February 18, 2020

Album Rankings : Silverstein (Part 2)

These next three albums were possibly the most difficult to rank. Someone once said that "Silverstein is a band that ages like fine wine." It's hard to argue against that statement. The addition of guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau definitely seemed to elevate the band's sound while providing a fresh, yet familiar feel to the music. If there could be a three-way tie, we would give these next three albums third place and call it a day, but that wouldn't be fair to the spirit of ranking things.

#5 - I Am Alive In Everything I Touch (2015)
Another concept album, which tells a "story of loneliness despite being surrounded by so much excitement," according to songwriter Shane Told. This album released right about the same time that I was in a long-term relationship that was just beginning to fall apart, and that statement pretty much sums up the feeling at the time.
Favorite Songs: "Face Of The Earth" / "In The Dark" / "Toronto (unabridged)"



#4 - Dead Reflection (2017)
Probably the band's darkest album, which isn't saying a lot, because most of the band's catalog is emotional. Dead Reflection features Shane Told writing some of his most mature material. There is a sad sort of acceptance that resonates throughout the album. Told has a talent for writing songs that are easily relatable, yet deep enough to be interpreted differently by various listeners.
Favorite Songs: "The Afterglow" / "Secret's Safe" / "Mirror Box" / "Wake Up"



#3 - This Is How The Wind Shifts (2013)
The first album with new guitarist Rousseau. This album edges out the previous two simply because of "Massachusetts," which is probably my all-time favorite Silverstein song. Unlike traditional concept albums which feature one running story through the entire album, this album features a collection of songs that pair together. One song will tell a story, and the pairing song will approach the same story from a different perspective, or if one aspect of the story had been different. Most of the song titles pair together to form one sentence, and the album's two title songs "This Is How" and "The Wind Shifts" can even be played in parallel to form a third song. Pretty clever!
Favorite Songs: "Massachusetts" / "In Silent Seas We Drown" / "This Is How The Wind Shifts"



#2 - Discovering The Waterfront (2005)
Sophomore slump, what? Silverstein's second release was anything but a slump. This was the album where the band took a huge step up. "Smile In Your Sleep" and "My Heroine" are still two of the band's biggest hits. Told's voice matured while the band's sound evolved into a beautiful blend of punk and metal influenced hardcore. Perfect for a night of screaming tears into your pillow. It wasn't a concept album, but it almost feels like one due to the cohesive sound of the album, which would become a bit of a Silverstein staple.
Favorite Songs: "Smile In Your Sleep" / "My Heroine" / "Your Sword Versus My Dagger"



#1 - A Shipwreck In The Sand (2009)
This was the album that permanently sold me on Silverstein. This is a concept album about a failed relationship, about betrayal, about a "hero" who surrenders to his dark-side. Possibly the band's heaviest album. The title track is a bit of a spoken word, which somewhat sums up the theme of the album through a story about a ship who's crew revolts against their captain after they feel that they had been misled. The tour in support of this album was the first time that I saw Silverstein perform live, and the only time I ever heard them play this album's title track. I thought it brought a nice thematic element to their set as the first song played during the encore. "The End" is a tearjerker of a duet featuring guest vocalist Lights, who plays the role of the protagonist's former wife, as they both lament a lost relationship, and a realization that neither one of them were angels.
Favorite Songs: "Vices" / "A Shipwreck In The Sand" / "The End (feat. Lights)"



Again, keep in mind that this list is just a personal opinion. Feel free to add your own rankings in the comments below!