Gone – A World Apart
Against All Odds
A World Apart
21:50 min • Independent • September 6, 2013
Walter Beck reviews
The first release from Hoosier metal band A World Apart, Against All Odds is a contemporary wall of sound, mixing melodic vocals with strains of the hardest and heaviest metal. With a sound obviously sharpened by their days on the road taking their music to their growing legions of fans, this demo forgoes the rough production of many garage tapes floating around the underground and presents a professionally mixed introduction.
Opening with a nearly symphonic minute long intro, the band kicks into full gear with the second track, ‘Against All Odds’. They have the thumping, heavy rhythm of contemporary metal, courtesy of bassist Justin Robbins and drummer James Hadyen. Guitarist Jammin Shue, while playing strong, muscular riffs, also shows strains of early glam metal flash in his soloing. But it’s vocalist Becca Patterson who brings the sound together with her powerhouse pipes, showing a strong Within Temptation influence.
‘Fight’ starts off a bit more melodically, with some mellow riff picking, before kicking it up a bit heavier. The track doesn’t have the straight forward burn of ‘Against All Odds’, but it’s nevertheless a powerful song, not so much a straight ahead war cry, but rather a plea to pick yourself up off the ground and keep going.
The fourth cut ‘Savior’ kicks up the heaviness, bringing the band back to the muscular powerful riffs. But one thing that makes this cut stand out is the syncopated, nearly isolated drumming of Hadyen during several passages of the song. The isolation provided in the mix really showcases what a strong drummer he is.
‘Gone’ is probably the heaviest cut on the demo, a straight power burner, this is the song that will get the mosh pits moving. Yes, Patterson keeps her melodic, beautiful vocal styling, but it provides an excellent counterpoint to the raw aggression of the rest of the band.
The sixth track ‘Lighthouse’ is the last true cut on the demo and it ends it on a heavy aggressive note, three and half minutes of power metal influenced headbanger. Once again, the strong, swaying rhythm will get the crowd on their feet and into a frenzy. The cut has a strong vocal shift, with some death-like growling peppered throughout.
As thanks to their fans, the band included a special bonus track, an acoustic, stripped down re-cut of ‘Gone’. Despite the original being one of the most aggressive songs on the demo, the stripped version is a surprising treat, allowing the melody of the song to really shine through.
This demo is a strong introduction to A World Apart. The band stands above the rest of the sludge of contemporary sounding metal and manages to make the mix of melody and aggression work, something most contemporary bands seem to struggle with. It’s a solid little demo tape and we’ll see what the band brings on their follow-up release.