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As Cities Burn - 'Scream Through The Walls' Album Review


1. Live Convinced

2. Broadway

3. 2020 AD

4. Hollowed Out

5. Maybe

6. Chains

7. Bright White Light

8. Blind Spots

9. Venture

10. Die Contrary

I must admit when it came to writing the review for As Cities Burn’s newest album, “Scream Through The Walls”, I had a difficult time. I feel I should preface this by saying, even if it has been ten years since their last album (which would have given me plenty of time to at least hear about As Cities Burn), and even if they were associated with bands such as Norma Jean and The Chariot (which I love), I was still ignorant of their existence. So I was going in blind which, at least in my brain, was a good thing. But still there were mixed feelings throughout.

As I sat down and pressed play, “Live Convinced” bubbled to the surface, slow at first, then erupted with a mixture of vocals from TJ and Cody Bonnette. But just as quickly as it exploded, it went right back to nothing. After a few rounds of extremes, the song (for real this time) kicked in. But even after the momentum picked up, it still felt as if something was lacking.

Throughout the album, I kept feeling moments of “almost”: moments where the song was good, but it felt as if something was missing. Like in “2020 AD”, the song’s chorus, catchy as it was, as it repeated the question, “Has it gotten out of hand yet?”, still felt empty.

The only song that didn’t give me an empty feeling after listening was the last song of the album, “Die Contrary”. From beginning to end, I was sucked in. There was an urgency in TJ’s voice that I didn’t find anywhere else in the album. Even when the song became a melodic forest of clean guitars, it felt as if there was a mountain of emotion placed into every single note. As a whole “Scream Through The Walls” was not--at least in my eyes--a bad album. The musicianship was there, the lyrics were there, but what was missing--what I feel may be the most important part of creating anything--were the emotions that come along when one is creating music.

Review - Thomas Lewis

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