Stories Away is my kind of heavy. They bring a great mix of romanticism and theory to an otherwise primitive genre where down tuning and cringing screams more than suffice. Of course, Sand & Sulfur is littered with the dense shelving of riffs, scale work and barking undertones mingled with the attractive tenor of their lead vocalist who has got to be the closest assimilation to Panic! At The Disco that I’ve heard in a hardcore context.
It works seamlessly and acts as a versatile platform for melodic enhancement and association, reinforcing a sing-a-long quality that is very elusive in this fairly outcast market. Stories Away pays attention to their balance of intensity and volatility. The choruses are full and always deliver a complete idea built from the verses. Chugging rhythms and bantering vocals swell into more direct guitar lines marking each tune like a crown amongst caps.
The production quality is spot on and manages to stay out of muddy water via the rookie mistakes of over compression or fumbled detuning issues. The drums are equalized with a great sense for size but without excessive reverb and that goes for the vocals and solo work as well. From start to finish, this album will insight some head banging but also deeper moments that will shake you at your core and tense the muscles with anticipation and release. What more could you want? Aggression through beauty and vice versa is at your fingertips.
“Desertion – The Art Of Being Alone” breaks open the void and starts the dark parade of hardcore following a well-composed excerpt of minor key themes. Pouring on the callousness comes “Ascension – What It Means To Let Go.” Vocally it stretches perception of screaming and singing to the point where the ear can’t help but expect them in harmony. This pairing doesn’t always work so well but again the vocals are bright and clear in the face of the strained shouts that call from beneath. Stories Away will be a big hit for the new generation of rockers that find home with bands like Issues and Bring Me The Horizon. An acquired taste on the majority but the ones on the inside know this material is paving a new road for rock.
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