Review : Billy Talent – Crisis of Faith

Pochette de l'album Crisis of Faith de Billy Talent

The new Billy Talent album is out ! After six years of waiting, Crisis of Faith is released this Friday, February 21 with ten catchy songs.

A powerful album

Twenty-nine years after its creation, the band Billy Talent, from Canada, continues to release albums always more punk-rock than each other. If some of the tracks have already been unveiled by the band over the months and years, it’s Ian D’Sa, guitarist and principal composer, who stuck to the production work. This opus starts with the song Forgiveness I+II, released in November 2019, with a duration of almost 7min. Composed in two parts, the first very progressive rock with an atmosphere of Sahara’s desert and the second very calm and jazzy, the band knew how to set the scene of the album. The opening song of Crisis of Faith is the longest of the ten songs but shows the duality of the group between savagery and calm. If the power of the riffs and the energetic voices of Ben and Ian are omnipresent, the lyrics remain very worked and full of meaning such as “I scream at the stars but nobody is listening; Searching for the end but the journey’s the reason for existence“. According to an interview for Reflexions of Darkness, Jon Gallant, bassist of the band, says for this song: “For us it’s kind of a new twist to our own style” .

Pochette du single Reckless Paradise de Billy Talent

The second track, Reckless Paradise, was released in January 2020 and its cover introduces what will be the cover of the album with this skeleton on motorcycle illustrated by Ryan Roadkill. This title, with its strong words about the urgency of atrocity in the world and its powerful riffs, delighted the fans since it stands out perfectly in the style of Billy Talent. This characteristic sound of the band combined with the voice of Ben Kowalewicz offers a perfect cocktail that gives an imposing song for the band’s future concerts. 

Pochette du single I Beg To Differ de Billy Talent

Third title of the album and third song already known by the public, I Beg To Differ (This Will Get Better). Released in 2020, this title with words of positivity, hope and self-confidence shows that the group seeks to fight against injustice, and ruthless and unjust society. The purpose of this song is to offer words to all people affected by mental illness. For the bassist : “That’s more an emotional kind of song, touching on empathy and understanding and trying to communicate with people, no matter what’s happening in their life negatively. That they are not alone, that there are people out there, suffering the same thing or are willing to help” .

The first title unknown to the public is The Wolf. It’s a ballad that highlights the guitar of Ian and the drums of Jordan Hastings and Aaron Solowoniuk facing the bright violins accompanying the sweet voice of Ben. This type of orchestration, composed here by David Campbell, is new to Billy Talent. The song is also very well written and well composed which offers to the fans a perfect song that contrasts with the aggressive rock style of previous one. Emotions and tension are perfectly felt through a title like this. Ben even says that it’s one of the best songs the band has ever written. Also, “The song is about being told that you’re going to die – that you’re terminal – and reflecting on your life and the past” . According to Jon: “It’s a really, really emotional song. I guess it’s the ballade on the record, but I’m not going into the content of the lyrics, because they are kind of personal for the guys in the band who wrote them. It’s a beautiful song and we used orchestration on this song, we’ve never done that before. I think it may be one of the best songs we ever wrote” .

Reactor is in the same way of the previous titles of the group. Originally, Ian had written most of the song before the band even worked on it. According to an interview for Kerrang, Ben says : “That song came out of when the George Floyd protests were happening around the world, and watching people saying, ‘Fuck this, you can’t do this to us anymore.’ There was such power in that and the unity that was formed from watching it in real time” . It’s a song deeply connected to the news.

Pochette de la chanson Judged de Billy Talent

The sixth title of this album is Judged and it was released on Friday, January 7th. You can find all the information about this short and dynamic punk song here.

Hanging Out With All The Wrong People features a very contrasting Ben voice. This song will lift the crowds during their next concerts with its groovy tone and its choirs. The bassist says “This is one of my favourite songs on the album, but I’m also a little bit nervous about it. It’s a funny song, it’s a really cool song, but I think people will be surprised by it and might think it’s weird” .

Pochette du single End of me de Billy Talent

The eighth track is the only one to be in collaboration with an artist.  In the song End of Me, released last september, two and a half years after the first single Forgiveness I+II because of the pandemic, Billy Talent invites Rivers Cuomo, from the band Weezer, to sing. The band said that this “song encompasses the essence of alternative rock from the 90s which was an extremely important and influential period for our band” .

The penultimate song of this album is called One Less Problem and highlights a choir game with Ben. The song is very danceable and less gloomy than the previous ones. It’s a very good vibes song. Jon also talks about it in his interview: “This song is kind of a throwback to the 80s sound. It’s kind of a New Wave and Punk type of thing and a kind of reflection on the state of the world” . The same goes for Ben : “It’s a fun song with a pretty heavy message” .

To conclude this opus, For You is a romantic ballad but not only ! Ben talks about it for Kerrang, “I think anybody that’s experienced that true love, and knows that love of loss and gain, will really be able to resonate with it” . In addition, Jon says : “That’s a magnificent example of Ian’s guitarwork, how creative and beautiful his guitar playing is. The lyrics are pretty touching, too” .

A smashing return

This new album by Billy Talent, which had been waiting for six years, was entirely produced by Ian D’Sa in their studio in Toronto, Canada and then mixed by Chris Lord-Alge as for previous albums. Despite the years between Afraid Of Height and Crisis Of Faith, the band has kept its own aesthetic. On this opus, we find hard and energetic songs facing calmer ones. This duality can be defined by the two-part title Forgiveness I+II. The main asset of this album is its lyrics quality. According to Ben, “The soul of this record is one of hope, love, acceptance, tolerance and empathy” . It’s an opus that was built with love, sadness, joy but above all full of compassion and hope against the frustration, fear and instability that the band felt throughout the process of creating the album.

Informations :
Label : Warner Music Canada
Release date : 21/01/2022
Website : https://billytalent.com/

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