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As Cities Burn - Son, I Loved You at Your Darkest Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.25
Musicianship 10
Lyrics 9.25
Production 9.5
Creativity 9
Lasting Value 9.25
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 95%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.51
Musicianship 8.65
Lyrics 8.47
Production 8.5
Creativity 8.36
Lasting Value 8.58
Reviewer Tilt 9.31
Average: 86%
Inside AP.net

As Cities Burn - Son, I Loved You at Your Darkest

Reviewed by: hailthewarrior (06/28/08)
As Cities Burn - Son, I Loved You at Your Darkest
Record Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: June 21, 2005


Here in the present year of 2008, As Cities Burn is a completely new machine compared to when they burst onto the scene, praised as the new Underoath in 2005. While today’s incarnation hints back at possibly the best debut in Solid State's history, the differences at vocals (brothers TJ and Cody Bonnette switching duties) and sheer band size (from six members to four) are minuscule in comparison to the sound shift. But, let us return to June 2005 to re-experience the debut that set this incredibly talented band into the scene.

The mood of the album is immediately set in the first song, with distorted guitars and TJ Bonnette’s powerful lead vocals dominating from the opening line of “I’ve got a will but I want Yours,” and never letting down the intensity, with sheer passion always seeping into how style. Future lead vocalist, Cody Bonnette, relegated to lead guitar and backing vocals on this disc balance his younger brother perfectly. The second song of the album, "Love Jealous One, Love," shows how well their vocals meld together as TJ screams, while Cody chants “We will wear compassion / We will wear it on our chest.” This track also showcases that TJ can, in fact, sing - and sing well, though his screamed declaration of “This is me at my darkest” is one of the many highlights of this album.

The distinct guitar sound of this album makes one of its coolest intros in the third song, "Incomplete Is A Leech," which acts as a “part one” of sorts into the lead single, and arguably their most famous song, "Bloodsucker, Pt. 2." Possibly the most accessible and upbeat song on the album, its selection as lead single makes perfect sense and it did exactly what a single is supposed to do; it caught many people’s attention. It also features both brothers with screaming vocals and singing vocals, set at an unfolding pace, where one is following the other through the chorus.

Arguably one of the best songs of the album, "Terrible! How Terrible for the Great City!," features Cody singing over a muted guitar until TJ and the rest of the band come screaming in epic fashion. The song gives lyrical insight into the mind of a guy contemplating a question we as men try to hide from ourselves: “Am I a monster?”

The song sounds like it would have fit on the band's 2007 effort Come Now, Sleep, as it follows with Cody assuming lead vocals, with all the emotion and sincerity as his brother, on a song coming from the perspective of a son asking his missing father why he left him at a young age. Taking it one step further, the chorus connects it to the supernatural level with the lyrics: “My God / What a world you love / Where men bury their sons / And without thought / Just walk away”. However, the connection back into the heavier aspect of the album comes with TJ chant-screaming in of “Let the dead bury their own dead,” which leads into the “part two” of the second track, and gives us one of the best titles (in my opinion) for an album. "Wake Dead Man, Wake" follows in the same vein as "Love Jealous One, Love," but this time it is told from the Father perspective, with the album titled screamed as the song fades away into a slow, reverberating outro.

The hardest track on the album, ["Admission: Regret," features the brothers screaming their hearts out, with guest backing vocals from Josh Scogin (The Chariot, ex-Norma Jean) who helped produce this album alongside Matt Goldman (Underoath). The track continually builds upon itself with added instrumentation creating a chaotic atmosphere until it finally bursts as TJ and Scogin scream until it just collapses. While "One: Twentyseven" is a decent song, it is the only part of the album that seems wrong simply because of its placement.

The final song, easily the most prolific song As Cities Burn has ever written, "Of Want and Misery: The Nothing That Kills," features beautiful blending of the brothers singing, mid-tempo guitars, and steady drumming. The first scream of the song is intense in its emotional impact on the song, and the record as a whole. The final surprise of the album is as the first half of the song winds down, a gripping guitar solo continues to hold your attention until the song explodes in an epic manner, taking one’s mind for a thrill ride of emotions. As Cody sings the outro to the album, almost as if they knew subconsciously he’d be taking control two years later, the feelings of satisfaction and the need to listen again overwhelm.

While today, As Cities Burn in its mellower (but by no means soft) incarnation make fantastic music, the intensity, passion, and contrast between the vocalists make this one of the best albums of its kind, and when layered over the driving, compelling music it makes it worth your time any time one listens to it.

Recommended if You LikeUnderoath, Chiodos, Showbread, Dead Poetic, Emery

myspace.com/ascitiesburn
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 61
05:09 PM on 07/02/08
#2
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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9 for creativity..
Its an excellent album though.

I would have uped lasting value and lowered creativity.
05:42 PM on 07/02/08
#3
newfoundmichael
@SirDaveyBoy
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Wow...95% huh? I find that a bit high.

Other than that, I think this review was pretty much on. I agree that a nine for creativity is pretty much contradicted by the fact that it is for fans of Underoath and Chiodos however.
08:11 PM on 07/02/08
#4
DI Pistola
tune in Tokyo
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I must not have been hearing the same record, because 95% is way high.
09:29 AM on 07/03/08
#5
hailthewarrior
i can't shake this little feeling
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9 for creativity..
Its an excellent album though.

I would have uped lasting value and lowered creativity.

Wow...95% huh? I find that a bit high.

Other than that, I think this review was pretty much on. I agree that a nine for creativity is pretty much contradicted by the fact that it is for fans of Underoath and Chiodos however.

I did 9 for creativity because of the different sounds on the guitars for the record, I realize how "generic" their sound it, but the spin they put on took it just above being totally bland and generic and made it their imprint.

And 95% is just my fanboyness rolling over it, I'll admit it.
09:35 AM on 07/03/08
#6
newfoundmichael
@SirDaveyBoy
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I did 9 for creativity because of the different sounds on the guitars for the record, I realize how "generic" their sound it, but the spin they put on took it just above being totally bland and generic and made it their imprint.

And 95% is just my fanboyness rolling over it, I'll admit it.

Haha, i feel you on the fanboy thing. I have my bands like that as well so it is all good. And I understand your explaination on the 9 now, thanks for making that clear. Very solid review.
10:11 AM on 07/03/08
#7
hailthewarrior
i can't shake this little feeling
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Haha, i feel you on the fanboy thing. I have my bands like that as well so it is all good. And I understand your explaination on the 9 now, thanks for making that clear. Very solid review.

Thanks! It's funny, I don't do the percentages I just choose what I think fits as I'm doing it, and sometimes it adds up to some over-rating, and sometimes it's very underwhelming.
11:07 AM on 07/03/08
#8
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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Thanks! It's funny, I don't do the percentages I just choose what I think fits as I'm doing it, and sometimes it adds up to some over-rating, and sometimes it's very underwhelming.
I know what you mean. I usually calculate what it comes out to with everything except the tilt, and then set the tilt accordingly.
09:47 PM on 07/03/08
#9
newfoundmichael
@SirDaveyBoy
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Thanks! It's funny, I don't do the percentages I just choose what I think fits as I'm doing it, and sometimes it adds up to some over-rating, and sometimes it's very underwhelming.

I do the exact same thing when I review.

I don't pay attention to what it adds up to be. I rate everything accordingly and then whatever percentage comes out just comes out. It doesn't really make a difference to me.
11:24 AM on 07/04/08
Praetor
as we melt, let's make no noise.
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Band rules.
01:49 PM on 07/05/08
Troggy
Basking in Wrongness
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Thanks! It's funny, I don't do the percentages I just choose what I think fits as I'm doing it, and sometimes it adds up to some over-rating, and sometimes it's very underwhelming.

Fan boy
01:58 PM on 07/05/08
Heart-A-Tact
0100010110
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Easily one of my best impulse buys.
02:07 PM on 07/05/08
porttheman
SERENITY NOW!
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when was ACB a 6 piece???
02:09 PM on 07/05/08
thejaredens
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Love this cd!! so much better than come now sleep ..
02:14 PM on 07/05/08
phildisaster
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nice to see the nods to the new record, which i think is brilliant.
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