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Age of Emergence - The War within Ourselves

Age of Emergence
The War within Ourselves
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 February 2020, 6:38 AM

AGE OF EMERGENCE formed in the Newcastle region in 2013 by ex-SHAMBHALA members Dean Holmes and Allan Hofer teaming up with ORDER OF THE DRAGON guitarist Matt Neilson. After many freeform jam sessions, a set of originals began to take shape. Home recording began and after much practice and tweaking of sounds and equipment our first demo was released on soundcloud. After a year of gigging locally the band recorded their first EP and it is titled “The War within Ourselves,” and contains five tracks.

“Stone Cold Icarus” leads off the EP. A steady beat leads to a dark section of rhythm guitars as the song starts to take shape. When the vocals some in, I am reminded of FATES WARNING. Not so much because of their sound per se, but the sound coming from the band. The clean guitar passage following the second chorus offers some diversity, but it sounds to me as if the band is still trying to find their sound a bit. “Wake the Beast” is next. The Progressive elements come through a little stronger here, but the singer is struggling a bit to find his range. The instrumental passage that follows the second chorus is interesting, but the minor notes the singer uses sound off to me. Besides being a bit on the pitchy side, there is a bit of a disconnect with the music.

“Your Kingdom Dies” starts off with a slower pace, but it picks up a bit and the drums, guitars and bass work well in unison. I just don’t like the vocals to be totally honest. His croons are held for too long, creating this melancholy feeling which I think the band would be better to let go of. At times, they flirt with a NWOBHM sound that doesn’t fit well in their self-described Progressive genre. “Ascender” opens with some promising instrumental elements, but man do those vocals cast a depressing tone on the song. The lead guitar led passage is interesting but the passage that follows seems to stall the song.

“Two Halves” closes the album. The opening riff is mid-tempo riff that really never makes it off the ground. The vocals don’t help. There is also a disconnect from the verses to the chorus. I think the band just needs to re-think direction at times. What is missing most are seamless transitions, and this normally comes from years of experience and working with one another. I think the album has potential, but I would recommend a different singer and some more time in the studio before another release. It wasn’t horrible, it just wasn’t that good either. I think the band has to find a common identity and then go from there.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Stone Cold Icarus
2. Wake the Beast
3. Your Kingdom Dies
4. Ascender
5. Two Halves
Dean Holmes – Bass, Vocals
Matt Neilson –Guitar, Vocals
Benn Baxter –Drums
Record Label: Independent


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