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Amity Affliction - This Could Be Heartbreak smallThe Amity Affliction arguably found their stride and nailed their sound with Let The Ocean Take Me. So This Could Be Heartbreak is a great opportunity to experiment a bit with their sound in order to prevent their sound from getting tired, a common problem with metalcore. To some degree, The Amity Affliction succeeded, and the album is a welcome addition to the band’s discography.

The record kicks things off with its best song, I Bring The Weather With Me. It takes almost every fantastic element of Let The Ocean Take Me and even tosses in a guitar solo. It’s the only one on the album and it’s a technique the band should use more often in their future songs.

Guitar work in general seems to be more noticeable, but this is a double-edged sword. It makes songs more distinguished, but some of the riffs can clash with message. Both the title track and Some Friends have an upbeat tempo similar to something in a pop-punk song. They’re still solid songs, but it can hamper the solemn lyrics.

On the flip side, there’s All Fucked Up. On top of giving a nod to Never Alone, it incorporates some acoustic guitar work. It’s a fantastic song that slows the album’s pace just enough to give the you a refreshing breather until Fight My Regret picks up the pace again.

Like The Amity Affliction’s previous work, This Could Be Heartbreak uses bleak lyrics to set their melancholy tone. This tone contrasts beautifully when they shift to a more positive message like at the end of Nightmare, which makes for quite the hopeful chaser to some of the more depressing songs. This is a band you feel, and they translate emotion into music extraordinarily well.

There is a bit of dry spell in middle of the album. Nightmare, Tearing Me Apart and OMGIMY fell a little too close to the vest. They’re not bad songs, just safe. Some more experimentation would have been appreciated. However, the last few songs on This Could Be Heartbreak have some particularly heavy breakdowns for The Amity Affliction, which fans of the genre should appreciate.

This Could Be Heartbreak is a wonderful album even if it can’t quite reach the level of their previous release. Fans of The Amity Affliction and metalcore in general will have more than enough to enjoy. It may not be for those metal elitists who like technical instruments above all else, but it’s worth a listen to those with an open mind.

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