Personnel: Benjamin Burnley, Keith Wallen (vocals, guitar); Aaron Bruch (vocals); Jasen Rauch (guitar); Shaun Foist (drums).
Recording information: 3013rd St. Studios, Ocean City (2014); The Barber Shop Studios, Lake Hopatcong, NJ (2014).
The fifth studio long-player and first outing from Breaking Benjamin to rely on the talents of a more or less completely new lineup (founder, frontman, and namesake Benjamin Burnley remains at the wheel), Dark Before Dawn, which also features the talents of Shaun Foist (Picture Me Broken), bassist Aaron Bruch, former Red guitarist Jasen Rauch, and ex-Adelitas Way guitarist Keith Wallen, stays true to the band's unwavering allegiance to all things late-'90s/early-2000s post-grunge/hard rock. In the six years since 2009's Dear Agony, Burnley has endured issues of both the legal and health varieties, and much of the 12-track set is spent attempting to process that period of personal upheaval, with standout cuts like the slow-burn single "Failure," the anthemic "Defeated," and the soaring "Close to Heaven" and "Angels Fall" leading the charge. ~ James Christopher Monger