Artist: Bruised But Not Broken
Charlotte’s Bruised But Not Broken are rising stars in the metalcore scene, to say the least. They signed with Indie label, Standby Records, in the Spring of 2013, put out their debut EP Just(Defied) shortly thereafter, and immediately began work on what was to be their debut full-length. If you agree that Just(Defied) was one of the best EPs of the year, you will be pleasantly surprised when you hear Fragment. Set for release on March 4th, this is definitely going to be considered BBNB’s crowning achievement. They made sure to fine-tune everything before finalizing this record and the result was, well put simply, a work of art that you listen to with your heart as well as your ears. With the release of the lead single, “Enter (Fear)” on the latest Standby Records sampler, fans saw a new, heavier side of the band… but that’s just the beginning.
The opening track, the aforementioned “Enter (Fear)” sets the scene for what’s to come throughout the rest of the album. The track is about standing up for what you believe in, overcoming the fear and your heart and never letting the past define your future. Vocalist, Hudson Hower, cries out “My weakness is expected, but our triumph is demanded. We’ll stumble, we won’t fall. Our ears aren’t too deaf to hear our call. You try to take my breath away, but I’m still breathing!”
The album, as a whole, has an uplifting message that many fans will find themselves adhering to. Take one of my favorite tracks, “Dead Current Sea”, for example, contains the lyrics “It’s as if she thinks more scars on her arms will make her beautiful. But they will not, and I will not stand and let her figure it out on her own. Comfortability is a silent killer. The desire to be admired. Isn’t that the idol of us all?” This speaks of the vanity of the world, the desire to look the best, to let your looks help you succeed… but in the end, all that keeps you successful is your personality, your perseverance and your strong will. You can’t let what others say or think get to you, especially to the point of self-harm. Instead, embrace it and let it fuel your desire to be all that you know you can be.
This track is immediately followed by one of the heaviest tracks, both lyrically and musically, “Mourning Glory”. This track seems to speak of the betrayal that can be found in religion, the temptation, the sin, the shortcomings. ” The way the world has become, many have seem to forgotten about the glory of God and all that it can do for them. Crime runs rampant in the streets, but we must continue to work harder than ever to rebuild what’s been torn down in it’s wake. Pride is truly the fall of man and this track speaks of that, too.
One of my favorite tracks, lyrically, is “Color Theory”. It’s about opening your mind, accepting other’s beliefs, though they may be different from your own. It’s about finding ways to embrace the hate thrown your way, using it to fight back, rather than letting it harm you. You may be fearful, but in the end, you will always have your beliefs. “There are so many things to fear, but I won’t fear, no, I won’t fear. We’re not the captives here and our songs will be sung through the air. So that you’ll know that you’re something believe in, there’s no greater love, do you believe it? It’s waiting for you – Death itself can die, do you believe it?” Remember, no one will fight harder against prejudice and hatred than the ones who are affected by it!
“Young one, you seek trust among treachery, silence is betraying the hearts of our kin, So break your pride, break your pride or let the world break your back” vocalist Hudson Hower screams out, bringing light to the point of the next track I want to discuss, “Days of the Weak”. This is another one about standing up for your beliefs, forgiving those who have hurt you and living your life for the glory of God. It speaks of a religious war, one we all know is going on right in front of our noses. “I’m no saint, I’ll gladly admit and I’ll bleed my past from a pulpit, confront your past, come out of hiding. I won’t go down without a fight while my brothers and sisters are dying”. Everyone is human, everyone sins and everyone falls from grace, but you can always redeem yourself if you truly want it enough.
The final track, “Babel Orchestral”, is a greater extension of my end statement for the last track. “For too long I’ve lived with diamonds in my eyes, pursuit of greed’s apparent sight while sincerity dies. We’ve won the battle but the battle’s there to mean life’s a war, so cast aside your fear and start to live for what’s worth dying for.” This is one of my favorite lyrics on the entire album, the final lyrics, the ones that truly sum up what this record is all about. Fragment is a call to arms against the ways of the world. It’s a way to say that we’ve got to wake up or fall a victim, a casualty of a war that we never wanted. If the world continues the way it has, it will end in ruins before we know it. We must take action, throw aside our fears and do what’s right!
Fragment is more than impressive instrumentally, too. The band has truly found a way to sound unified, to pull out all the stops and put out the best material they possibly could muster. Without the efforts put forth by each and every member of the band: Hudson Hower (Vocals), Matt Bentley (Drums), Josh Rhodes and Trevor Floyd (Guitar) and Zac Johnson (Bass), this album would be nowhere near the success that it’s meant to be. Each piece was executed flawlessly and I truly believe that this album will launch them even further than they’ve managed to get so far! If Fragment is any indication on the direction the band will be exploring in the future, you can count me in! Pick it up when it hits stores on March 4th or, better yet, use the links below to pre-order it and discover for yourself how impressive this album, and this band, is!
“Enter (Fear)” w/Lyrics