Fans have waited so long for a Billy Talent comeback that they might have even forgotten that Ian D’Sa has been using the same Stratocaster sound for the last three albums.
However their new album Dead Silence opens up in the most unpredicted way. What you expect to be a full throttle of thrashing guitars turns out to be a smooth and sultry acoustic opening on the track “Lonely Road to Absolution”. However that mellow sound remnant of an indie rock band (and certainly not Billy Talent … esque?) quickly implodes into the distorted and oh so familiar sound of D’Sa’s trusty Strat. Immediately following their attempt at indie rock (and with perfect timing) comes the song “Viking Death March,” reintroducing us to the Billy Talent that was left behind several years ago.
They’ve certainly expanded their repertoire with this album by creating songs like “Stand Up and Run” that definitely isn’t as aggressive as most of their other songs. It’s essentially a love song, or rather a song about losing love and wanting it back. This isn’t exactly typical of Billy Talent, especially since the song isn’t hate ridden and vengeful; it’s soft and sweet and works very well in their favour, and might even attract a new crowd of headbangers.
If you peel back some of the layers and take away the distortion, you can almost hear some good old rock n’ roll, which is quite refreshing in this case since a lot of Billy Talent’s music can be quite repetitive (for those who aren’t hardcore fans of the band). However the guys have done a great job of integrating some new styles and techniques in order to curate something that their fans would automatically recognize, while keeping their sound fresh and interesting. Nevertheless, they’ve stayed true to the gritty alternative rock sound that has been trademarked as their own and held fast to the huge following that has remained loyal since their very first release back in 2003.