Independent metalcore band As Within, So Without released its new album, Salvation Wednesday. The 11-song record is a presentation that will appeal equally to the band’s established audience base and to casual metalcore fans. That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The roughly 26-minute record’s lyrical content works with its musical arrangements to make for even more interest and will be examined a little later. The album’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Salvation’s presentation. All things considered, they make Salvation a work that the noted audiences will find worth hearing at least once.
As Within, So Without’s new album, Salvation, is a record that the band’s established audiences and casual metalcore fans alike will find interesting. That is due in large part to the record’s musical arrangements. From beginning to end, the record presents a nonstop display of metalcore. The heavy, crunching guitars, the dual approach of the screams and clean vocals, and the equally heavy, rich bass and drums makes each song so engaging and entertaining for the noted audiences. The arrangements easily lend themselves to comparison to works from the likes of Ice Nine Kills, As I Lay Dying, and Killswitch Engage, just to name a few similar acts. A casual listen through the record makes each arrangement sound the same. However, audiences who actively listen to each work will catch the subtle changes that make each song different from one another. Case in point is the album’s opener, ‘Ch. III: The Undefined.’ This song’s full one assault is a face melting work that even though it barely tops the two minute mark, absolutely pounds listeners’ ears. That approach and sound makes it comparable to works from the likes of Unearth and Whitechapel. By comparison, a song, such as ‘Frostbite,’ with its machine gun precise guitar riffs and equally tight drumming and screams make it so similar to works from Killswitch Engage. The intensity exuded through the song is so much different from that of ‘Ch. III: The Undefined’ and the rest of the album’s entries. ‘Salvation,’ which closes out the album, changes things up even more with its deep screams and heavy instrumentation. The minor chords used in the guitar line and the punch from the drums and bass pair with the guitar and vocals to give that song a sound that is more comparable to KsE and to As I Lay Dying. That is especially the case considering the contrast of the heavier verses and the more melodic choruses. It is just one more way in which the album’s musical arrangements prove so important to the album’s presentation. Again, the changes from one song to the next are subtle, but those who actively immerse themselves in the album will catch those subtleties and in turn agree that the record’s musical arrangements are so critical to the album.
It goes without saying that the musical content featured in Salvation is important to the album’s presentation. Yes, the record’s musical content is largely metalcore in its approach, but the band presents influences from so many of its more well-known counterparts in the metalcore community from beginning to end, changing things from one song to the next and ensuring the songs maintain their own identity in the process. They are just one part of what makes the record worth hearing, too. The record’s lyrical content is just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangements. The lyrical content in question follows an overarching theme so to speak. According to comments from the band, the album is a concept record that follows a man who is on a personal and spiritual journey of healing. Not having lyrics to reference, the content that can be deciphered leads listeners to hear that story, beginning with the story’s subject at a point of total anger over events of the past. From broken relationships with a certain person or people early on to anger over an absent parent in ‘Like The Wind’ to the subject’s seeming eventual realization that there was no point in holding in so much anger, the story will connect with a wide range of audiences. What’s more, the very fact that a metal act opted to take on a concept record to begin with is of its own note. Generally, concept records are saved for the prog-metal community (E.g. bands, such as Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Between The Buried and Me). So to have a pure metal band, such as this taking on a concept record is in itself unique in terms of lyrical content. To that end, that and the story itself together make the album’s overall lyrical content even more reason for audiences to give this album a chance. It is just one more item that audiences will appreciate about the album, too. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.
The production that went into Salvation is important to address because of its role in the album’s general effect. Going back to the note of the intensity of each of the album’s arrangements, they are exactly that. There is a lot going on in each arrangement between the instrumentations and the vocals. Even in the case of the vocals themselves, the production that went into balancing the screams and clean vocals played its own role. The end result of all of that work from one song to the next is that each arrangement is professionally balanced. No one band member overpowers his band mates at any point. The slightest nuances, such as keyboard lines even play their own important part and add their own layer of engagement and entertainment to the songs. That is again, thanks to the time and effort put in to balancing those lines with everything else in each song. All things considered, the production that went into Salvation gives the album a fully positive general effect. Keeping that in mind along with the role of the album’s musical arrangements in general and with the role of the album’s lyrical content, and the whole makes the album overall a work that AWSW’s established audiences will find just as appealing as more casual metalcore fans.
Salvation is a positive new offering from As Within So Without. That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements are important to the album’s presentation because they take audiences into so many sub realms (of sorts) of the metalcore community. The changes from song to song are subtle, and listeners who actively take in the album will catch those subtle changes. The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements are just as important to its presentation as the album’s musical content. That is because of their accessibility and the very fact that they play into a bigger concept for the album. That a metal band decided to take on a concept for a record is itself rare, making for even more reason for audiences to hear the album. The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation. It gives the album a strong general effect through the balance that it insures in the album’s instrumentation and vocals. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album. All things considered, they make Salvation a positive addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums and independent albums.
Salvation is available now. More information on As Within, So Without’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at: