“My friend has never heard a good breakdown. What should I show them?” This is something I hear from friends more often than I can keep track of. I’ll be the first to admit that “Top Breakdown” lists are extremely overdone, and completely void of a sense of novelty. Nevertheless, they are my favorite part of any metal genre, and a great way to intensify a track, express passion, and liven shows. The songs I’ve selected for this week each have insanely heavy parts, and are each unique for certain reasons. One thing they share is that they will give you goose bumps from head to toe before the track comes to an end.
1. “W.A.S.P” – The Irish Front
The Irish Front may not be the most popular or well-received band, but their album, Universe, is a favorite of mine. With their witty, often drug-inspired lyrics being presented by their two range-equipped vocalists, impressive drumming, and sporadic guitar riffs, I have found a lot to be pleased with. They rank high in the ‘WTF’ factor category, and know how to have a lot of fun with their music. This particular song is a great example of the aforementioned traits, and has one of my most beloved breakdowns. This breakdown showcases their puns; reading, “The lawyers are at bay, and they have been impregnated by sharks. Reaching into the cradle, calling for sea sections.” It may not make all that much sense, but I’m willing to let that go, I’m into cheesy stuff. Nice lows read off the punch line, repeated by higher shrieks, alternating screamers. Brought in and relieved by a riff sounding of a high-traffic wasp nest, a time change, and some nice chugs, the rest of the song keeps intensity high, and lyrics are timed to match the music well. The Irish Front has been writing and recording for their new album, and I’m anxious to see what they come up with.
2. “Hopeless” – For The Fallen Dreams
Another great band, For The Fallen Dreams, also has a way with breakdowns. This one, however, sits at the end of the song, unleashing all the anger expressed with the events earlier described in the song, of countless attempts to reconcile a relationship with the end resulting in failure. Upon first listening, the breakdown is unexpected, almost tagged onto the end of the song, but it allows for the song to be complete- It has time changes within itself, an absence of lyrics, and an absurd amount of dissonance from crunchy chugs to a rung out chord.
3. “Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation” – Whitechapel
Last but not least, Whitechapel’s Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation is not to be overlooked. Proceeded by the short track, Necrotizing, on The Somatic Defilement, the song is introduced by a Jeffrey Dahmer quote, attempting explain and find logic in his actions. This intro alone could deprive my sister of sleep for months if she were to overhear it. Followed by gore-filled lyrics aimed for mental punishment, vocals of an enraged killer, I myself cannot listen to the song without picturing a desolate basement covered from floor to ceiling with blood and Josef Mengele’s tool-kit. Drawn out screams, spaced cymbals, and a lone simple, bendy guitar riff let you know the breakdown is upon you, before an explosion of dissonance and bends to “fucked and left for dead.” The power is held through the rest of the song, ending with “choking and dry heaving” in low pig squeals. The Darkest Day of Man has not disappointed me in the least, but no track from the album can parallel this track.