Same musical complexity with a new hardened sound
Bringing dreamy harmonized moments mixed with intricate guitar riffs, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die (TWIABP) combined the elements of their latest release, Illusionary walls. The record has lush moments of quick movement and relentless percussion although at times feels a bit overloaded. The band cranks up the gain control amps to 11, bringing their punchier like fans have never heard before.
Formed in 2009 in Willimantic, Connecticut, the group has seen a few membership changes, currently with Josh Cyr, Steven Buttery, Chris Teti, David Bello and Katie Dvorak. The band’s usual tone of airy and dreamlike ambient sounds, mixed with a perfect dose of grain from their latest records, takes a turn, bringing a little more warmth into Illusionary walls. The album is the group’s fourth studio album following their release in 2015, Safety, But that’s not all. They have released several singles, Long Plays, split records, and appearances on compilation albums over the years. Illusionary walls highlights their technical talent and TWIABP’s ability to create beauty in chaos.
The start of the record is “Afraid to Die”, which first calms the ears, then rushes in to ask for attention. A very dreamy and airy electric guitar pulls off a fluid melody that seems to harmonize everything with itself. With a sudden stop, the song returns with a powerful force that brings the mind out of the dream state it was in at the beginning.
“Invading the World of the Guilty as a Spirit of Vengeance” is a relentless song that beats and rolls from start to finish. Each instrument on its own, from the electric guitar plunging into intertwined finger riffs and percussion pulsing and driving the track, is beautiful and musically stimulating. However, when all of these pieces come together, adding the vocals of both singers, it gets way too busy. The track takes a slow lull in the breakdown, then climbs back up, but this time the matter seems to fade and all the elements are linked together perfectly.
A single to be released from the record is “Queen Sophia for President”, which is the perfect mix of both heavier emo-indie rock and radio-ready pop. The mixture of the sweetness of Dvorak’s voice and the gritty heaviness of the instruments that surround him are both the perfect juxtaposition of each other.
“Fewer Afraid” ends on the record, again starting with a dream like “Afraid to Die”, although it plays with a more spatial quality that feels like floating in space. This track is the longest on the record, at just under 20 minutes. It begins with a beautiful lyric poem that is recited over a welcoming and growing synth drone and the tinkling and chime of bells. Then the song turns into a stunning musical performance incorporating orchestral instruments with thundering drums and a hair metal guitar riff.
Filled with true musicality and technical talent, the latest release from TWIABP, Illusionary walls, gives birth to a new hardened sound.