Seeming to be a relatively unknown entity, Kansas based post-Metallers A Light Within has developed a small cult following over the course of two previous, strong releases. The closing piece of their linked trilogy, latest EP Epilogue (all self-released) takes all the foundations they built before and closes it with significant levels of improvement, and a new found production level (mixing courtesy of Acle Kahney of TesseracT fame) which shows a heightened ambition.
Despite the ties with its predecessors, Epilogue works just as well on its own, standing above its predecessors because of its advancements. EP opener ‘Shells’ builds gradually from near sombre ambiance and static effects into slow, impactful and crushing heaviness, with vocals ranging from a commanding, part-sung, part-spoken progressing through to tortured screams. The flow into following track ‘Chemical Drive’ is seamless and sees a continuation of the range from mellow to massive, but this time in a more mixed manner. ‘Surrounded By Astronauts’ adds more diversity in its guitar work. with chugging, riffs intertwining with more serene and melodic lines, whilst vocalist Kyle Brandt’s vocals adopt a lower, but equally melodic, tone akin to Chino Moreno, proving to flow into the mix rather than dominate proceedings. Closer ‘An Educated Gentleman’ follows on in a similar vein before its final notes add a tone of mystique with a surprisingly abrupt use of effects.
With only a couple of releases under their belt, A Light Within still feel like a new presence in the metal world, even if their debut release was around five years ago, so the leaps and bounds that Epilogue makes is hugely impressive. That this EP release passes so quickly is both a testament to its quality and an indication that their next long player is not to be missed. Perfectly blending a range of tones and atmospherics with sterling fluidity and a dynamism in their abilities make this a highly recommended effort, and they themselves ones to keep an eye out for in future.