The Great Depression by As It Is (Fearless Records)
At first observance, The Great Depression by As It Is arrives as a tribute of sorts to the great emo collectives of the past and present such as My Chemical Romance and The Used. Delving deeper into the heart of the matter, and you’ll find a band looking to truly make an epic statement about the social issues of our day, and As It Is does this with a massive amount of passion and conviction. Within the confines of their first two albums, As It Is has always presented emotional driven pop punk, and on The Great Depression, the sense of urgency has been amped up to ten and beyond. The band spent a summer on the Vans Warped Tour previewing a few of these songs as well as premiering a new look – and now with the unveiling of The Great Depression, As It Is unveil their most fully realized effort to date.
Stage I: Denial of The Great Depression begins with the devastating title track, signaling at once the decisively critical tone of the album. The Wounded World is certainly an anthem for the ages – the first single released from The Great Depression, and one whose chorus and message will remain spinning in your head long after the disc slams into its dire grand finale. An encounter into The Fire, The Dark arrives next, where the lyrics are nearly screamed with a massive sense of ferocity as one attempts to achieve an escape from this vision we call life.
The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry) kicks off Stage II: Anger, another glorious selection conveying the explosive subject matter of The Great Depression, and surely presents As It Is delivering their most gripping single and video to date. The Handwritten Letter shows a band willing to rock and rage, with heavy percussive beats and the combustible lyrical content to back it all up. “Is it all just a beautiful nightmare?” front man Patty Walters muses on the stunning The Question, The Answer, where the quietest moment of the album is also the most persuasive with its “tell me how it ends for us” inquiries permeating throughout.
Stage III: Bargaining blasts into your senses with The Reaper, featuring the grand participation of the one and only Aaron Gillespie from Underoath – and what an outstanding auditory partnership this selection is! The Two Tongues (Screaming Salvation) rages on with a gothic rock sensibility, while The Truth I’ll Never Tell brings the listener even deeper into the realm of despair within our journey through The Great Depression.
With Stage IV: Acceptance, although The Great Depression does not offer a clean and patent solution to the problems of this modern day society, the observances found within this final act are nothing short of mesmerizing. With its spiraling melodies and ominous lyrical content, The Haunting attempts to find peace of mind within the chaos. The Hurt, The Hope burns your soul with its somber reprieves while The End contemplates a future where “nobody is listening” and everyone is “losing their way.” And even in spite of this somber conclusion, a promise to “wash away the ignorance” signals a cathartic and cautious optimism within the final moments of The Great Depression.
Clearly a career defining moment, The Great Depression by As It Is will leave a lingering impression on all whom encounter its dynamic reveries. Each and every member of As It Is unleashes their artistry with fervor and candor, including Patty Walters on vocals, Benjamin Langford-Biss on guitar and vocals, Patrick Foley on drums, and Ali Testo on bass. And what an absolutely magnificent choice As It Is has made it the technical area, with legendary producer Machine at the helm, whose impressive credits include landmark works with Lamb Of God and Suicide Silence. The teaming of Machine and As It Is launches The Great Depression into the stratosphere, presenting a work of sonic art that will be remembered as one of the most compelling releases of 2018 and beyond.
(Review by Ken Morton)
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