After several years of successful touring for a huge following, As Cities Burn finally emerges with their first full-length album, Son I Loved You At Your Darkest. Melodic and angsty, full of passion and rage, it is a debut that can only be described as beautiful. They are lumped in with the hardcore and post-hardcore crowd, but their songwriting abilities leave most others far behind.
Starting with an anguished scream and ending with a quiet, boyish voice, Son I Loved You At Your Darkest's powerful lyrics cut to the heart. While many metal bands use hard guitars and pounding drums to incessantly batter listeners, As Cities Burn gracefully melds the harsh with the soft and melodic.
Songs like "The Widow," about a drug-addict father abandoning his family, are so emotionally powerful and poignantly written, you can almost miss the beauty of the music itself. If this track fails to stir sorrow within you, you should go to the doctor and have an x-ray, because it's quite possible that you no longer have a soul. However, this song isn't special in that every track is prosaic and heartfelt. These lads have passion driving them, and it shows, as does their love of the Lord and the pain that sometimes follows.
Musically, they don't overuse their distortion pedals or power chords. There's plenty of melody and singing here. Drummers of the anti-4/4 persuasion will enjoy the unique rhythms and minimalist drums in spots. Fans of certain secular bands named after days of the week will listen to As Cities Burn and start using their other CD's for Frisbees.
If forced to find something to complain about, perhaps shorter song titles so that the entire track name could fit in a playlist window without being cut off. Other than that, As Cities Burn has arrived in a big way and Son I Loved You At Your Darkest will leave fans wanting more.
If you buy one hardcore album this year, buy this one.- Review date: 06/26/05, written by Sean Lex
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