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Dying Habit - The Chaos of Silence (13-57 Records)

4 June 2024

Genres are funny things. They either mean nothing at all or have too many possible meanings that no two people can agree on just what they mean. Alt-rock is a bit like that. Alternative to what? Isn’t most music made in response to something that already exists—what has gone before, the mainstream, the popular, the uncool?

Although they would probably regard themselves as an alt-rock band, (it’s just a journalistic label, I wouldn’t worry about it) what Dying Habit does and does brilliantly isn’t so much to offer an alternative to what we might call classic rock but continues that much maligned genres story; in doing so, they make that sonic narrative more interesting and exciting, help it move with the times, and keep it relevant. The story hasn’t changed. It just got hipper, darker, more exciting and specifically geared to the here-and-now. You could make a fair case for the band being the best of both worlds – old and new, classic and alternative, what was and what is…and also a taste of what’s to come. And If you want to know what that sounds like, give their new album, The Chaos of Silence a spin.

The three singles already released from the album are a great way of acquainting yourself with the band. “Celestial” starts in more balladic territory but slowly adds musical weight and anthemic intent as it journeys through increasing sonic heights. “Hard To Say No” proves the point that I made above, that there is a solid and sophisticated classic rock strand still at work here, this being in the form of big, staccato riffs and foot-on-the-monitor energy, big choruses and maximum sing-along-ability. (That’s a word, I checked.) “Echoes” also displays their ability to take something slightly familiar and make it totally fresh.

But an album is about more than a bunch of singles, and, great as they are, they are only part of the story. “A Forest in Floods” growls and grinds its way through the sonic landscape driven by tribal drum tattoos and guitars that wander between the eloquent and the incendiary. “The Cliffs of Nowhere” blends ornate spiral riffs with pure power drives, and “Drugged Oak” borders on fist-in-the-air metal mayhem, infectious, anthemic, and rather awesome.

Classic rock never went away; it just got the makeover that it needed. Thanks to bands like Dying Habit, it is once again fit for purpose, ready to kick arse and cut the mustard, full of vim and vigour, and ready to rock—literally.