Billy Talent is nowadays one of the very big names of the alternative rock music scene. The Canadians are about to have their thirtieth band anniversary next year. Despite that long career, Crisis of Faith, their 2022 album, which they are going to release on 21st January 2022, is just their sixth studio publication. I had the chance to have a listen beforehand.
Billy Talent – About The Artists
Billy Talent has been founded in 1993 in Meadowvale, Mississauga, in Greater Toronto. The band is in general still playing in their original lineup – only drummer Aaron Solowoniuk is on hiatus since 2016 due to serious impacts of multiple sclerosis. He is replaced by Jordan Hastings. The other band members are Benjamin Kowalewicz (lead vocals), Ian D’Sa (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Jonathan Gallant (bass guitar, backing vocals). Until 1999, the band, which started with punk, before it moved towards to alternative rock, was active as Pezz. Already their 2003 debut album Billy Talent made to the Top 10 in Canada and received a quadruple platinum record in Canada and a platinum record in Germany. The following albums, straightly named Billy Talent II (2006) and Billy Talent III (2009), increased the global success. The latter album was Top 3 in Canada, Austria, Finland, Germany and Switzerland. The last Billy Talent major released was the 2016 album Afraid of Heights.
Billy Talent – Crisis of Faith – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 37 minutes.
1. Forgiveness I + II
The title of the song is already suggesting it: the first album by Billy Talent since six years starts with a double header. 6:42 minutes of finest rock. No really new tunes for fans – the song with the two very different parts has released in November 2019 already. While the first part shows nice, melodic rock with great work on the guitars and bass, the second section may surprise you in case you don’t know the song already. Synth-pop alike tunes, in which the sax is taking a key melodic role.
2. Reckless Paradise
Nothing new for Billy Talent fans, the second: Reckless Paradise has been released by the Canadians over a year ago, too. Nonetheless, it is one of the best songs of the album and illustrates what Billy Talent is best at: straight alternative rock, great melodic lines. Some remarkable social and political critics in the lyrics.
3. I Beg to Differ (This Will Get Better)
If this track sounds new to you… You might have forgotten that it is also already some two years old. A quite angry sound with some melancholic feelings – but also a positive outlook – This Will Get Better. A straight, good listen.
4. The Wolf
Kowalewicz shows in The Wolf, how versatile his voice is nowadays. A rather slow track with power ballad qualities. The man on the microphone is not simply screaming the lyrics on the record, but he does it with a lovely emotional touch. A beautiful choice when rock music lovers need some romantic times.
Reactor feels a bit of hidden and shy at first sight, but it comes with an accentuated, catching chorus and great work on the guitars. The song has beautifully flowing melody lines in the verses as well. Like it.
Judged was the last appetizer the band has been presenting before the album. A speedy song, which is not giving you time to have a break. Aggressive, just 1:39 minute song, which reminds a lot of the punk roots of the band.
7. Hanging Out With All The Wrong People
The seventh track again adds a very different facet to the album. The song has a nice melody line and gives a nice focus on the leading vocals and the groovy bass sounds in the background.
8. End of Me (feat. Rivers Cuomo)
For this song, Billy Talent invited the Weezer singer and guitarist Rivers Cuomo. Having two leading vocals in this track leads to very unique sound. The whole song is focused on the the two protagonists on the microphone. Even though I really like Weezer, that one is not one of my faves.
9. One Less Problem
A bit of rock, a touch of punk and a very nice melody. One Less Problem with the intense interaction between the leading and backing vocals is a song, which simply stays in your mind. My initial thoughts about it have not been too positve – but the more I listened to it, the less I could forget it any more. Now I like it.
10. For You
For You is something like the happy ending of the album. Even though all the critics in the song, the tenth stage of Crisis of Faith is a beautiful and a bit kitschy love song. ‘Cause i will be your parachute, when the wind takes you too high – aaah… Take your your tissues and enjoy. Beautiful song.
Billy Talent – Crisis of Faith – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Billy Talent – Crisis of Faith – My View
Billy Talent created a lovely album with very different songs, from plushy and emotional ones to hard punk rockers. Fans might dislike that they in fact just get five new songs (and the short 2022 release Judged) – but they will also praise this compilation. Crisis of Faith is a very nice to listen to album.
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