The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die

Illusory Walls

Written by: PP on 20/12/2021 14:48:44

"Illusory Walls" is the fourth album by The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. It follows some roster changes: Tyler Bussey and Dylan Balliet, both on guitar and vocals, have departed the band, resulting in fewer layers of fretwork than on the previous album "Always Foreign". Curiously enough, the resulting soundscape is perhaps even more ambitious than it was on said album, propelling TWIAB into the realm of progressive rock despite their otherwise emotive base.

Where previous works were characterized by their strong presence of post-rock in the mix, "Illusory Walls" focuses more on depth-laden, louder, and more expansive soundscapes than ever before. This is exemplified by the challenging guitar work on "Invading The World Of The Guilty As A Spirit Of Vengeance", which draws eerie stylistic parallels to the sci-fi prog of Coheed And Cambria. The album opener "Afraid To Die" crescendoes into a symphony of orchestral and hard-hitting guitars, again highlighting the heavier approach taken in multiple spots throughout the record. Similarly, the almost seven-minute "Died In The Prison Of The Holy Office" spends lengthy amounts of time building up, before blazing into a Circa Survive-esque storm of intricate fretwork and soaring vocals during one of the best choruses on this album.

That's not to say the band doesn't engage in soothing indie rock with emo vibes as well. "Queen Sophie For President", for instance, features Katie Dvorak's somber vocals and is overall a much more relaxing and laid-back track than the others mentioned here. Likewise, the two 'blank' tracks, "Blank - Drone" and "Blank - Worker" are also more aking to indie rock than prog rock, and "Trouble" revolves around a classical math-rock/emo structure.

Later, the band goes even further into the prog realm through the nearly 16- and 20-minute album-closing pair, "Infinite Josh" and "Fewer Afraid", respectively. Both more than double (almost triple) as long as any track on a previous TWIAB album), they will test the attention span of older fans through multiple, carefully orchestrated movements in each song that, truth be told, could've been split into individual songs just as well.

Overall, "Illusory Walls" is a solid album. It sees TWIAB transform from mere emo/post-rock/math-rock into effectively a progressive rock outfit with emotional undertones. The songs are more deliberate and technically profound, showcasing grandiose melodies and soaring vocals, not to even mention the distortion-laden guitars throughout. It's different - but not necessarily better than its predecessor. Still, some ways to go in comparison to their masterpiece of a debut album.

Download: Died In The Prison Of The Holy Office, Invading the World of the Guilty as a Spirit of Vengeance, We Saw Birds Through The Hole In The Ceiling
For the fans of: Sorority Noise, Empire! Empire! I Was A Lonely Estate, Coheed And Cambria, Circa Survive
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.10.2021

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