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Breaking Benjamin - Dark Before Dawn

Benjamin is back...

Breaking Benjamin's "Dark Before Dawn" album was issued on June 23rd 2015.


So in 2015 Benjamin Burnley made a come back, he came back all alone, without anyone, after a very difficult period of legal disputes and illness, but he came back big time and for the band's fans it was the best thing that could have happened.


In April 2010 during the band's tour in the US, Burnley started to get sick, he suffered from a combined phenomenon of hangover and flu. The feeling was not foreign to him since he was a very heavy drinker for the past 10 years, but that feeling did not pass after a day or two as usual but lasted longer. Burnley said that after 3 consecutive days of drinking the hangover feeling did not go away and he also started to have symptoms of a flu, headaches, weakness and fever. He did not even manage to get up and perform.


At first he went for tests at his family doctor (he has no supplementary insurance) and the "genius" could not identify what he was sick of, Benjamin tried to check the matter with another doctor but still got no answers. In light of this he decided to stop everything, take a break from the band and embark on a journey to identify and solve the disease. Well we did not come here to tell you about Burnley's medical history but there is a reason for it. As a result he announced that he was taking a break and so was the band until he will found a solution to his medical problem.


A year and a bit later the two members of the band, guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark Klepaski received an offer from the band's record company Hollywood Record to release a collection of hits and a remix to their famous single "Blow Me Away" and for that they will each receive $ 100,000. The two members decided to take the offer and the record company did release in August 2011 the album "Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin" as well as a remix of the song in question.

When Burnley heard about it, he decided to fire the two members (he fired them via email, they should be thankful there was no WhatsApp then) and sue them for illegal conduct and decision-making without the consent of the band members. Burnley vehemently opposed releasing a completion album and the remix made to the song was his private property only. On the other hand, the two members claimed that Burnley was on a break from the band and had no authority to make decisions or oppose the activities of the other band members. The long conflicts in courts and long complicated arbitration ended in April 2013, it was settled that Burnley gets all the rights to the band name and the two unemployed members can look for their way elsewhere!

By the way, three days after Burnley announced the end of the saga, drummer Chad Szeliga announced he was retiring from the band due to disagreements.


In parallel with the legal proceedings during the period, Burnley lost his advice and was unable to get answers from the doctors. He visited dozens of doctors and no one was able to identify the problem he had. He said that at one point he was already so frustrated that he took the thick medical folder and slammed it on the floor. Broken and exhausted he decided to turn it all over to create the band's next album in the hopes that it would cure him.


He started writing the album while at the same time recruiting a completely new band members:

Jasen Rauch guitarist who was in the band RED and contributed to the writing of the album, "Dear Agony", another guitarist who also sings, Keith Wallen from Adelitas Way, bassist who also sings Aaron Bruch and drummer Shaun Foist who was in the band Picture Me Broken. Apart from the drummer, he knew each member during the band's tour in the past, so he chose them one by one... and in order to test the dynamics they went on a short tour in 2014, which also included a number of acoustic performances.



After a short tour, the members of the new band, slightly rubbed in performances together, entered the studio to record the album. The album of course was already written for the most part, except for the opening section and the closing section which Jason wrote. The new members only added their share to the adaptation and lyrics that Burnley had already written on his own. Burnley said in one of the interviews that working with the new lineup was much more fun and creative than with the previous lineup, "So, everyone came to do their job, he knew his role and was goal-oriented and audience-oriented. Here we do everything together with great fun." Burnley is also the one who produced the album, which has happened on previous albums but he never got credit for it.


The name of the album is exactly what Burnley went through during the break, from the darkness to the dawn of a new day, with a new lineup he came to prove to himself and especially to fans that the band's all-too-familiar sound was not lost, only improved.

Indeed, the album sounds just like the band's previous albums, some would even say that there are songs that are reminiscent of specific performances from previous albums.


Breaking Benjamin has its own sound, true it sounds or sounds like other bands, but it is still special and consistent throughout all of her albums. Burnley claimed they were not interested in changing that on this album, he did not want to reinvent the wheel or explore new areas. He wanted to put the familiar sound of the band with the power of the new lineup, and we must say that in our opinion he was hugely successful.


- Footnote: In the next album you do hear some changes in the sound but it only makes it better !!


The album opens with an instrumental opening track that leads to the opening song, which was both the album's first single and the band's most successful - "Failure". The opening explosion in the chorus put you right into the muse of the album.



The second single from the album "Angels Fall" brings Burnley's volume with a slightly gloomier style. In general, the strength of the guitars, Burnley's voice and the style of the drums are the hallmarks of the band that are well felt in "Breaking the Silence", "Close to Heaven", "Bury Me Alive", "The Great Divide".



The song "Ashes Of Eden" is slightly different and deviates from the band's familiar style, but gives an extraordinary experience and a new definition to the concept of a rock ballad.



The song "Dawn" closes the album optimistically and gives a feeling of incredible satisfaction for the whole experience we went through now. By the way, the song combines the voices of Burnley and his wife with sounds of their eldest child's heartbeat immediately after he is born.


As fans of the band this album was a groundbreaking moment for us. The fear that the band had broken up, that it would not be as it was and waiting to see what would happen were nerve-racking mortals. When the album came out already on the first listen, we breathed a sigh of relief. As if someone took the ice cream from us, but just added hot chocolate to it from above and gave it back to us tastier and more upgraded.


On this occasion we must commend the great tribute show to the band that took place several years ago in the country and hope it will return again.


Listen to the album at: Spotify, Apple Music


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