The Amity Affliction

Let the Ocean Take Me

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A band brought together by personal tragedy, the Amity Affliction have a certain knack for creating cathartic, emotional free-for-alls, giving every song the feel of a life or death struggle to keep from being crushed by the heaviness of the world around us. On their fourth album, the Australians continue to work toward their strengths with Let the Ocean Take Me. Musically, the album feels like pretty standard metalcore, with driving riffs leading to a crushing breakdown, followed by a bright chorus. And even though the Amity Affliction aren't revolutionizing the genre here, it's all right, because Let the Ocean Take Me's true strength lies in its use of a theme. With a focus on depression and grief, the album mirrors the inner turmoil brought on by a devastating loss with its tempestuous, breakdown-laden metalcore. Providing a light in the darkness are the the clean vocals of bassist Ahren Stringer, which create these little moments of hope among lead vocalist Joel Birch's furious, throat-shredding screams. The interplay between the two creates an interesting dynamic, with Stringer's soaring choruses showing the listener that no matter how dark things get, it only takes a moment of optimism to clear a path toward something better. Although Let the Ocean Take Me is an album that is both sonically and emotionally heavy, it provides enough catharsis that the listener is left refreshed rather than run down, and even though the band isn't doing anything that listeners haven't heard before, the album's lyrical depth will reward fans who take the time to sit down and really explore the record.

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