The Amity Affliction are back with their fifth studio album, This Could Be Heartbreak. This is the first album that does not feature guitarist and founding member Troy Brady. However it has not falter them. The Aussie lads have produced another good old fashion post-hardcore album.
The first thing that catches your ears is the chord happy catchy choruses. Simple progressions and lyrics will cement themselves in your head and cause a serious case of the ‘sing-alongs’. It’s clear from the title track This Could Be Heartbreak that the album is guarantee to get crowds singing at gigs and will no doubt have you chanting along at home. Feelings of A Day To Remember ooze from the album with the blend of soft choruses and aggressive verses and bridges. Bassist and clean vocalist Ahren Stringer does a fantastic job at contrasting front man, Joel Birch. The pair create this fusion of desperate screams and melancholic angst. My younger self would have killed for this album seven or eight years ago!
There is a lack of heaviness and aggression on the album, slanting to a more radio friendly sound. However this only takes away from the album a little bit. There is still plenty of melodic breakdowns and chugs to get you moving. Guitarist Dan Brown riffs of straightforward chugs alongside peaceful melodies to take the band further away from an all out metalcore/post-hardcore eruption to add some calmness. Some Friends and Nightmare have this element of calm that strengthens the negative themes and lyrics of depression giving them a heart wrenching impact. You are more likely to bounce up and down or lightly nodded your head than mosh uncontrollably. The pairing with drummer Ryan Burt creates this mood as he steadily beats his way through songs I Bring The Weather With Me and Nightmare, laying down the head bobbing tempo and naturally placed fills.
You can tell a lot of thought and effort went into the making of This Could Be Heartbreak. The amount of emotion in the vocals is incredible and really hits hard. Combine this with the memorable instrumentation and you have a recipe for a great album. If I was going to rate it from nostalgia alone it would score a 10/10, however the lack of punch brings it down to a 8/10. A great album just falling short of its true potential.