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Album Reviews : The Amity Affliction – Let the Ocean Take Me

By on June 9, 2014

The Amity Affliction have once again shown why their fans tattoo their lyrics on them, wait in the rain for hours to meet them for 20 seconds, and why they spend ridiculous amounts of money on their merchandise that consistently sells out.  For those who live completely outside the metalcore scene, no-one would have predicted that the Queenslanders would have the ability to reach the top of the iTunes chart, let alone that this was solely from pre-orders. For those who have followed the band for years, however, it was clear that Let the Ocean Take Me was going to be one of the year’s biggest releases, if not the biggest.

After their third album Chasing Ghosts brought the band into the mainstream, their fourth offering will no doubt bring a whole host of new fans; for old fans, there are no worries, as the album is built to please both old and new alike. It may seem like a hyperbolic statement to say that every chorus on the record is catchy as hell, but even after one listen, no one will be able to get clean vocalist Ahren Stringer’s voice out of their head for at least a week. Stringer’s voice truly shines through in tracks such as ‘The Weigh Down’ and lead single ‘Pittsburgh’; if anyone wasn’t necessarily convinced by the vocal effects placed on his voice during Chasing Ghosts, Let the Ocean Take Me will completely and utterly convert them to Will Putney’s guidance on the album’s mastering. It may take a few listens for Amity fans who prefer the heavier side of the band to come to terms with tracks such as ‘Never Alone’ and ‘Forest Fire’, as these threaten to verge on pop territory due the implementation of lighter synths than the band’s previous efforts. However, these fears are allayed with the presence of Joel Birch’s unmistakable screamed vocals during the verses of these tracks.

After releasing an open letter on dealing with fans that come to him for guidance, many dealing with horrific issues, and Birch having no training and in a vulnerable state himself, ‘Don’t Lean on Me’ may be the most personal track the band has ever released and there’s no wonder the final line of the chorus became the album’s title. Furthermore, it’s horrible to say, but it’s impossible not to be grateful that Joel Birch has so many trials and tribulations within his personal life. Without Birch’s attempts at suicide, there would be no ‘I Hate Hartley’, no ‘Open Letter’ and without his recent near death experience at the Warped tour, there would be no ‘Death’s Hand’, ‘FML’ or ‘My Father’s Son’. Standing alongside ‘Pittsburgh’, which is Stringer’s finest hour, these are the album’s standout tracks due to Joel Birch taking hold of main vocal duties and will satisfy any Amity fan that longs for heavier tracks similar to ‘Fire or Knife’ or ‘RIP Bon’. The pre-breakdown scream of “Hey Death. Get Fucked!” will surely blow the roof off venues all around the world; the only similar experience at an Amity concert is most likely the ‘Youngbloods’ call to arms “Fuck the Reaper!”, and to match this favourite line on an album 4 years later is a feat to behold. However, these moments would be nothing without Ryan Burt’s percussion efforts, who knows exactly when kids need a beat to begin swinging their arms and when to retreat to let the vocal’s take prime position. Chugging guitars are still the order of the day thanks to Dan Brown, but it wouldn’t be an Amity album without an instantly recognizable riff from Troy Brady, such as in ‘Pittsburgh’ and ‘Death’s Hand’.

Let the Ocean Take Me has already stormed the charts, Triple J radio, and will most likely break any sales records from The Amity Affliction’s previous efforts. With an inevitable Australian tour around the corner, as previously stated in the review of their Brothers In Arms show, make sure you grab your tickets quick and avoid any naysayers because there will no doubt be overwhelming popular demand to see these boys in action, and tickets will disappear quick.

Band: The Amity Afflition
Album: Let The Ocean Take Over Me
Year: 2014
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Roadrunner Records
Origin: Brisbane, Australia

Tracklisting:

1. Pittsburgh
2. Lost & Fading
3. Don’t Lean on Me
4. The Weigh Down
5. Never Alone
6. Death’s Hand
7. FML
8. My Father’s Son
9. Forest Fire
10. Give It All

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For more interviews and reviews, check out Jonty's personal review page Play Hard Reviews. Check out his live shots via his Instagram - Jonts18