This Is Your Life - Before We Fade Away (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

This Is Your Life

Before We Fade Away (2012)


This five-piece Richmond, Va. outfit offered a lot of promise in their 2010 three-song self-titled EP but it was hard to gauge how they'd do given the chance to helm a full-length. When "Single Mothers" hit my player last year, I remembered I needed to check in on these guys again...and safe to say, it was worth the wait.

The melodic hardcore approach and extra emphasis on technical guitar work are things they kept constant and it shows on the first half of the record. "Arrivals and Departures" and "Anchors" exemplify the furious, loud and fast-paced structure the guys are known for and there's a fervent thrill throughout. Never saw them live but heard even better things about their shows. The guitars are beyond class; "Blackout Curtains" and "Purgatory" emphasize this quality.

It's hard to find an unlikable song on the record and just when I thought Title Fight was gonna take the record of September–or album of the year–this comes along. "Walls" shows how well they utilize multiple vocalists and with so little flaws, it's pretty amazing that there's length to the record. You get enough and then more of the band.

"This is where I wanna be / Staring down from a rooftop balcony" on "2905" and "It's times like these I hardly know myself / I won't regret" from "High Tide" are some endearing touches that polish the record. There are nice little power metal riffs throw in here and there by the time the finale "Into a Golden Age" rolls around. I backtracked to "Songs of Experience" before settling myself, and no doubt, it was nice taking a breath after listening to a record that stands a cut above the rest this year. These guys expanded intelligently on their three songs from 2010 into pure brilliance.