Switzerland's very own Breakdown of Sanity is back with its latest effort, Perception. These metalcore brawlers stir up some great, straightforward and mosh-friendly tracks throughout the album. This is the band's third release in their discography and most hyped release as well; I can't get on the hardcore/metal blogosphere without this album being mentioned at least once or twice.
Now, the real question is asked: does this album live up to the hype and buzz? The answer is simply "hell yes." Breakdown of Sanity has put out an album that really stands out from the rest of the breakdown junkies that you hear nowadays (*cough* Rise Records *cough*). Jokes aside, this album packs a powerful punch to the ears, yet still has its own personality under the thunderous brutality. The band's previous studio albums, The Last Sunset and Mirrors, showed a great transformation of progress, but it felt like there was something missing.
Breakdown of Sanity has dropped the deathcore-tinged sound for a more melodic metalcore approach this time around. That might have some people worried, but rest assured, it was a smart move. The music hasn't lost that tongue-in-cheek power, and Perception has some strong passion...and I mean powerful passion behind these 13 tracks. The track titled "The Gift" has some triumphant melodies – which are heard throughout the album – that really makes you feel like you climbed to the top of Mt. Everest. The album's atmosphere gives everything a personality of its own throughout the listen.
The production of the album is nothing more than stellar. Everything sounds crisp, whether it be the crash of the cymbals or the harsh growls of frontman Carlo Knopfel. The vocals, as far as growls and screams go, are top notch, having some variety from those passionate howls to deep lows that sound like a bear tearing apart its victim. The clean singing, on the other hand, is a different story. I love singing, but it felt like the singing on Perception was stale and weak compared to other vocalists out there in this genre. Back to the positives, the use of keys and melodic guitars were nice touches in songs like "Cardiac Silhouette" and "Broken Wings." Also, the bass has such raw power behind the breakdowns that even the repetitive sections are enjoyable.
After a while, the album does begin to get repetitive with songs starting to mesh together; however, that's not to say that the album doesn't flow at all. It's actually a smooth ride, but getting lost in the album can be easy if you're new to metalcore – or even deathcore, for that matter. It just seemed like the album overstayed its welcome at times because of the length time.
In all honesty, Breakdown of Sanity has impressed me with Perception. The band's growing maturity with each release is fun to follow and listen into. While this album is not perfect, it would make a great essential for anyone who digs this kind of music.
For fans of Parkway Drive, August Burns Red, Emmure