Conflict::States is the new album from UK Dark Melodic Alt-Rock band Broken Links. The band have been together since 2008, and have toured with bands such as British Sea Power, InMe and The Boxer Rebellion.
The Day Called X is the first track on the new album, starting with an air raid siren. It then builds into a real dark atmospheric track. Straight away it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck and gives you an uneasy feeling. It kind of what makes me think of Silent Hill, which I think matches the album artwork perfectly as well.
The Second track on Conflict::States is the latest single release Replicas. This track picks up the pace while keeping the dark undertones. The main riff has a great beat to it, I get the image in my head of an army of replicas being prepared and stomping through the streets. While remaining very dark, the chorus is lifted a lot with the great vocal harmonies driving the song through. I love how the second chorus builds into a great atmospheric solo before cutting right back for the middle eight, then slowly building back for the final chorus, it’s like they build you up, bring you close to the edge then suddenly pull you right back.
Replicas has a great combination of dark verses and anthemic choruses, it’s almost like MUSE and Nine Inch Nails joined forces to release a track.
Pioneers is the other released single from this album, and straight away you can see the Depeche Mode influences. It takes a real fresh take on the 80’s goth electro, although the opening sounds very Depeche Mode, the Broken Links sound completely takes over turning it into a brilliant alt rock post punk track with little hints of pop-rock thrown in for good measure.
Fatalism starts off with a real electronic sound, another hint at some of their influences namely Chemical Brothers or Massive Attack, even pushing a Prodigy sound. It’s the kind of sound you can imagine standing in a field on an evening watching on the big stage at a festival. Soon the simple yet driving bass line comes in. It drags you into the darkness, and starts to show a more nu-metal mix to the sound, almost like a Rammstein or Nine Inch Nails. Broken Links just seem to have this amazing way of making you feel uneasy yet at peace, it really is just another fantastic experience.
It’s really impressive how the band so seamlessly merge genres, tugging you towards metal, electronic, pop and more in different moments throughout the album. T.T.O. is just another example of their versatility, although still keeping their unique sound, it pushes towards the more alternative rock genre, the bouncy bassline mixed with nice guitar lick which cuts back for the verse. Another thing that seems to be commonplace throughout Conflict::States is the brilliant vocal harmonies. They seem apparent in different levels, becoming more prominent through the chorus of T.T.O. and subtle throughout the verses. It just adds so many layers to the track and to their sound.
Conflict::States is a really great album, showing the incredible versatility of Broken Links. The band themselves outline their wide range of influences and all are very apparent in their sound. While they show clear influence from these bands, their sound however is undeniably unique and I can imagine their live shows are just as breath-taking as their new album.
( Chris Brain )
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