Review Summary: It's catchy and it's fun, but what can I say.... I'm all out of puns.
I was the guy that liked this band in ‘08. I wasn’t into them from the early days, though. I started around the time The Ghosts Among Us
came out. I remember my friends thinking they were poor and I really felt they had potential. I thought Trevor had a lot of capability, especially starting lead vocals at age 13. His brother, Matt, also has a very fine voice although he tends to stretch his range and has to auto-tune to keep himself inbounds. Then once We Will All Evolve
came out, my beliefs were solidified. The band succeeded in making a legitimately great album with tidbits of heavy and tons of catchy. I got my friends into the band with that release and I was certainly looking for big things to come. Then I heard about this new album and how they were changing things up and going for little to no screams, and I thought, “uh-oh.” While Trevor Wentworth doesn’t make this band, I couldn’t imagine him singing near full-time, and I also thought this would alter their change in overall sound. While Age Of Ignorance
doesn’t show a change in sound, what it does show is a band that is trying to progress, even if only a little.
This album sounds much like We Will All Evolve
Part II, but with slight modifications. Obviously per warning, it isn’t as heavy. What it does add is more synth elements and more guitar solos. These replaced the breakdowns although there are still a few of those to be found. For many, this is a sigh of relief. For others, it may be a complete turn off. On first listen for me, it was a turn off. On the second and third run through though, it really grabbed me. I heard lots of little intricacies when listening to this with headphones. It is fun more than anything. It also is an obvious progression for them. The clean vocals made them who they are and they are sticking to their guns.
The highlight of this album is the instrumentation. The drums are on par with every other release; not much has changed here. The guitars really tried to step up their game this time around though, despite the departure of Colin Perry in July. The rhythm guitar didn’t show much change, but the adept leads are strong. The solos are tastefully done and really sit well with each track in which they are found (e.g. “Fate” and “Enemy”). The lead parts strewn over the top of the rhythm guitar also sound very at home throughout the album. There are glimmers of other bands found here for sure. “Enemy” sounds a whole lot like Self-Titled Saosin. “Invincible” sounds a whole lot like Linkin Park (and what they should be doing with their new material) due to the layered synth sounds throughout the track. The album really is cohesive and flows well. The last track, “A Sun That Never Sets” is by no means an epic song, and sounds just like any other track on the album. It actually brings the album to an abrupt halt, and the journey is over. The album is so short (coming in at just 36 minutes) it is no hassle to undertake the journey again, and the repeated listens certainly add more value to this release because I wasn’t impressed at first.
The vocals are not quite as catchy as I remember from other albums, but they do not disappoint. Sometimes they appear forced, either by the melodies or the lyrics, and I think that is why they didn’t grab me initially. The increase in singing is more than welcome though, because I rather enjoy Matt’s voice. Trevor certainly surprised me with his abundance of singing on this album as well. He sounds much like his brother but it isn’t quite so crisp and clean but more rough around the edges (surprise I know). Although there are some cheesy lyrics like “If heaven is where you’ll be, send me to hell”, the lyrics as a whole aren’t awful. They don’t add depth to this release, but they don’t take away from it either.
In conclusion, I was very surprised by this album. I was expecting it to be good but nothing special. On first listen I really didn’t enjoy it too much at all, but after the second and third listens through, I really started to appreciate the progression of the band vocally and I realized how gratifying the music was. Is this on par with their last album? Yes. It shows a bit of maturity on their part to step out of the pop/punk-breakdown scene. Is it a huge progression? No, but it’s a start. Hopefully they will continue to grow as a band and they will become something special and not just another band thrown into the ever-growing pile of average.
Recommended Tracks: Fate, Liberate Me, Enemy, Invincible