Although I believe that there is a little bit of “buut-rock” on this album, the majority of it is great. They brought a ton of new energy to this album and made this one a lot harder than the last. I wasn’t anticipating this, but they have a lot of 80s metal influences in here. I’m not not really a fan of 80s metal, but they mixed it in very. They have some incredibly high harmonies on this album! I have no idea how Phil got that high (yes I said Phil, not Dan). You might also notice a number of sick solos in this album and a big difference as how the guitar is used in the overall sound. I would give this album only 4 stars, but I ended up giving it 5 because inside the CD booklet there is commentary by EACH band member on making EACH song. I thought that was awesome. Altogether, this is a sick album.
After a near-platinum debut album and near-constant touring (517 shows, 540 days, 1.5 million fans), Story of the Year returns with the band’s studio follow-up to Page Avenue. Heavier and more guitar-driven than Page Avenue, In the Wake of Determination, co-produced by Steve Evetts (Hatebreed, Cure, Saves the Day), delivers headline-grabbing energy and edge that is 2005’s Story of the Year.Frontman Dan Marsala has gone on record saying that Story of the Year’s near-platinum 2003 debut, Page Avenue–produced by Goldfinger’s John Feldmann–didn’t properly represent the band or its full throttle live show. The St. Louis screamo group aims to remedy that with this follow-up, co-produced by Steve Evetts, whose past clients include the convincingly heavy Hatebreed and Dillinger Escape Plan. To the casual fan, the difference might sound negligible. The guitars are a little louder and there’s more of a chugga-chugga thing going on, but the lyrics still wrestle with oppression and much of the pop sheen of the first album still shines through on tracks like ”Take Me Back” and ”We Don’t Care Anymore.” –Aidin Vaziri
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Story of the Year’s return with “In the Wake of Determination”, their sophomore album, showcases how the band has matured musically since the release of the emo-popular “Page Avenue”. However, they are changing stylistically as well, something many older fans such as myself may not enjoy. For example, in “Page Avenue” the screaming was limited, making it seem more meaningful when it was used. In the new album, screaming is overused, appearing in nearly every track, often regularly. I hate to see SOTY becoming a band that screams every other line; their former originality was a thing that set them apart.
For another thing, the parental warning has gone from blaring “Explicit Content” (due to one incident in the enhanced material) to “Explicit Lyrics”. I was not one that expected SOTY to abstain from profanity altogether, though it would have been a pleasant surprise. Cussing is used in unmeaningful context, giving an impression of trying to “be cool” rather than an emotional outlet. For example, “Stereo, stereo, tired B***S***” and “You’re f****** weak”
A little bit of the old SOTY can be detected in this album, as in the songs ‘Sleep’, ‘Wake Up the Voiceless’, and the untitled hidden track, but if you’re looking for something not far from “Page Avenue”, this isn’t it.
I bought this cd the first day it came out, and i’ve been anticipating it ever since they announced it. I loved Page Avenue and it was an amazing cd but when you look at their talent you could tell they had to release a cd that was more calm as a debut, not to mention that Feldman their producer kept them from getting too metal. This cd is full of heavy riffs and awesome guitar solos, it has an 80’s feel with a much better attitude to it. Not so much about dying and such it’s more of F-You this is what we like and if you don’t like it cool but we are playing what we love. They show off their talents. Ryan can shred some guitar riffs and Phil has way more presence vocally which enhances Dan’s with mix of his heavy screams and Phil’s higher pitched voice. I will admit a few songs don’t have the energy the rest do but songs 1-7 are striaght up solid and “Is This My Fate?” He Asked Them is one of the most rocking songs I’ve ever heard. I know a lot of people are sayin this cd isn’t so great but when you look at what they had to do with Page Avenue and what they were able to do with this one they actually get to express what kind of band they are instead of just putting out a product because their record label makes em sounds a certain way. This cd is full of energy and I know i’m gonna be rockin out to it for a long time.
I couldn’t wait to get this cd. I bought it as soon as I could this morning. The cd is just all around awesome. The guitars sound amazing and the vocals fit in very nicely. I think this is a very different but very good follow up to Page Avenue. I’m not disappointed in any of the songs. Each song keeps me listening through it entirely. The bonus track is a very nice surprise and is a very good song.
If you liked Page Avenue you’ll love In The Wake Of Determination.
Well I got this album for christmas and am very glad I did so I will give you a review song by song.
1. We Don’t Care Anymore- The first single off the album. A very good song with a catchy chorus, but also has some great screaming by Dan. 9/10
2. Take Me Back- My favorite song on the album. Sounds a little more like Page Ave. than We Don’t Care Anymore. Nice little solo in the middle woth a tad bit of piano at the end. GREAT song. 11/10.
3. Our Time Is Now- One of the heavier songs on the cd but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A lot of screaming in this one with a pretty fast chorus. The beginning has a nice hard rock/ metal feel to it. 9.5/10
4. Taste The Poison- A song sposed to be about addiction to a drug. Awesome bass line from Adam at about the 1:12 mark. Not much screaming in this one. Great solo at about the 2:50 mark and it leads up to it great. Another great song. 9/10.
5. Stereo- Good intro with a lot of screaming in the 1st minute. Dan just has a naturally good scream. This song sounds a lot like Page Ave. at some points with great back up vocals from Phil. This song is about how people just enter the music for the money. Great drums in this one. 8.5/10
6. Five Against The World- Not one of my favorite songs on the album. Still good though. This song has a really good chorus with back vocals from Phil that are outstanding. This might have my favorite solo on it from Ryan. Just another solid SOTY song. 8/10 ( 10/10 for the solo ).
7. Sleep- Slow intro on this one with a very Page Ave. feel on it. Gets heavier the further it goes into the song. A good song to listen to when you are going to sleep because it’s very peaceful sounding. 7.5/10
8. Meathead- The fastest song by far on this song. One of my favorites on the album. Adam does a little screaming in this one also. This is your classic 2:25 punk rock song. A very good one though. 9/10.
9. March of the Dead- One of my favorite chorus’s on the album that sounds a lot like Page Ave. but also has new stuff. This song is about thinking for yourself and not being a follower. Another good SOTY song. Another frickin sweet solo from Ryan in this song. 8.5/10.
10. Pay Your Enemy- Wow I love the lyrics in this song, especially when Dan sings ” Now it’s time to chase the dream with hand grenades and gasoline”. The bridge on this song actually came off of a song thye didn’t use for Page Ave. Good song, 8.5/10.
11. Wake up the Voiceless- Prolly my least favorite song on the album. Nothin really special about this one. It’s got a more classic rock bassline in it and is a good song overall but I just don’t like it near as much as other songs on here. 7/10.
12. ” Is This My Fate? ” he asked them- This has to be my 2nd favorite song on this album. Wow it just blows you away with the lyrics talking about discrimination and how people judge too much on what your race, religion, sex, or sexual preference. You just have to hear this song for yourself because it is so good. The guitars are perfect, the bass is perfect, the singing is perfect, and great use of the double bass pedal by Josh in this song. OUTSTANDING song. 11/10.
13. Hidden Track- Ok it isn’t really hidden because it is a separate track and iisn’t shown on the Name’ of the track. This is a very good acoustic song that was going to be used at the beginning of Taste the Poison, but they decided to split them into 2 different tracks. Good song. 8/10.
Overall I give this album a 9.5/10. This album is outstanding and you should go buy one for you and your friends.