative arrangements of “Welcome
To Our New World” manage to keep the record afloat, not to mention
how surprisingly awesome the Australian bonus track “Never Let It
Go” is.

Conclusion

Story Of The Year seems to attract fans from all over the musical spectrum… and rightfully
so. There’s something on offer here for everyone so get the record and learn the words in time for their upcoming Australian tour. 

Tracklisting

  1. Choose Your Fate
  2. Wake Up
  3. The Antidote
  4. Tell Me (P.A.C.)
  5. Angel In The Swamp
  6. The Black Swan
  7. Message To The World
  8. Apathy Is A Deathwish
  9. We

10 Responses to “Story Of The Year – The Black Swan”

  1. KYS-Josh

    sounds like every other SOTY record….hmmm i thought it was gonna be different and cool after watching the video diaries. not so

  2. silv83

    i dunno how you can be fucked reviewing all these
    also dont understand how you can sum an album so quick after its release
    with me, my opinion on an album always changes as I learn more shit

  3. KYS-Cam

    like Jared said, I have the record’s a good month before they hit shelves, so I’ve got time to sit with it. As for me being motivated to do them, what can I say, I like doing it!

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