The Amity Affliction have been exciting and teasing fans since April with glimpses of their eagerly awaited new album Let the Ocean Take Me – unveiling Pittsburgh and Don’t Lean on Me as singles prior to the album’s release. The newest record becomes the band’s fourth full length and highly anticipated follow up to 2012’s Chasing Ghosts.
Let the Ocean Take Me is another shining example of why The Amity Affliction are one of the biggest hardcore acts going around at the moment and another step forward as they continue to improve upon and hone their unique blend of melodic metalcore and inspirational lyrics.
The band from Gympie in Queensland (Australia) have never been one to shy away from lyrics and songs about controversial issues, most notably regarding death, suicide and mental illness. Front-man Joel Birch has always been admirably honest about these topics and many of his lyrics have reflected his well-publicised personal struggles with them, including his attempt at taking his own life. Let the Ocean Take Me is as unapologetically honest and meaningful as any other Amity album, with Birch himself saying of the record, “(The album) is about really trying to find a positive in my life again…I’m terrified of people…reading these lyrics because they’ll know exactly what I’m thinking. I’m hiding nothing”.
Right from the album’s first track, Pittsburgh, the record is on fire with emotion, passion and energy which continues to burn through its entirety. The balance of Joel Birch’s raw vocals and venomous instrumental performances with Ahren Stringer’s clean vocals is one of Amity’s biggest appeals and their new record sees them maintain the perfect equilibrium of melodic hardcore.
Don’t Lean on Me is the third track and is evidently the song which lends its lyrics to the album title, opening with and repeating the words “Let the ocean take me” throughout it. Ahren Stringer’s clean vocals are a stand-out in this song’s goose-bump-inducing chorus as he pleads “Don’t lean on me/’Cause I am falling/Please don’t fall with me/I really need you here/Yeah I need you/So don’t leave/Don’t count on me/’Cause I am drowning/Please don’t drown with me/Just hold me in your heart/And let the ocean take me”.
Never Alone is a beautiful and inspiring track which exemplifies the comforting nature of the band who have always written music to support their fans and help them through dark times and when they feel alone. The track is written about finding someone when you needed to, with a sweet chorus of “Never alone, never apart/We found each other in the dark/Shed our tears and fight our fears/As we are one”.
My Father’s Son is the emotional equivalent of a punch right in the gut as Stringer and Birch sing about growing up without a father around but ending up exactly like him, coming out fiery and passionate as Birch yells “I am my father’s son, I am my father’s mistakes/I’m easily undone and I’m no stranger to rage” backed up by music which is equally as aggressive, followed later by Stringer singing “Though I never knew him/It turns out we’re the same”.
The album runs mostly on a vibe of positivity and vulnerability with lyrics that mostly deal with the struggle against Depression and other mental health issues, loneliness, happiness and love. The record deals with being able to find a way through the darkness to accept and appreciate what you have, and finding ways to be happy – a main message the Amity Affliction have been spreading for over a decade.
Let the Ocean Takes me becomes another excellent and inspired addition to the Amity Affliction’s already impressive album collection. The band display a musical and lyrical maturity beyond their years – using their refined, passionate and melodic music to discuss meaningful and important issues and spread encouragement to their fans. It is no surprise that the Amity Affliction just keep getting bigger and better and as long as they continue to produce music of this calibre, they deserve all the success and recognition they get.