CD Review: A Light Within - Body Matter

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Short Introduction

A Light Within are a Post Rock/ Post Metal/ ShoeGaze band located at Kansas City, MO. Their first release has been the "Preface" EP which came out in 2013 and featured three tracks. The band created a sound full of atmosphere and emotions along with a lyrical concept which talked about a person whose life fades away. The songs were labeled with track names and side numbers like in a book.

Having released the record the band played continually shows in the area of their hometown and did send a sign every here and there about what happened on their Facebook page. That's also the place where the band began to speak about their second EP. People who followed them could get insights into the recording process by checking out the Youtube videos. A Light Within posted scenes from the studio along with song snippets.

The first single the band released of that record was entitled "Between Shores". A little later a proper video showing a decent visual exposure of the music was released on Youtube.

This coming Saturday May the 15th 2015 will see the band playing a CD celebration show at the recordbar. You'll be able to buy a hand numbered limited edition with extra special packaging of the "Body Matter" EP so don't miss out this very special show. The flyer below should hold all the information you need.

(c) by A Light Within, used with kind permission

If you can't make it to the show you don't need to be sad, there's still a chance to get your hands on one of the "normal" CDs but those are limited, too. Just head over to Bandcamp to otder your copy.

The digital version of "Body Matter" will be released via Static Tension Recordings on July 7th 2015.

Summary / Purchase Link / Player

The EP is a absolute blast! Having heard the single "Between Shores" I had some hopes but never expected this in my wildest dreams. Every song is different and it forms together a great diversity.

Most of all the band has gone through a form of progress which is hard to find anywhere else. While the band happily kept all the trademarks intact they also managed to make progress on each and every point possible. This means that each and every bandmember has tried out new ways on "Body Matter". For instance the vocals show now a much more diverse range of emotions and expressions. The bass guitar pushes the songs more forward and even the drums vary more than on "Preface". All in all it feels as if the new songs move more forwards in a more harder and pushing direction.

(c) by A Light Within, used with kind permission

If you're into hard but also very atmospheric music with a darker haunting vibe you should give this record and band a listen. As for me it's one of the best records in 2015 so far. It's music taking one far beyond and I totally love it for being that way. It's outstanding and takes the listener to another world in a positive way.

A hand numbered limited edition with extra special packaging of the "Body Matter" EP can be bought at the CD celebration show I mentioned above (Saturday 15th May 2015).

Purchase Links

Update 2015/07/28: Finally the digital version of Body Matter can be purchased at the Bandcamp page of A Light Within for only five dollar. The standard CD for 7 dollar is still available,too. Meanwhile the tin-box version is sold out.

If you prefer to use the itunes store for buying music digitally then here is the proper link to purchase the new A Light Within EP. 

Update 2015/05/18: The band has revealed the extra special edition of the EP as a tin-boxed CD that comes with a booklet and is handnumbered. Only 24 of those were made. You can get one of those from the Bandcamp page for the price of 10 Dollar plus shipping and handling.

The "standard" version of the CD is limited to 75 copies and can be bought at the Bandcamp page of A Light Within for 7 Dollar plus shipping and handling.

The digital release is set for 7th July 2015. Make sure to see the band's Bandcamp page around that time. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to pick it up there. I'll also update this review with more info once I have it.

Album Stream

Since the release is still some days away there isn't a proper EP stream available yet. If a public stream should be set up I'll add it here. Please bookmark this page and check back or keep a eye on the Bandcamp page of A Light Within. In the meantime I've added the video for the full album version of "Between Shores" right here. The song gives a good idea of the style and sound of "Body Matter".

Update 2015/07/08: Finally here is the full stream of the EP for you to enjoy.

Update 2015/07/01: The full stream of the brand new EP premiered at Heavy Blog is Heavy. Don't wait any longer - click and discover a great piece of music in these warm summer days of 2015.

Update 2015/05/15: The album stream release date is currently set for July 7 through Static Tension Recordings (information taken from the Facebook page of the band).

Update 2015/05/22: a new track from the EP has premiered over at the Decibel Magazine. It's called "World through the window". Check it out along with some words from the band about the meaning of the lyrics.

Track-by-track review

1. Torn Page #21
This intro slowly takes you away from the world you know. It feels as if you can hear the sound of the sea breaking it's waves on the coast. Mixed in distorted guitars tell you that something new is to arrive near you....

2. Page #22 _No Charge

A soft opening touches in before a constant rhythm begins to play. You'll notice the strong bass guitar elements and much more variations in the drums on this one. The midtempo rhythm comes quite as a sort of surprise on the first listening. Excellent vocals along with fine guitars with the punching rhythm make this a remarkable track. Nearly every little section comes with a different vocal part, some are more decent some are more stretched but they all fit very well in here. The song builds up more and more before it returns to the structure of the beginning at the middle of the track just to begin building up again. A hard scream towards the end then some more of the song before a hard cut marks the end.

(c) by A Light Within, used with kind permission

3. Page #51 _Between Shores
This one builds up slowly, crawling towards you. The drums play a cool pattern fill and the full song theme and haunting melody unfolds towards the listener. The vocals take a darker and harder tone than on No Charge. The distorted guitars contribute to this heavier attitude. The second part of Between Shores cleans out the melody to give the drums and spoken vocals more room. It brings in some sort of silent and clearing effect to the listener. The small melody softly played to it gives it a calming effect. A dark and hard voice lifts up the track to a more moving piece of music again. The drums give it a harder punch towards the end which is a bit suprising before a clean yet abrupt ending comes in.

4. Page #29 _World Through the Window
Epic, long dark and hard guitar riffs blowing out on the beginning. Clean and direct vocals push in to straighter song. Much variations and direct drumming in here which were not too often audible on A Light Within songs before. A beautiful melody comes in towards the middle of World Through the Window before some crushing guitars step in with the clean vocals. Some hard pushing riffs to the end give this one a very heavy and groove-oriented feeling.

(c) by A Light Within, used with kind permission

5. Page #13 _To Have; To Hold
The shortest number on Body Matter gives you some time to breathe and relax with it's soft and feeling lost melody and soft vocals. A dreaming moment in the vast ocean of time we are all living in...

6. Page #47-48 _Glaso
A slow and very silent fade in at the beginning before a hard rhythm kicks in. Some more silent notes before the track changes to a pushing beat going back and forth while bringing in various vocal elements. The edgy guitars give it a special note like some sort of screams mixed in. The second half is filled with a even more punching beat giving the track a more direct note. Maybe the most direct song of the band so far. Some hard riffs at the end form a good outro and leave one behind with a smiling face.

A Light Within made it once again. A band I hope many people will listen to. They would surely miss out a lot otherwise...

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