3. The Hoard
4. This Is It, This Is It
6. New Sun
8. Wrong Body
9. Our World Is Grey
“Hearts aren’t really our guides, we are truly alone, cause God ain’t up in the sky holding together our bones.” Not what you might expect to hear from a band performing at Christian festivals and discussing God in their lyrics, but those are the very first words sung on As Cities Burn’s sophomore release on Solid State Records, “Come Now Sleep.”
Fans of the debut album will notice a change from the very first track on the follow-up, as “Contact” opens with soft words and a slow pace that contrast with the heavy pounding and screaming prevalent on their first release. The song is filled with doubts about God and prayer, and carries into the next track with an acoustic outro as Cody sings “God must be asleep…”
The tracks “Empire” and “The Hoard” pick up the pace and help to form the meat of the album, offering catchy (though not emotionally upbeat) melodies and choruses you can jam to. “This Is It, This Is It” follows by screaming the song’s title in the refrain, and likely carries the highest energy of any song on the album.
The riffs still have similar styles as “Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest,” but the overall feel of the album is very different. The slow songs are reminiscent of the music played during sad movie scenes in the rain, and the fast ones still carry powerful emotional tones. The somewhat meager 10-song tracklist is masked by heavy ambient noises, musical interludes, and even relatively creepy voices. The last song on the album plays for almost 13 minutes, and by the end, it feels much more satisfactory than the small tracklist suggests.
The dark tones and ambient sounds do an incredible job of making the listener feel depressed, and even more so when coupled with the lyrics. It’s not as if there is no hope to be found in the lyrics, as faith is clearly evident on the album, but it’s fairly obvious the disc as a whole is more about doubt and struggles than it is about faith and joy. “Timothy” declares: “And when the morning comes, we’ll both wake up to see the sun, and love that’s enough to keep our friends alive.”
Review by Levi G.