Review: As We Ascend- Farewell to Midnight
Some of the best music is inspired from an artist or songwriter’s hardest and darkest and hardest moments. This is the case with As We Ascend, which breathed life from the ashes of We As Human.
When WAH officially dissolved in early 2016, no one was sure what would come of the remaining members. Rather than lay down and artistically die, they banded together and formed AWA and began writing for what would become Farewell To Midnight- a record that shows the band taking every emotion, every bit of pent-up aggression and pain, and morphing it into a beautiful, dark and personal record that is every bit as strong as fans would expect.
Officially made up of Justin Forshaw, Jake Jones and Robert Venable, one thing that separates As We Ascend from other projects is that they alternate lead vocals so there isn’t one set lead singer. They also funded the album via PledgeMusic and some of the rewards were out of this world. Specifically, they gave fans a chance to be the band’s label execs.
Last year, the band released their debut single- “Wash Away” and it was an instant hit. It climbed the rock charts and became a quick fan favorite. Needless to say, the expectations began to rise, and rightly so.
Farewell To Midnight shows As We Ascend coming out with guns blazing on “Hatchet”- a electronically-charged rock anthem who’s chorus will be stuck in your head and is by far one of the standout tracks on the record. This one is AWA at their best
“My Ghost” is a dark and dingy track that is an anthem in itself while “Expendable” has a slow, taunting melody to it and keeps the aggression going.
“Tell Me” is a track whose instrumentals truly encapsulate what the song is about. The quick, stomping drums add to the emotionally-charged lyrics and bring the mournful mood to the forefront. During the journey As We Ascend take us, this song is the musical valley of the album and shows the members at their most vulnerable. The cries of agony during the chorus make you feel exactly what their feeling and put you right where they are.
This track leads into “When The Gun Goes,” which takes you from the very bottom and catapults you as high as you can go in no time. This is one of the most powerful songs the members have written and shows the band taking the depression from “Tell Me,” knocking it on its ass blowing it far into the abyss.
“Insulate” is the poppiest we’ve seen from As We Ascend go and is the byproduct of if Maroon 5 and Anberlin had a rock and roll love child. You can dance and pit to this song and “End of Me” keeps the pop rock party going with an impressive solo from Shinedown’s Zach Myers.
After “We Fight,” we’re treated to lead single, “Wash Away” and, if you thought was impressive when it was released, listen to it on the album after the rest of the songs, right where it’s supposed to be played- and you’ll be even more blown away.
The record ends on a soft- yet dominant note- with “At My Door,” which features 3 Doors Down singer Brad Arnold and is one of the most emotional and beautiful tracks of the entire album.
When it’s all said and done, the members of As We Ascend have done something not many bands are able to accomplish- and that’s overcome a massive overhaul. Everything about record is about overcoming obstacles, clinging to what you believe and rising back to the top. Everything from the name of the band, to the name of the album to the lyrics show this.
With this record, As We Ascend have truly said farewell to midnight, turned the corner and are stronger than ever. Farewell to Midnight is the embodiment of a success story and is rock and roll through and through.