Dear Agony

by: Breaking Benjamin

Breaking Benjamin's fourth foray into the crowded waters of early 21st century alternative metal/post-grunge feels a lot like their first three. That's good news for longtime fans of the brooding Pennsylvania quartet, who pound each of the 11 tracks on Dear Agony into submission like seasoned strongmen at a country carnival. Front-loaded with the singles "Fade Away" and "I Will Not Bow" (the latter was featured in the murky Bruce Willis sci-fi film Surrogates), Dear Agony feels like a well-oiled machine, and producer David Bendeth, whose immaculate touch helped 2006's Phobia sell 131,000 copies in its first week, conjures much of the same magic here, but there's little in the way of growth. ~ James Christopher Monger

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