This review was originally published on Under The Gun Review.
Artist: Breakdown of Sanity
Mirrors is the first full length and second independent release of Swiss metalcore band Breakdown of Sanity. Sharing the stage with acts like August Burns Red and Salt The Wound, Breakdown of Sanity is fighting for your ears’ attention. Attention that, after this album, is well deserved.
I’ve been listening to Mirrors for a week straight. At first I was trying to pick out things that I thought were bad about the album. However, as my listening continued and tracks replayed continuously, I found that those things I originally thought were wrong are completely right.
If I were to review the album as a whole, you would not have much to read. By this, I mean to say that the record is too good to be thoroughly explained unless I tell you track by track. The album changes from track to track and each song has its own unique features that deserve their own explanations.
Track one is the “Prologue,” it begins with ambiance and the sound of trickling water, pulling you slowly downstream until finally throwing you over the waterfall in an abrupt breakdown. The chugs of guitar and bass take you into track two, “Story Of A Stranger,” which is an intense introduction to the utter brutality of the remaining 43 minutes. “When silence breaks” is a heart pounding, speed drumming anthem suitable for any metal head’s library. It brings attention to the drumming on the record, which is intense and absolutely relentless throughout.
“Infest” is one of my favorite tracks on the record. In its five minutes of length, this song contains the first sample of clean vocals the album has seen. These are immediately followed by an epic guitar solo. The drumming of Thomas Rindlisbacher is so fast and hard (“that’s what she said” is implied) it hurts my arms just listening. Some say metal bands can’t sample our current president, Barrack Obama. Breakdown of Sanity said, “Yes. We. Can.”
“The Storm” and “The Chosen Ones” both seem to deal with taking action on what you want and how to live your life. “Lights Out” introduces another style which BOS can use really well, dubstep. Yes, a European hardcore group using dubstep, how original right? It works, it’s subtle and it fits. “December” has more clean vocals, they aren’t very common in this band’s style, but they incorporate it when it feels right. The guitar solo in “December” is Dragonforce reminiscent. The guitar work on this album is quite impressive for an emerging group.
The album takes a short, minute and a half reprieve with “Mary”, and acoustic track. The ambiance of the synth in the background really compliments the oddly soothing, yet catchy rhythms of the acoustic guitar. This band has a huge range of style. So much range that “Mary” almost doesn’t seem to fit, but I’m glad they included it.
Much like the one assigned to me, Breakdown of Sanity’s “Deadline” comes up on you really quickly after the quiet that “Mary” had you grow accustomed to. Just as quickly as the heavy came, it leaves again to the serene melody that introduces us to the eleventh track, “Jnâna”. The melody turns to slow drumming and intent guitar riffs as the song comes to a close. Something big is coming, the build brings us pounding into… Nothing. The track fades and silence ensues momentarily before a deep breath before a plunge.
“We Are The Wall” is a hectic, angry number. Filled with unexpected drum pattern changes, maniacal laughing, claps, and gang vocals, this one is intense. The album draws to a close with “Paralyzed” which is just as heavy as the track before it. However, Breakdown of Sanity didn’t seem to want to leave on an angry note. Instead, they end Mirrors with a cinematic instrumental, soothing and reassuring.
Mirrors was a surprise. Previously unknown, Breakdown of Sanity is now a metalcore favorite in my library. I strongly recommend you pick this album up on iTunes and add it to yours!