Break The Silence - Near Life Experience (Cover Artwork)

Break The Silence

Break The Silence: Near Life ExperienceNear Life Experience (2004)
Hopeless Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

After six months of inactivity, Hopeless Records breaks their own silence with Near Life Experience, the debut record from Chicago quintet Break The Silence. Hyping the record for months, I can't help but feel just a little bit cheated. Break The Silence was promised to be the "rebirth" of Hopel.
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After six months of inactivity, Hopeless Records breaks their own silence with Near Life Experience, the debut record from Chicago quintet Break The Silence. Hyping the record for months, I can't help but feel just a little bit cheated.

Break The Silence was promised to be the "rebirth" of Hopeless as a legitimate label - a furious, no frills, honest-to-god melodic hardcore band. But that's just it; Break The Silence has no frills whatsoever.

Their sound is essentially one of Mr. Precision [formerly of 88 Fingers Louie and Rise Against] playing really stiff metal riffs, with the rest of the band playing catchup for the majority of the album. Some people call his style "technical metal," I just call it showboating. Singer Dan has a powerful scream, but it's much too overused throughout the album to have any sort of lasting impact on the listener. Of course, the alternative is the stereotypical whiny punk "balls in a vice" sound, which Dan also posesses. Think the Tony Sly's voice from the past two No Use For A Name albums fused with whatever the big screamy hardcore band is right now, and that's what he sounds like. Luckily, Much The Same singer Gunner appears on a few tracks with backup vocals, salvaging what otherwise is a wholeheartedly nondescript voice.

The band's 14 songs all pretty much follow the same path beaten years before them. Good Riddance did this better, Propagandhi did this better, Kid Dynamite did this way better. The band does succeed in the melody department at times, though. "Moving Day" is a melodic gem reminiscent of early Rise Against, and is probably my favorite track on the record.

There are some interesting song structures being toyed with here, and the band experiments a lot with just what rhythm you can fit into a 4/4 bar [see "The Likes Of Me" for proof]. "Iris" is a good straight-up hardcore gem, almost ruined by the added "woahs" in the chorus giving it just enough padding for a prepubescent's ears. The band also covers At The Gates' "Slaughter Of The Soul" - not being familiar with the original, I couldn't tell you how good of a job they did, but it's there nonetheless as the most brutal and metal track on the disc.

Break The Silence won't be the next big thing; they won't be signing a million dollar record deal with Dreamworks anytime soon; they almost certainly won't be around in 10 years. There is no longevity in this music. The record is comfortably mediocre, pushing towards greatness at moments but being dragged back down into it's own doldrums due to the generic sound it posesses. Potential is here, though - unfortunately it won't ever be realized as long as Break The Silence is referred to as "that band with Mr. Precision in it."

Six Foot Revolver


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
why (January 21, 2011)

Tuesday, Muse, The Felix Culpa, Franklin, Brand New?????????????

Obviously you have no say in reviewing a band like this. The music you love is no where near what this band is putting out. The musicianship of the band is top class. I think that they could of done without the screamo vox, but nevertheless it justifies at least a 5 1/2 of a rating. You should stay with you boundaries and just review emo rock with "the punk; hardcore tinge" that you state to be your favorite bands. Being on "STAFF", You would actually be more suited to reviewing bands for pitchfork since that is your style of music you enjoy. Please leave the punk and hardcore to the people that actually like it.

Anonymous (October 12, 2004)

You guys are FAGS!!!

Go back to your Celine Dion! I'll stay with Break the Silence!!!

Rock On!!

Anonymous (June 21, 2004)

this cd is so awsome. its like unbelievable. it sounds like old thrice and avenged sevenfold

Anonymous (June 17, 2004)

I got this record for two bucks, and I still felt cheated. "Iris" is the only bearable song on this wretched disc. But if you like the token Epifat ('96) sound, then by all means, partake in this wad of plastic.


Anonymous (June 5, 2004)

scores for At The Gates!

Anonymous (March 28, 2004)

This album is quite good.

Anonymous (March 18, 2004)

Well, of course this is nothing " really new"... It' s more a mix of many things out in punk/hc, bit of metal...

But, i like the way they mix it...
and for the "Propaghandi does it ..." of mr punknews.org, i don' t agree... they play fast rythms, but not always the same kind of music...

Finally, i would say, this is not something revolutionary, but this is something "really good in its category"... It remember me the feeling of "The Decine", something really well done, but nothing new.

Anonymous (February 29, 2004)

this is a good cd. it is what it is... who's expecting the next sgt. peppers? if you like "the unraveling", there's no reason not to like this....

Anonymous (February 18, 2004)

this album rocks my fucking socks off. i love fast hard hitting music and this my friends is exactly that. to say this album sucks must mean you dont know a fucking thing. you probably LOVE the new coheed and you probably think that sing the sorrow is better than black sails in the sunset. if you read this BTS, you fucking rock.

Anonymous (February 18, 2004)

I cant wait to get my copy of this I ordered and be like, yep its good just like I thought. All the rats on punknews.org didnt ruin in for me.

soulbleed (February 18, 2004)

i didn't like this cd either. it seems like it was missing an entire person contributing to it, mostly another guitarist.

Anonymous (February 18, 2004)

I saw these dudes w/ Divide by Zero @ Tower last week. DBZ was good as usual, but these guys played forever and were kinda boring after the first couple songs. No offense to Dan, but he's gotta get rid of that mess on his head.

Anonymous (February 17, 2004)

Punknews censors can suck my dick!!!
this album is a complete pile of shit!!!!

Anonymous (February 17, 2004)


Hubitcherkokov (February 17, 2004)

Oh, Hopeless, its been a week now since this album's street date and about three weeks since I pre-ordered it...PLEASE send it to me soon! I'm anticipating a Top 10 Album with this one.

And isn't there a new In Flames album coming out soon? Peace.

Anonymous (February 16, 2004)

It took approximately one minute to do.... and it needed to by said (or typed, whatever).


Anonymous (February 16, 2004)

wow...thats ambition...and wasted time.

Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

"This band is nothing new. It's the same repetitive bullshit that has been overplayed on labels like Hopeless and Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph."

Jesse is definitely right. this album isnt anything new or groundbreaking that the hype around it is claiming it to be. i used to love almost everything dan precision was in but this is the nail in the coffin. the vocals are terrible on this album and theres maybe only one song that stands out.

Jesse (February 15, 2004)

Plus, the palm muting part in the first verse of the mp3 is off beat with the drums. This score is for bands who can actually play the music they try to. I understand slip-ups at shows, but completly unforgivable on an album.

Jesse (February 15, 2004)

What you people don't realize is that the point of being a reviewer is to give good reviews to good bands and bad reviews to bad bands. Just because the band made the disc doesn't mean that he should give them respect or recognize hard work that went into it. Bad albums are bad albums, and I personally don't think Scott was mean enough. You're just lucky I didn't do this review.

This band is nothing new. It's the same repetitive bullshit that has been overplayed on labels like Hopeless and Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph.

This score is for me and my pretentiousness.

ashton (February 15, 2004)

It sounds like thrice and rise against. But just alot more MEH.

and the poppy songs are terrible, i liked those songs when nufan did them.

Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

despite my tolerance for other people's opinions (no matter how off they are), I can't help but NOT comment on this review.

It's one thing to not like an album, give a critial analysis of it, and give it a low score..however, i get this sense that the writer of this review really sat down and tried to think of a way to be as brutally rude as possible.

It's sad that this review was so negative, especially after everything that these guys put into it, however, if i haven't heard of break the silence, this would make me want to listen to them and see for myself how shitty they are.

it's funny how promotion works sometimes.

anyway, this cd is awesome as a whole, with ""loud and clear" and "slaughter of the soul" standing out immensely. I think the band has a perfect blend of genres to really appeal to any fan of music (especially metal and punk.)


Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

nothing great. nothing terrible. mediocre. score is for the hype surrounding the album.

Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

I still think your review blows.. but I got this cd from hopeless for 6.99

"I might pick this up. Six Foot Revolver is a decent song, and they were entertaining live. Hopefully it'll be cheap"

Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

Dude, your review blows. These guys kick ass.


Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

As I think is ALWAYS important, why don't you give it a listen before believing one person's opinion. I know it's tough to form your own independent thoughts but I promise it will pay off in the long run.

I like this CD a lot.

Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

i hate this band cause they're on hopeless.

more like your life is hopeless. hopeless is home to some (former and current) bad ass bands, inc d4, a7x, digger (YES EVEN THEM), AAA, and your band isnt on it. so they suck? no you suck, and stop trying to expect every band that comes out to sound like somehting new. go listen to your pearl jam.

Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

"Potential is here, though - unfortunately it won't ever be realized as long as Break The Silence is referred to as "that band with Mr. Precision in it."

- thats what i figured.

Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

I GET IT!!! The album is called Break The Silence, and you said hopless records broke their silence with this release!!!! HAHAHAHA FUCKING HILARIOUS!!! WOW!! You're parents sent you away to college and you return with that?

Anonymous (February 14, 2004)

Break The Silence IS Propagandhi. Nothing different between "them".

Anonymous (February 14, 2004)

anyone who thinks this band sounds like propaghandi must have never heard prop.they sound nothing alike

TheOneTrueBill (February 14, 2004)

"Score is for the singer, Dan. I went to high school with him, and he's a fucking douche.
Still a mediocre at best band though. "

I know where you went to high school and can stalk you now!!!


Anonymous (February 14, 2004)

I was just looking through this guys reviews. And let me tell you there are some crazy reviews. 8stars for the fucking all-american retards dvd and fucking 9 for BrandNew. I'm not talking shit, but let somebody who likes good music do reviews. Let's not forget 10 stars for jimmy eat world live. Break the silence is fucking BOSS.

Anonymous (February 14, 2004)

I'm going to chime in on the side of loving this band. I don't hear stiff or boring anywhere on here. Not to mention I do really like this guy's voice, both singing and screaming. Don't be stupid and compare his singing voice to whiny pop punk vocals, because it's nothing like that, though the recent-tony-sly reference does fit a bit better. My only complaint is that some songs didn't need screaming but they put them in there anyway.. I'd chalk that up to inexperience. I know it's a long time off but I really look forward to seeing what these guys do their next time around.

This score is for the album because nobody does that anymore.

Anonymous (February 14, 2004)

Im suprised by the shit this records taking, Im with the guy who said the Mp3 slays, cause it does. Im gonna see how the rest of the record goes. Maybe it will only have 5 or 6 good songs but who cares. Still 100 times better than say.... Coheed and Cambria, fuck I hate that band right now, overhyped and overannoying.

Anonymous (February 14, 2004)

Now what, I'm gonna step to youu bitch......Get over yourself...

Anonymous (February 14, 2004)

the killing tree is the shit. there i said it. now what.

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

Dillinger Fucking Four "was" a Hopeless band. If you don't think that they're worth hearing then your not gettting a Valentine from me


Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

Falling sickness was a great live band.

skankin_in_the_pit (February 13, 2004)

"Question: Besides AAA and Musard Plug are any Hopeless Bands worth hearing?"

Common Rider and Falling Sickness were both really good bands. And Atom and His Package was quite good.

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

the score is for the review. This band will knock you on your ass....if the music was really slow you emo bitches would be eating it up! Fuck you all...this band is still better then yours!

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

Why do discs suck if they aren't groundbreaking? Groundbreaking cds rarely come along. At that rate it seems people are only encouraged to purchase cds like every 3-5 years.

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

This score is for Heckle - I haven't listened to the disk in a while, but it's f'in awesome. For fans of Fury 66... but better!

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

Score is for the singer, Dan. I went to high school with him, and he's a fucking douche.
Still a mediocre at best band though.
However, I will not be spending any of MY money towards their merch, or attending their shows... ever.

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

weak shit

TheOneTrueBill (February 13, 2004)

I might pick this up. Six Foot Revolver is a decent song, and they were entertaining live. Hopefully it'll be cheap

inagreendase (February 13, 2004)

Good review.

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

score is for the city of chicago.

notfeelingcreative (February 13, 2004)

"Besides AAA and Mustard Plug are any hopeless bands worth hearing?"

Falling Sickness were good.

hein (February 13, 2004)

I have to agree with Scott that there's too many screams on this one. And the Thrice reference in some of these comments is also at place I guess. There's some amazing guitars indeed on this one, but I have to agree with Scott that there's nothing groundbreaking in this much hyped album.
It's still an OK album though, better than many things out there, but it just didn't live up to my expectations. I also had the impression that the more melodic vocals weren't at the foreground enough. As if they wanted to hide them behind those thick layers of guitars...

Jesse (February 13, 2004)

This band = lame.

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

do everything you can to check out the HECKLE disc on Hopeless. It's possibly the most underrated punk/hardcore disc ever. - Jordan Pastepunk

greg6711 (February 13, 2004)

Question: Besides AAA and Musard Plug are any Hopeless Bands worth hearing?

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

hi, i'm the guy who always shits on reviewers anonymously. but i must say, this is a good review.

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

I like No Use a ton, and sadly enough I like Thrice. So call me lame, but I'll probably appreciate this album way more than Scott. And I bought it off the Hopeless site for $6.99 with no shipping, still waiting for it to arrive. Booya!

- Fatty Arbuckle

ashton (February 13, 2004)

but the fact that they cover at the gates is pretty cool, but unfourtanley, they do not do it very well, it just sounds like bad swedish nu-metal.

ashton (February 13, 2004)

so, i just went out and bought this cd, and yes, i'm aware that this is clicheed, but it sounds like thrice. alot. and the softer parts sounds exactly like no use for a name.

ashton (February 13, 2004)

this review is fucking dissapointing.

i've only heard six foot revolver from this cd, but it fucking slays, it kicks my ass so hard every time i hear it, but yeah, i cans see how the rest of the tracks can't do that.

notfeelingcreative (February 13, 2004)

I acutally dig this record, no it's nothing remarkable, but it's decent.

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

I didn't think this album was *that* bad, infact there are some pretty solid songs like at war with instinct, a piece of mind, and iris. I'm not sure where some of those other bands references come from, good riddance and propaghandi? They don't sound anything like Break the Silence. I love when people throw out seemingly random bands for comparison. Anyway, not a great cd, but its worth a listen.

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

Damn that was a good review

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

i loved 88 fingers

PetroBPettson (February 13, 2004)

Break The Silence's name reminds me of farts. Kinda fitting really, like a warning you of the shit you'll get if you put on the cd.

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