With so much happening all at once, it can be difficult to hear every detail of And So I Watch You From Afar’s latest album Heirs – just another reason to enjoy it over and over again. The Belfast math-rock four-piece is a collective of melodic intensity, held together by intricate guitar patterns and group-vocal hooks that resemble a jubilant chorus of dramatic effect. Heirs, the band’s fourth studio album, is a 10-track collection that aims to impress, and more.
From the opening sequence of the rushed back-and-forth 16th notes of “Run Home” to the dramatic conclusion “Tryer, You”, ASIWYFA evade the need for explicit storytelling on Heirs that most songs tend to lean towards. Instead, the chaotic musicality of each individual track does more than enough to entertain. Combined with the hollow, group chorus vocals, the songs become multidimensional seamlessly. Tracks from Heirs alternate between hardcore instrumental dominance and post-rock intensity. “Run Home” kick starts the album with melodic punk elements, eventually finding forward-facing metalcore breakdowns in “Wasps”. The absence of vocals (aside from the band’s harmonies), keeps the song in limbo between instrumental rock, and hardcore.
With that level of aggression in hand, the band is adamant on maintaining a high level of melodic progression, and the free flowing, energetic track “Redesigned A Million Times” showcases the band’s accurate ability; the final minute and a half instantly becomes an explosive conclusion. “Fucking Lifer” is brimming with melody with an added dance-rock flair in the opening sequence. “Tryer, You” opens with a similar vibrant quality, and maintains it throughout, bringing the album to close with a lighter touch. And with song sharing a similar structural makeup, there still remains a unique charm and excitement in each one.
Builds and climaxes appear across the album: “People Not Sleeping” (it is almost solely composed of them), the elongated “A Beacon, A Compass, An Anchor” (the song is a six minute crescendo). Most notably, the exquisite title track “Heirs” is a prime example of the dramatic intensity post-rock music can have. Even just by looking at the sound wave, the construction of song illustrates the fluctuating range of the music.
As the band releases their fourth album, the Belfast natives are holding onto their melodic roots, but with a more polished, tight-knit feel. Heirs pushes the boundaries of math-rock, carefully and meticulously fusing hardcore and instrumental elements. Stream the full album via The Fader and head over to the band’s website to buy the album.