Break the Silence

Near Life Experience

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Featuring 88 Fingers Louie, Rise Against, and All Else Fails vets, Chicago's Break the Silence breaks little new ground on Near Life Experience in spite of its pedigree. Swaying from Epitaph Records-styled melodic punk like "Iris" to textbook emo like "Drawbridge" and onto metalcore mayhem in time for a tributary cover of At the Gates' "Slaughter of the Soul," the group has a fine understanding of punk subgenres, but suffers from an apparent identity crisis. That's not to say these guys can't play -- guitarist Dan Precision tears it up on the standout anthem "Six Foot Revolver" and vocalist Dan Wintercorn is a strong vocalist with a wide range -- but Break the Silence risks alienating the picky punk audience it is trying to reach by dabbling in too many styles to really please anyone.

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