Story Of The Year

In The Wake Of Determination

Written by: PP on 09/11/2005 03:23:59

After Story Of The Year's second album was a live album instead of a studio album, many critics including myself predicted their fall. The general consensus was that their secondary album would go Linkin Park style; become softer, more radio-friendly and slower to summarize the main arguments. But I stand hereby corrected. Story Of The Year's sophomore studio album "In The Wake Of Determination" is heavier, harder, faster and more original than their debut. Megahits like "Until The Day I Die" or "Anthem Of Our Dying Day" shine with their absence, and the band has taken a brand new direction with their sound. In most cases, an entirely new direction is considered as selling out your old fanbase, but here's where you gotta be careful. Story Of The Year were doing the most commercial, most mainstream emo you can think of, and a lot of things would've gone wrong after their next release, so in this case change is sound. And my god, have they changed. Instead of the whiny emo stuff, Story Of The Year is angry. They're angry and they wanna play fast. "Our Time Is Now", "Meathead" and "Is This My Fate? He Asked Them" sound like hybrids of the hardcore punk acts Strike Anywhere and Rise Against, revealing a whole new SOTY that nobody had been expecting. Ironically, this is where the band truly excels; the high-paced, three chord melodic punk rock with soared vocals, lightning fast drums and oversized chorus-breakdowns, leaving their old stuff completely in the shadows.

But old fans, don't worry. There are still songs where the old SOTY can be heard: "We Don't Care Anymore", "Taste The Poison" and "Sleep" being the closest ones to "Page Avenue". Still, I gotta give the band props here. Most people in their situation would've re-created their debut, sold multi-million copies of it, and become a part of the permanent airplay cycle on MTV. To create an album that will most likely alienate more than half of your old fanbase is both brave and daring!

On the first listen, the entire album sounds excellent. Hell, even on the 6th listen it does. But once you reach the 15th listen.. or the 20th, it starts to get boring, except for the afore mentioned punk rock tracks. It's a great album for short-term entertainment, but it's one of those you'll forget about within a few months, and once you stumble upon it after a few years, you won't feel the glory of rediscovering your long lost favorite songs. Not bad by any means, but distinctively average in their genre. More punk, less emo on the next album please, as that's what you're obviously good at!


Download: Meathead, Is This My Fate? He Asked Them
For the fans of: Rise Against, The Used

Release date 11.10.2005

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