Sometimes when you are reviewing an album, you have very little information about the band and the world in which they inhabit that influenced the creation of that record. Breaking Samsara are very much that case here. Luckily, we don’t really need to know much because what they have created with Light of a New Beginning very much stands up to scrutiny regardless of the circumstances of its inception. What we do know is that Breaking Samsara were formed in North West Germany in 2010 and that Light of a New Beginning is their 2nd album and that they can be best described as either a heavy hard rock band or metal band with hard rock moments.
For me this is all served with a distinctly 80s nostalgic feel to it, although I doubt that any of the band were even alive then to be too influenced. So, if it’s 80s in vibe then it’s definitely very much today in its delivery. What we also know is that Light of A New Beginning is a cracking album and worthy of a place in any metal fan’s collection. It’s truly a great album that will draw you in and take you on a journey through styles, time and your inner self. An album very much to fall in love with. As the nights draw in and the weather is raining outside – this is the perfect soundtrack
As I made my notes to review this album I realized that I had actually made notes for every song so in a little move from the norm for myself, I am going to give a track by track review of this album. Needless to say, this is an album that has impressed me a lot and this is a band that deserves to be thrust into the light.
1) “Restless Nights” – A classic hard rock opener and introduces you to the punctuated vocals and in fact the whole vocal range. The vocals on this album intrigue me, they almost have a 90s feel to them as opposed to the very 80s sounding music. What gives me this impression is that they seem a little heavier, rawer and even a little bit wiser then its’ 80s counterpart.
2) “Rebel at Heart” – Really strong song, more late 70s Thin Lizzy than 80s sounding. Much like Thin Lizzy, it has a completely engaging bridge and chorus combination which you know would be an absolute stomper live. It’s great to see and hear this spirit of rock and roll becoming much more prominent again and still with so much soul.
3) “Light of a New Beginning” – A total epic of a song and the guitars on this track are worth the admission price alone. Right from the opening bars of the piano through the build, there are continuous dueling guitar solos (whilst I am not sure if this is two guitarists or one guitarist playing two distinctively different signature guitars on this track, it definitely works). There is not a part of this song I do not like. The way the piano enhances and matches the almost incredulous guitar solos, the tone of the vocals, so 80s, so hard rock whilst the track gives a distinctly metal feel. Perfect.
4) “Bye Bye Baby” – Another track where lyrically you are pulled in from the opening bars. A great catchy rock and roll song. The strength of Light of a New Beginning lies in this well-balanced mix of catchy rock and roll songs, metal tracks, sublime guitar playing and back up pianos; all of which worm their way into your subconscious
5) “Money Ain’t Worth A Dime” – Another highlight of the album mainly because it is a departure from the rest with its distinctly nu-metal rap vocal style. Does it work? Hell, yes. Should it? Probably not. How they cover these different genres make it sound sincere but mostly, engaging with the audience is testament to this album and tracks like these. Almost guilty pleasure-ish
6) “Time For Things To Change” – A welcome pace-change to this reflective and quiet number. Even from the very sparse use of piano at the beginning and the underlying melancholy of the band, their distinct sound manages to shine through. This is the epic build-up track of the album and works extremely well.
7) “End of A Hero” – Love the lyrics of this song and not a topic you necessarily associate with a German band, singing about the Second World War from an individual soldier’s perspective. Oddly, this sounds very similar to Mr Big’s “1992” which I reviewed earlier this year. Although topic-wise they could not be further apart.
8) “Scarsoul” – The final track of the album is another standout and definitely the most metal of the album, with overtures of Maiden mixed in with what by this point has become Breaking Samsara’s own distinct sound. This track has everything: great paced vocals, great drums throughout and a lead guitar that carries the tune giving it that Maiden feel. Breaking Samsara are able to add an extra dimension though with the keyboards that they have in support, moving from key chords to complex guitar solo matching freak outs at times.
Light of a New Beginning is out now