Album Review
Story of the Year - The Black Swan Album Cover

Story of the Year - The Black Swan

Reviewed by
Story Of The YearThe Black Swan
Release Date: April 22, 2008
Record Label: Epitaph
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
After disappointing numbers with their second release, In The Wake Of Determination, Story Of The Year took some time off, left Maverick Records, signed with Epitaph, and released a new album that has re-energized the band. The band reenlisted John Feldman to produce (as well as Elvis Baskette), as he was the man behind the boards for SOTY’s platinum debut, Page Avenue. Looking to rediscover the melodies that made Page such a success while maintaining some of the heaviness that Determination had, the band left the studio with The Black Swan, armed with thirteen tracks set to rock your balls off.

And the St. Louis quintet wastes no time doing just that, as album opener “Choose Your Fate” incites the riot with crushing breakdowns from guitarists Ryan Phillips and Philip Sneed while Dan Marsala’s guttural scream paces this barnstormer. “Wake Up,” the first single, is an example of what Story Of The Year does best, which is fist-pumping anthems, as the track dips into the sound of Page Avenue.

Tracks like “Terrified” and “Tell Me (P.A.C.)” present a recurring theme throughout the album that human existence is irrelevant compared to the universe as a whole and that war, fighting, killing, etc. is trivial. “Angel In The Swamp” channels The Movielife as the track is paced by the breakneck drumming of Josh Wills, while the title track is anthemic and presses for listeners to live life to the fullest. “We’re Not Gonna Make It” has the potential to be a big single, as its hooky chorus is reminiscent of “Anthem Of Our Dying Day.”

It’s evident that Story Of The Year went into the studio with the mindset of taking the best elements of Page Avenue and In The Wake Of Determination and putting them into a blender, as The Black Swan is like the very best of SOTY. Although some of the tracks are predictable and/or blend in with each other from time to time, The Black Swan is still a fine collection of songs that’ll make you want to start up the circle pit as well as sing along to loudly in the car.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Choose Your Fate
2. Wake Up
3. The Antidote
4. Tell Me (P.A.C.)
5. Angel In The Swamp
6. The Black Swan
7. Message To The World
8. Apathy Is A Deathwish
9. We’re Not Gonna Make It
10. Cannonball
11. Terrified
12. The Pale Blue Dot
13. Welcome To Our New War
Produced by: John Feldman and Elvis Baskette

Story Of The Year are:
Dan Marsala – vocals
Philip Sneed – rhythm guitar/backing vocals
Ryan Phillips – lead guitar
Josh Wills – drums
Adam Russell – bass/backing vocals

Buy It Now:

Official Website; Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 58
01:25 PM on 05/07/08
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you just talked me into buying this album. i hated ITWOD, but im sorta turned on by the page avenue melodys with heavier stuff.
01:26 PM on 05/07/08
Play Ultimate!
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huckleberry's Avatar
nice to know its a good release, enjoyed streaming it. good review, convinced me to buy it
01:40 PM on 05/07/08
Registered User
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Wake Up is a good track and reminds me of the past. But I'm pretty much over this band.
01:42 PM on 05/07/08
Steve Henderson
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Steve Henderson's Avatar
Decent album, but generally horrible lyrics. I would have rated those lower, but otherwise I agree.

I wish all the tracks sounded like "Choose Your Fate" - that cut rocks hard.
01:48 PM on 05/07/08
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Yeah, Choose Your Fate is definitely kickass.
02:21 PM on 05/07/08
Tear the scene down, start over.
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brokenwings's Avatar
i'm a bit disappointed i have to say. i really wanted to love this band again, but the album is not much better than decent. and yeah, i also would have wanted to hear more songs like "choose your fate" or "welcome to our new war".
02:33 PM on 05/07/08
Just a dab'll do ya
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Mase714's Avatar
I like the cd, but I think it's by far their worst effort. The music is great, but the lyrics are so boring and repetitive. It seemed like every song was about either A) the government or B) saving the environment. That's fine, but it got pretty old pretty fast.
06:03 PM on 05/07/08
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I like the cd, but I think it's by far their worst effort. The music is great, but the lyrics are so boring and repetitive. It seemed like every song was about either A) the government or B) saving the environment. That's fine, but it got pretty old pretty fast.

Thats exactly how I felt about it. I love soty, and this cd, but the lyrics stress the government to much which i could have expected i guess with them switching labels
07:58 PM on 05/07/08
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cassusriff's Avatar
I really like this release. Some of the lyrics aren't great, but the music does combine the best elements from the past two releases.
09:45 PM on 05/07/08
Idle Will Kill
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Big_Guy's Avatar
not as good as In The Wake..., but still a great rock record
10:30 PM on 05/07/08
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cereal4life's Avatar
Every review I've read has mentioned how much "Choose Your Fate" is one rocking good time. I want to get the CD just for it!

Good review Drew! I'm getting this badboy.
11:55 PM on 05/07/08
DI Pistola
tune in Tokyo
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For whatever reason, I have really great memories of Page Avenue--a record that seemed to have a lot of fervor to it, but completely lost interest in the band after that.
Not really interested in a revival. Sometimes, just once is enough.
03:38 AM on 05/08/08
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Vismund_Cygnus's Avatar
I enjoy this record. It's loud, dynamic and straightforward. It's a "take no prisoners" rock album. That's why I love it.
07:42 AM on 05/08/08
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if you are planning on buying the physical album, make sure you download the song #14 on iTunes called "The Truth Shall Set Me Free." Its not included in the physical copy. Fantastic song, I think it's my favorite out of all 14.

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