"We wouldn't attempt another record if we didn't think it could blow the last one away" - Trevor of AWS
Right on man...
This album is nothing short of amazing. AWS's ability to combine the technicality of metal and melodic hardcore with the In-Your-Face attitude and delivery of punk is flawless. A track by track for this album would end up being really long, as they have so much in each song and I would hate to sell it short. So I'm going to rate all the tracks and highlight a couple of the key ones. Keep in mind that I've only heard "The Rip" off of Mute Print, so I have minimal grounds to compare the two. Therefor, i'm not even going to bother.
1. The King is Dead (5/5)
This is the perfect opener for this cd, as it really shows that these guys can play their instruments. Its starts off with one of my favorite intros of all time. It's clean guitar and bass doing some awesome harmonizing. But when the whole band enters, it hammers into your head over and over again that this band is here to rock and nothing less, and they won't be taking any prisoners. That was lame, sorry. Anyways, the best part of this song is when, around 2 minutes, they kick it with
"Heartless of the world deny
The king is dead, ***, the king is dead
Heartless with your burning eyes
The king is dead, ***, the king is dead"
All over a great punk rock chord progresion, which jumps to an awesome technical interlude that has solo bass work and guitar harmonies over and over. Not to mention great riffing. These guys know how to play. I would love to see this song, and I'm told that they play it live a lot. Which really goes to show that they're great musicians, as this is a pretty complicated song. But most of their songs are. Simply put, this is probably my favorite on the album, but its hard to say as there are so many great tracks on this cd.
2. Killing It (4/5)
First song I heard by AWS. Awesome tune, just didn't stand the test of a ridiculous amount repeated listening as well as the rest.
3. The Pool (5/5)
Incredible song. Very punk mentality. The lyrics are sweet and, from what i gather, are about bitterness about the fact that a past relationship can't work again. This introduces they're love for Drum/Vocal breaks, which they do very well. Great energy the whole way through.
4. The Soft Sell (5/5)
A lot of you have probably seen the video for this song. Great rock song with a sweet bridge. Note the awesome guitar harmony before the last verse. These guys know how to work the harmonies.
5. God Loves a Liar (5/5)
This song lets up in pace a tad from the previous 4 tracks. Starts with some accenting of the measure with the guitar and bass and some cool hi-hat work. Then some more guitar harmonizing that works out great. The verse is simply a of bludgeoning a 3 chord punk punk progression with fast drumming. The second verse has a stellar speed metal/galloping guitar thing going on with the lead. Sweet. The chorus is the singing of "God Loves a Liar" over some more punk progressions and drumming. The main reason I go into depth with this song is the outro. Simple clean guitar palmuted over just Nuno saying
"Today is the day I laugh for the fun of it
Today is that it tears me apart
Today is the day I defile your saccarhine way
Or at least take aim"
Then the whole band comes in with the vocal harmony of
"Today is the day that I drown for the fun of it
Today is the day that I laugh in the dark
Today is the day that I see myself for what I really am"
"Dead to the world"
-Enter full band with everyone singing/yelling "LIIIIIAAAAAR" 4 times and then it fades out. Incredible outro, really makes the song.
6. In Vino Veritas II (4/5)
This song is the oddball in the album. From what I hear they got a lot of guff from people. I don't see why, its a very solid song...its just not played at 200 something bpm and theres no rough vocals. It starts with some accenting bass with palm muted guitar and clean vocals, then the whole band comes in and does a nice rock chorus. The second verse and chorus are very much the same. The vocal harmonies on this song are top notch and I'd love to see this song live. The interlude is interesting with some good bass and guitar harmonizing before it comes in with full chords and some more nice vocal harmonizing. The last verse and chorus are full on rock at mid-tempo and I find to be the best part of the song. Great middle track.
7. The Ladder Match (4/5)
Another straight up punk song with an awesome dual harmonized guitar solo. A lot of you may have heard this song on Myspace. Cool lyrics. "Tie me up to the radiator, Trust the sweat, not the face its on". A lot like "Killing It", it just didn't stand up to being played over and over and over again. Still never gets skipped tho.
8. Congratulations (5/5)
This is as simple as AWS gets from what I've heard. This is a See is What You Get rock song. Obviously about getting used/played by the female generation. Gotta love a good song about the getting the runaround for a girl, I'm sure we can all relate. "Wheres the truck full of bricks here to crush, Don't you *** with this halo above me" and "I'm here as the entertaining fool". Good stuff. Nice guitar harmony between the verse and chorus. The drumming in this song is right on point too. A really catchy, straight forward song from AWS. Despite is simplicity, this is right up there with The King is Dead for me. Great song...and its over in just 1:28.
9. The Kids Can Eat a Bag of Dicks (4/5)
This is another one that utilizes the vocal/drum break very well. Lyrics are top notch. This is actually fairly simple music wise, in terms of not using much for harmonies. The riffs are swee tho and really hold your attention. The vocals steal the show for me tho. The reason it gets a 4 from me is the end, I just don't feel like it fits the song. I'm sure some will disagree
10. When I Was Alive: Walden III (5/5)
This seems to be about not being able to be full-filled by shallow hook-ups, while the one you love is out with someone else. "From the smiling drunk to the embarrassing lush, I'm a magnet to whores and such" and "We're all whores". Pretty solid lyrics. The pauses that they use for transistions sound great as well. The end is sweet, with some "Whoa" type harmonizing over Nuno doing a rap type thing. Great.
11. Mercy Day for Mr. Vengeance (5/5)
This is as close to In Vino Veritas II as the album gets again. Good intro hardcore riff, but what really steals the show for me is the chorus. "I"ll make this ghost, come back to life" with a solid rhythym and very cool lead over it. Nothing special as far as the lead goes, but it fits perfectly.
12. Less Bright Eyes, More Deicide (5/5)
This is another one tied with The King is Dead. Great lyrics in the verse and chorus. The gang vocals in the chorus really make the song.
"Take me out to the parking lot, I'm fine
Flattery is dead, Romance is next
You never wanted to touch me when I was worthless
Get it while I'm sick with this
White Knuckle grip on the world
Well I'm losin' it, I'm losin'
I tried to love you, but I hate you all
I'm losin it all"
The bridge has a cool, calm hardcore thing going on before kicking it up a notch when the vocals come in, then it transisions perfectly into the last chorus and BOOM, songs over in 2:15. Damn good tune.
13. Speed of Dark (5/5)
This is probably actually my favorite track, i just figured I'd keep ya'll in suspense for awhile. Hah. Anyways, starts off with a sweet guitar harmony before going calm for about 10 seconds. It then ventures into some metalish palm mutes followed by some great riffing. Thats like a three part verse, very nice. Then comes the best chorus on the album
"Normally sent with a heartattack
All your attempts were cannonized
Blessed with the wreck of a heart of lead
I broke my back to spite my spine"
All with some good harmonized vocals. The outro is the set piece of this song, as its fairly climatic. It starts out fairly calm before getting more and more chaotic until it peaks with the best riff on the album. Then it calms down a bit for the end. All of that with the line "You'll lose your step in time" being sung on each transistion. Best song on the album, but it had to work for it. This one grew on me a TON.
14. Cancer Dream (4/5)
Probably the most impressive guitar work of the album on this song. The intro rivals and probably surpasses The King is Dead for most technical intro. Yea, it definately surpassses it. Kinda cool how they start and end the album like that. This the verses/choruses (there isn't a distinciton really) are straight up punk. The outro slows it up a bit and it ends with "Nobody needs Nobody after all". This song brings the perfect amount of closure to the album.
Hah...I guess that ended up being more of a track by track than I intended. Oh well. Not as in depth as my last.
This album, while clocking in at just 36:19, leaves nothing to be desired. Only 4 of the 14 tracks break the 3 minute barrier, but they manage to throw so much into each song without it sounding forced that each song feels perfect. The Long and Short of it is that if you're looking for a band that fuses awesome musicianship (espcially with guitars), solid punk vocal delivery, and a rythym section that gets the job done and so much more..this is your band. Look no further. I take that back, any other band that pulls this off...let me know. I give this album a 5/5 because I honestly feel that anyone who knows the least bit about music will be able to appreciate this album and see it for what it is...amazing.
A Wilhelm Scream - Ruiner
Five out of Five