Review || Acres - "Lonely World"

UK melodic post hardcore act Acres are releasing their debut full length album, "Lonely World", on August 9th via A Wolf At Your Door records. My first experience with the band was a few years back in The Netherlands, when they were opening for Sights & Sounds. To this day, their performance is branded in my head and I very vividly recall all the emotions they brought out, as well as the expressiveness of the entire band on stage, not just the vocalist. "Lonely World" finds the band toning down the hardcore part and relying more on melody, ready to take a bold step out to the world and demanding to be heard.

"Lonely World" opens with "Deathbed", a two-minute long ambient intro which establishes the tone of the album and essentially serves as the opening part to the single "Medicine". Ben Lumber's angelic voice greets the listener as the instrumentation starts to build up. Although pretty upbeat, the lyrics of the track reveal a personal story of struggle and fighting inner demons, with a captivating vocal melody. "Be Alone" follows, and takes a more emotionally charged path with the music. Here, the vocals become more breathy, with a dramatic outbreak in the chorus as our protagonist is pouring his soul out for a person that he used to hold dear to hear. The title track is next, not straying from an equally intense path. Every word bears a heavy meaning, and the subtle melody beautifully dresses the feelings they convey. We are four songs in and the album is already challenging our softest parts in a very sincere way, not resorting to any kind of corny clichés to draw the listener's attention. On the contrary, Acres expands their ideas over an entire spectrum of musicianship, gingerly avoiding the generic faux pas that appear to be recurrent in this genre. 
As we move on, things become even more fired up and we notice a clever juxtaposition. "Hurt" sports more ferocious traits and while the listener is still immersed in them, "Lullaby" hits. Lasting a little over 5', the song lives up to its name. A farewell to a passing soul, it creates a dreamy atmosphere where the listener is engulfed in a calm and soothing outcome [ed. -if you haven't checked the video for the track already, you really need to]. "Talking In Your Sleep", yet another single, regains a fast-paced character with one of the most dynamic arrangements in this album. We are now three songs from the end and "You Are Not" will not let the intensity die down. One of the most outstanding tracks on the album, it hits straight in the feels with its heartbreaking performance. "Sharpen Your Teeth" holds a more moderate approach. Here, we see Lumber experiment to a great extent with his upper register, managing to sound consistent throughout the song. "Lonely World" ends with "Skin Over Mine", the second lengthiest song on the album. The final emotional journey couldn't be any less glorious than the songs that preceded it and this compelling anthem does a wonderful job recapitulating what the album is about.

If I had to sum "Lonely World" up, it would be imperative to quote and expand the thought of an unknown internet writer; "poetry is nothing more than the screams and the cries of those who forgot to communicate through other means". The British outfit is doing exactly that. They transform their entire art, not just the lyrics, into poetry, and communicate their deepest fears and feelings which resonate with what their audience may be dealing with. It never becomes clear whether that frustration is addressed towards a former lover or a friend, or if the antagonist is actually an embodiment of the world/the universe, allowing the interpretation to remain open. The album is a masterpiece, brilliant in every way, and absolutely worth your attention.
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