It’s that sinking feeling in your stomach, when you know that something bad is going to happen. It’s the feeling of ultimate calm, right before you know life is going to take a turn for the worst. You’re thinking “what part of my life will it be this time?” You’ve endured death, heartache, betrayal and abandonment for all of your life. You know… you just know that this could be heartbreak. Back for round 5, Australian emotional metalcore giants The Amity Affliction have decided to tap into the more melodic, ambient side of their arsenal, musically. Time after time, fans hope to hear their return to their roots with that heavier, more explosive sound that they brought us with their first 2 albums. However, as each album is released, those fans are left holding their breaths. It’s time to realize that, as a band and a business, musicians change their sound for many different reasons. Oftentimes, after they see success with their core sound, we’ll see bands lean towards a more mainstream direction. Many people call this “selling out”.. but it’s really an effort to grow their fan base by creating a sound that’s a bit more easily accessible to the average listener. So, it is with that in mind, that we dive into the 12-track emotional rollercoaster that is This Could Be Heartbreak.
A bold leap into the new territory that they explored with their previous album, Let the Ocean Take Me, TCBH is the perfect balance of angst, aggression and melody. A story told through the eyes of someone who is watching their life fall apart, as someone dear to them has passed on, this is quite possibly their MOST emotive album to date. Let the Ocean Take Me explored thoughts of suicide, feeling alone and misunderstood… This Could Be Heartbreak explores the plethora of feelings an individual has after someone close to them passes away. Beginning with the heart-wrenching opener “I Bring the Weather With Me,” the video for which shows the band in an incredibly emotional funeral setting, complete with a torrential downpour of rain. You can see the band, especially clean vocalist/bassist Ahren Stringer, as the funeral takes a very emotional toll, as funerals tend to do. The band surprised us with this track, a few months after they released the upbeat/hopeful track “Shine On” as a stand-alone single. For them to take such a dark turn is not out of character for them.. they’re not shy about writing about the harder aspects of life. You can hear a lot of the same guitar tone and overall sound that we heard with “Pittsburgh” and some are even calling this track a sequel to that track. The band has yet to confirm if the two are connected.
As we’re taken through the remainder of the album, it only gets deeper and darker. As always, though, the band is not there to scare you or make you feel as if it’s the end. Rather, they’re out to show you that you are not alone and that you’re not going through these tough experiences on your own. “This Could Be Heartbreak” focuses on that pit in your stomach when you know that something bad is going to happen or, when something bad HAS happened and you haven’t yet processed it yet. You can feel that the emotions are going to hit you like a ten-ton brick… it’s just a matter of when. “All F**ked Up,” which is the album’s 3rd single, is a reminder that we’re all going through something in this life. It’s these hardships that bring us together, especially at times when we need people who understand the things we’re going through. It’s a way to find a common ground through experience. Perhaps one of my favorite tracks on the album is called “OMGIMY,” which stands for “Oh, My God, I’m Missing You” and focuses on the sadness, the feelings of regret and the anger that you feel when you want nothing more than for that special person to return to this earth. It’s a realization that things will never be the same without that person, that you never got to say things you wanted to say to them… you can’t ever take back the harsh words & the fights you had. One of the toughest parts of the grief process is dealing with processing these feelings after a loss… it’s tough and it’s not something you want to go through alone. The track ends with a voicemail from a very distressed individual. Whether the voicemail is reaching out to the band, or it’s something that the band was given, it’s clear that this person feels that they have no choice but to end it all… the regret, the pain and the suffering are far too much.
This Could Be Heartbreak is not for the faint of heart but it IS for anyone who has felt the tragic pain of loss. While it definitely does have its heavy moments, it’s an album that is rooted entirely in emotion, melody and the understanding that pain brings individuals together. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, I absolutely recommend doing so. This Could Be Heartbreak is out on Roadrunner Records now and can be purchased at your favorite digital or physical retailer, or just by clicking the links below.
“This Could Be Heartbreak” (Official Music Video)
“I Bring the Weather With Me” (Official Music Video)
The Amity Affliction is:
Joel Birch- Vocals
Ahren Stringer- Bass, Clean Vocals
Ryan Burt- Drums
Dan Brown- Guitar