We Are Islands, After All by wars (Spinefarm Records)
From the record label whose brought unto the world the latest masterworks from Bullet For My Valentine and Atreyu arrives the mighty wars from Rugby, UK. Spinefarm Records is certainly on a roll with post hardcore collectives, and judging by the anthems heard within their full length debut We Are Islands, After All, wars is sure to win the auditory battle of the fans with an all-out vengeance. The sonic intensity is superbly matched by the intriguing lyrics, clearly demonstrating a good deal of impassioned artillery amongst the wars brigade. Expect this compelling new entity to bust out of Rugby in an epic way, especially if We Are Islands, After All is indicative of greater glories ahead.
The sonic voyage begins with The Art Of Not Knowing as the seething screams of “I can’t find a way” rage through your speakers with a staggering sense of ferocity. The tumultuous melodies rage on with the supremely icy refrains of Snows And Skies. “I’m a stranger to myself” is the opening clarion call to That By Discord Things Increase complete with a spiraling clean vocal chorus of “I look to the stars for the answers” rendering this one a powerfully cathartic standout. Still Waters Run Deep envelopes the senses featuring a cautiously inviting “home is where the heart is” sing-along. Sciamachy Scenes then emerges with thoroughly breathtaking vocals and thrilling performances from all band members involved.
“I am awake and filled with dread” are the lyrics from Soul-Sick kicking off the second half of We Are Islands, After All – a pulsating piece of sonic devastation that captures the attention. Hills and Boulders displays a manic sense of urgency with its searing guitars, tight as hell rhythms and impassioned vocals. Salt Flat Sailing unveils a relentless sense of unease in both the dispirited lyrics and crushing melodies. Hailing Distance makes you want to launch headfirst into the slam pit ready to take out all your burning anger. And then closing out We Are Islands, After All is the dark and brooding Charcoal Days, featuring shattering clean vocals and heroic guitar meanderings. And be sure to stick around for the hidden track for some truly introspective spoken word poetry set to a fiery soundtrack where the vocalist unveils his final inspirations, concluding with “we are islands, after all…”
Absolutely exceptional performances from each and every member of the wars army of musicians, featuring the participation of Rob Vicars on vocals, Sam Barnard on guitar and vocals, Lee Tysall on drums, Matt Burns on guitar, and Rich Bennett on bass. Tech credits are first rate, the album being recorded with Matt O’Grady (Architects, Deaf Havana, You Me At Six) and mastered in the US by Alan Douche (Every Time I Die, Cancer Bats, Converge), We Are Islands, After All is an exciting first effort that should garner wars a good amount of worldwide recognition. Be sure to enlist into We Are Islands, After All by wars and prepare to be absolutely enraptured by this powerful collection of post hardcore reveries.
(Review by Ken Morton)
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