Artist – Silverstein
Album – A Shipwreck in the Sand
Year – 2009
Genre – Post Hardcore
Silverstein, a Canadian post hardcore outfit from Burlington Ontario, started out very similar to many other bands in the genre. Though they were loud, brash, and full of angst and heartache, they always seemed to stand out above their peers. As time passed, their albums became more focused and cohesive. 2009’s A Shipwreck in the Sand was Silverstein’s first foray into the world of the concept album, and with this development, they cemented themselves as a band who could stay true to their punk roots but still be able to create artful albums.
I Am the Arsonist is perhaps the heaviest offering off of a record that’s already filled with darkness and pain. In fact, it may be one of the heaviest songs that Silverstein has put out. The instrumentation is incredible, especially the guitar work. It’s fast and powerful, and gives the song a feeling of rage and anger. Which makes sense, considering the song is about a man who discovers his best friend has been sleeping with his wife. Frontman Shane Told totally immerses himself into the role of the main character. His screams are primal and hateful, and he holds nothing back on this one.
Told’s clean vocals, especially during the chorus, are incredible. The chorus itself is extremely melodic and builds up note by note to almost give a sense of insanity and happiness at burning down someone’s house. “They’ll see a fire through the dark night sky. I hope you’re home when I arrive. If there’s a pyre in the afterlife, I’ll be there again to light the match.” Yeah. It’s a song about revenge and anger, and the fast paced and frenetic drumming and guitar work continuously drive the song forward. The chord progression is extremely dark and gothic sounding, and you can literally see the story unfold in front of you.
I Am the Arsonist is a a standout track in the post hardcore world. It showcases the talent of a band who has proven that time and again they can break the chains that bog down so many other bands in the genre. If you love a great song that tells a story and that just absolutely rips you to shreds, this is that song. It hits hard and it does it with a smile and a whole lot of talent.