Having rounded out its trilogy of self-titled albums with 2009's Billy III, Toronto's Billy Talent starts fresh with 2012's Dead Silence. Although the band had already explored a mix of pop-punk, emo-rock, post-hardcore, and classic rock on Billy III, Dead Silence seems to further balance these sounds with a deft exuberance. Overall, the sound on Dead Silence isn't that different from the band's previous work, but is certainly some of the best work they've done.
The fourth album by Billy Talent (fifth if you count their 1999 debut as Pezz) sounds exactly like what you'd expect from the maturing Mississauga pop-punk band: more middle-of-the-road radio-friendly guitar rock, with less punk energy and more classic rock than in their younger years. If you're a long-time fan and haven't grown tired of their formula, you're probably old enough to appreciate the slower tempos and mellower mood. Billy Talent still have a great ear for shout-along choruses, and Ian D'Sa is a very skilled guitarist.
From the definitive vocal offerings of Benjamin Kowalewicz to the unique punch their music possesses, any new Billy Talent release comes tinged with a strong anticipation. Breaking their eponymous titling, ‘Dead Silence’ is a vast improvement on 2009’s ‘Billy Talent III’, which seemed to pale in comparison to its mammoth predecessor. That energetic component seems rejuvenated in this release, an element that the band have never lacked in a live setting, and the record - as with all previous - simply sounds quintessentially Billy Talent without any effort.