The Black Swan (Story of the Year album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Black Swan
The Black Swan (Story of the Year album) coverart.jpg
Studio album by Story of the Year
Released April 19, 2008 (2008-04-19)
Recorded 2007
Genre Post-hardcore, alternative rock, hard rock, emo
Length 49:04
Label Epitaph
Producer John Feldmann & Michael "Elvis" Baskette
Story of the Year chronology
In the Wake of Determination
The Black Swan
The Constant
Platinum edition
Released in Japan and Korea
Singles from The Black Swan
  1. "Wake Up"
    Released: February 19, 2008
  2. "The Antidote"
    Released: December 6, 2008
  3. "Terrified"
    Released: June 30, 2009

The Black Swan is the third studio album by American rock band Story of the Year.

Recording and composition[edit]

It was their first album recorded with indie label Epitaph Records, after switching from major label Maverick Records. Commenting on this switch, lead singer Dan Marsala said in an interview, "Making this record felt like starting over. We're like a brand new band. You can hear it in these songs, we're excited again. I think we've really stepped it up on this record." Guitarist Ryan Phillips adds, "Epitaph seemed like the perfect place for us at this time in our career. It's a much more creative environment." [1] The album was produced by Michael "Elvis" Baskette who has also produced albums by Chevelle, Escape the Fate, and A Change of Pace.


The album was named after Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, on unpredictable events and randomness. One theme found in a few of the songs ("Wake Up", "Terrified", and in particular "Pale Blue Dot (Interlude)") is the concept that human existence is insignificant in comparison to the universe as a whole, and that wars, fighting and killing seem pointless. The track "Pale Blue Dot (Interlude)" was inspired by the famous photograph of the same name and features an excerpt from astronomer Carl Sagan's book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space read by its author. The band believes that people should live their lives to the fullest extent. Other themes include political and social issues.[1]


"Wake Up" impacted radio on February 19, 2008.[2] "Message to the World" impacted radio on July 1, 2008.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating (73%) link
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars link
Alternative Press 3/5 stars 5/5 stars link
Daily Dischord 3/5 stars link 3.5/5 stars link

Critical reception for The album was generally positive, and the album did fairly well commercially. It debuted on the UK rock charts at number 6 [4] and at number 18 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling about 21,000 copies in its first week.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Dan Marsala and Adam Russell, all music composed by Story of the Year

Original CD
No. Title Length
1. "Choose Your Fate" 3:34
2. "Wake Up" 3:32
3. "The Antidote" 4:00
4. "Tell Me (P.A.C.)" 3:59
5. "Angel in the Swamp" 4:29
6. "The Black Swan" 3:45
7. "Message to the World" 4:04
8. "Apathy Is a Deathwish" 3:31
9. "We're Not Gonna Make It" 4:03
10. "Cannonball" 3:50
11. "Terrified" 4:00
12. "Pale Blue Dot (Interlude)" 1:06
13. "Welcome to Our New War" 5:11
Total length: 49:04


Release history[edit]

Country Release Date Format
Worldwide April 19, 2008 (2008-04-19) Regular download
April 22, 2008 (2008-04-22) Regular Compact Disc

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
The Billboard 200 18
Billboard Independent Albums 3
UK Album Chart 136
UK Rock Albums 6


  1. ^ a b Story of the Year on Epitaph
  2. ^ " Alternative eWeekly". AllAccess. February 12, 2008. Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ " Alternative eWeekly". AllAccess. June 24, 2008. Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ UK Rock Charts
  5. ^ Katie Hasty, "Mariah Carey Remains Atop Billboard 200",, April 30, 2008.

External links[edit]