The Black Swan (Story of the Year album)

The Black Swan (Story of the Year album)
The Black Swan
Studio album by Story of the Year
Released April 19, 2008 (2008-04-19)
(See release history)
Recorded 2007
Genre Post-hardcore, alternative rock, alternative metal
Length 49:03
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 Cover
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
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

The Black Swan is the third studio album by American rock band Story of the Year. The album was named after Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, on unpredictable events and randomness and 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]

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 song "Pale Blue Dot (Interlude)" features an excerpt from Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, read by its author, astronomer Carl Sagan. The band believes that people should live their lives to the fullest extent. Other themes include political and social issues.[1]

The album debuted on the UK rock charts at number 6 [2] and at number 18 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling about 21,000 copies in its first week.[3]


Track listing

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
Bonus Tracks
No. Title Length
14. "The Truth Shall Set Me Free" (iTunes bonus track) 4:00
15. "Never Let It Go" (Pre-Order/Aus/Nz/Germany bonus track) 3:42
16. "The Virus" ("The Antidote" b-sides bonus track) 3:51
17. "Turn Up the Radio" ("Terrified" b-sides bonus track) 3:52
18. "Save One" ("Wake Up" b-sides bonus track) 4:09

Platinum Edition release

Following the Story of the Year released the Platinum Edition of the album through Epitaph. The Platinum Editions were only released in Asian regions such as Japan and Korea.

Platinum Editions features

  • All the bonus tracks
  • "A Bonus DVD"
    • "Wake Up" Music video
    • "Wake Up" Making of video
    • "Set for World Tour"
  • Our Time Is Now DVD

Release history

Country Release Date Format
Worldwide April 19, 2008 (2008-04-19) Regular download
April 22, 2008 (2008-04-22) Regular Compact Disc
Japan October 15, 2008 (2008-10-15) Platinum Edition
South Korea

Chart positions

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


  • Dan Marsala – lead vocals
  • Ryan Phillips – lead guitar
  • Philip Sneed – rhythm guitar, Piano, backing vocals
  • Adam Russell – bass, backing vocals
  • Josh Wills – drums
  • Michael "Elvis" Baskette - producer
  • Dave Holdredge - engineer
  • Jef Moll - digital editing


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