Hailing from Phoenixville, A World Once Silent returns with their debut full-length entitled Creating Yourself, Not Finding Yourself. This is their follow-up to 2011’s EP In the Company of Wolves. Fusing a thrashy and technical metalcore style with bouncy, groovy passages, abrasive breakdowns, lush chord structures, and melodic dual harmonies, there’s really something for any fan of heavy music on this CD.

The CD starts out with “Introduction,” a chilling 40 seconds of noise that includes the sound of a heartbeat and an old vinyl record spinning. They waste no time getting into the second track, “Checkpoint Gnarly.” This along with “Overthrown” are actually re-recorded from the aforementioned EP. Right off the bat, “Checkpoint Gnarly” is much more attention-grabbing with a haunting harmonic minor harmony in the lead guitar accompanied with a faster version of the groovy rhythm. The production quality is better and the band is tighter on this version, allowing the song to be convincingly revamped this time around. The beginning of “The Artificial” starts out with a similar, winding harmonic minor melody but what really stood out to me was the chorus. A lot of times you hear metalcore bands progress through songs with many different parts and sometimes won’t revisit a specific part. Here, however, they stick to a pretty standard song structure, with the chorus really shining.

Some of my favorite songs off Creating Yourself, Not Finding Yourself include “80-08” and “Overthrown,” which are the 7th and 9th songs, respectively. This is a testament to the fact that the record stays consistent. Some bands rush into recording an album and just put out 10 tracks to put out 10 tracks. Here however, we see a clear knack for songwriting and attention to detail. From a crushing two-step breakdown like in “7 Months” to a textured, reverb-intensive clean guitar piece in “Dysphoria,” to silky-smooth sweep arpeggios in “Isaac the Painter,” there’s a lot of musical prowess shown by the band. There’s a lot to like on this album.

However, with all these positive points come a few negatives. Like many other bands in the genre, I wish I would’ve heard more bass. I like the bass tone on “Castaway,” it’s punchy and sits in the mix well. But you need really nice headphones or speakers to appreciate the bass for a good portion of the CD. When you do, you’ll realize that the bass work is great. Many of the lead guitar lines are flying by at the same time the bass is complimenting them with impressive lines of its own. Also, the vocals fit the music well but I would’ve liked to hear a bit more exploration of the mid and higher range. Lastly, some of the riffs sound a little too similar for me. I understand it’s difficult to write this type of music and sound unique, especially when writing in the same key as other tracks, but there are a few times listening I though I’ve heard similar passages before.

All in all, this is a very impressive effort-especially for a self-released record. If you’re into bands like Texas in July, August Burns Red, or This or the Apocalypse, do yourself a favor and check out A World Once Silent’s Creating Yourself, Not Finding Yourself.