Society is in an age where the voices of the younger generation need to be heard. For many the most powerful way of conveying a message is through music, and Rugby based quintet WARS are creating their own pathway to speak for the masses. The post hardcore act tackle the subject of war, in every sense of the word, with their potent debut album We Are Islands, After All after being scooped up by the iconic Spinefarm Records.
Having toured with and been endorsed by the likes of BURY TOMORROW, HACKTIVIST and CREEPER, WARS have presented 2017 with a rager of an album, filled with earth shattering riffs, assertive vocals and powerful lyrics. Only ten songs are needed for WARS to pick up where they left off from their acclaimed 2015 EP, And So The Sea Will Claim Us All.
Opening track from We Are Islands, After All, entitled The Art of Not Knowing displays the immediate aggression which is so common in post hardcore music. WARS combine the furious, high-end roars from vocalist Rob Vicars with a head banging bounce, merging the lines between post hardcore and metalcore. The isolated bass and drums paired with gut-wrenching screams makes for a compelling nuance within the track. Snows and Skies replaces the bouncy rhythm with something more jagged and discordant. There is a chaotic feel to Snows and Skies which can be compared to post hardcore giants LETLIVE’s debut Fake History, only with the production from WARS sounding much more refined.
“I’m a stranger to myself” is the line which kicks off That By Discord Things Increase, displaying lyrics about internal conflict. The track features vocals from HUNDRED REASONS’ Colin Doran, bringing an alternative depth to We Are Islands, After All and even shows resemblance to rockers DEAF HAVANA in the chorus. Still Waters Runs Deep dives in at a frenetic, blistering pace before exploding into a sludgy guitar chug. A catchy chorus allows the song a moment to breathe before the return of the crushing verse filled with desperate screams.
Arguably the heaviest track on the album, Slow-Sick sees the return of a bouncy rhythm, aided with a grainy guitar tone and pit inducing drum patterns. The chorus in Slow-Sick can be compared to British up and comers FORT HOPE, where the accent shines through amongst the higher register vocals. Towards the end of the album is where the musicality begins to depreciate and the lyrical content appears at its most prominent. Hills and Boulders is a song which is aptly named, The track begins which the familiar screech of feedback before a staccato riff and frantic cymbal hits kick in as the track rolls into full force, as if a boulder is rolling down a hill. The mid section of Hills and Boulders contains almost inaudible whispers leading to chaotic, panned screams, leaving an air of discomfort lingering.
WARS choose to conclude We Are Islands, After All with Charcoal Days, which features the first instance of a clean guitar on the album. Thought provoking lyrics like “The silence devours my days” are at the forefront of Charcoal Days, where the music acts as an aid for the lyrics to become the main focal point.
WARS have conjured up an impressive debut record with We Are Islands, After All. It’s aggressive in all of the right places, combines post hardcore with elements of metalcore and alternative rock and most importantly has given a voice for the current generation to speak out against the concept of war and battle the demons in front of them. WARS are destined for bigger stages and if the album translates in a live format, they will soon enough become one of the UK’s hottest prospects.
We Are Islands, After All is set for release on January 27th via Spinefarm Records.
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