For Fans Of
Silverstein are the old reliable. Ok, “old” might be unfair, but 13 years and now six studio albums position this Canadian post-hardcore, screamo (?) outfit as steady veterans. Whatever genre tag you want to excessively heap on Silverstein the band have found an ideal formula. They’ve had a healthy and respected following without excelling solely at the top. If this was basketball speak, perhaps the band would be a suitable ‘best 6th man’ candidate – they do things consistently well without fanfare.
A tick in favour of the prevailing set-up, and a stat indicative of the band’s reliability is up until this sixth full-length, ‘This Is How the Wind Shifts’, every member that comprise the quintet had been there from the very beginning. However, the inevitable personnel change came last year with lead guitarist Neil Boshart departing.
One thing Silverstein have is an identifiable sound. Remove the labels, the stickers and listen to this album with complete anonymity, and the listener will still recognise this as Silverstein. It is this deterministic and trademark approach that makes ‘This Is How the Wind Shifts’ inviting.
Broken into a neat side A and Side B, this 14 track offering in essence flows quite well. Rhythmically it is solid and contains the interchanging melodic hooks that underpin this sound. Perhaps, the full-length lacks that opening punch, but the music is purposeful.
It is once again a concept album (following a trend explored on ‘A Shipwreck in the Sand’). It’s the thinking man’s approach. Each track on part A has a sister (or rather, parallel) track – songs four and eleven combining to make the album’s crafted title.
Look, we could go into indulgent and overly expressive descriptions of each track, using fancy adjectives and considered critiques, but the long and short of it, is this is a Silverstein record. Fans will feel satisfied. ‘Massachusetts’ is the first moment of interest – quick and moving. The album does feel more melodic in tone. ‘Hide Your Secrets’, ‘Arrivals’ and ‘California’ quite indicative of this. The latter arguably the most impressive of the trio. Closer ‘Departures’ could’ve done with a more assertive ending.
‘This Is How the Wind Shifts’ is again Silverstein in their element. Not a lot of surprises, but no deal breakers.
The pieces of the puzzle again fit into place. There are no re-structuring or random styles. ‘This Is How the Wind Shifts’ is adequate and consistent in most areas.
1. Stand Amid The Roar
2. On Brave Mountains We Conquer
4. This is How
5. A Better Place
6. Hide Your Secrets
8. In a Place of Solace
9. In Silent Seas We Drown
11. The Wind Shifts
12. To Live and To Lose
13. With Second Chances
15. Massachusetts (Acoustic)
16. One Last Dance (Acoustic)
17. Departures (Acoustic)