A couple of weeks ago I saw High Wycombe post-hardcore band As Everything Unfolds headline a London show and proceeded to have my mind blown by their awesome live performance. Post-gig, I’ve struggled to listen to anything else other than their music.
The six-piece of Charlie Rolfe (vocals), Adam Kerr and Owen Hill (guitars), George Hunt (bass), Liam Burgoyne (drums) and Jonny Cassidy (keyboards / synths) was first formed out of a group of mutual friends with a love for heavy music, but have only existed in their current format for around 18 months. But in those 18 months they’ve crafted a sound that pairs an impressively heavy sound with moments of delicious melody, largely thanks to Charlie’s incredible vocals.
We caught up with the band to find out more this week, and bassist George Hunt told us: “When we were younger we used to go out and watch bands play all the time, and quickly realised we wanted to be up on those stages – playing live will always one of the biggest reasons and motivators for this band. We first started to refine our musical direction and style when Charlie joined on vocals, it made us think more deeply about the music that we wanted to produce. Our current sound was cemented when Jon moved from the drums to keyboards / synths, adding more electronic and atmospheric elements to our music.”
The latest portrayal of that sound is their excellent new single Centuries. It opens up with lingering synthy noises under building guitars that are soon joined by crushing drums. Rolfe’s vocals enter with lingering guitars and keys, then explode into life in a savage smash of screamed vocals then a cry of “Praying to one we cannot see” leads into a singalong chorus of “Broken words in empty passage, He’s not coming here, Reckless in his image I declare” supported by driving drums and almost haunting, atmospheric guitars.
A faster, more powerful second verse follows, and flows straight into a repeat of the chorus, then there’s a moment for breath with clean repeated guitar riffs supporting laid-back vocals. Building guitar chords and high-pitched vocals then build the atmosphere up to a huge blood-curdling scream of “In all your despair” alongside huge low-tuned guitars and menacing synth sounds to bring the song to a huge ending.
On the track, George told us: “We’re really excited about this release as we feel it showcases our most accomplished song writing yet. We went out on tour to promote this single, and so far we’ve had a really good response, so we can’t wait to visit more of the UK and play our music to fresh audiences!” Check it out for yourself in the awesome video below:
The track follows the release of debut EP Collide earlier this year, from which the intro to opening track Bright Lights delivers everything that’s great about this band. It begins with funky repeated synth noises that are soon joined by big booming guitars then Rolfe’s huge, intense vocals take over culminating a massive scream of “I’m sorry” that give way to huge low-tuned guitars. Then a melodic, hugely infectious chorus follows, the vocals of which “This is a chapter in a whole new story, Turning pages, time and time again, I’ve finally found my hope and glory, Don’t take this away from me” have been stuck in my head for days. The guitars intensify with big fast low-tuned bursts through the second verse, which again ends in a big scream and a cry of “I am your weakness” leads into another intoxicating chorus. There’s a slight lull, which is quickly blown away by a scream of “From me” then “And you won’t take this dream away from me” that encourages the return of more booming guitar riffs before ending in some creepy synth sounds.
It’s a brilliant way to open up the EP, and it’s followed by something equally good in Sleep Alone, which opens up with a cool guitar riff and low-tuned supporting chords and smashing cymbals. Meandering vocals enter, ending on the lyric “Here’s your downfall and here’s my rise” that lead into a big singalong chorus of “Cry yourself to sleep my dear, So I don’t wake you in my dreams, Say goodnight and it’ll be alright” then the really cool repeated lyrics that end the chorus: “It’s your way out, way out, way out, Your memories will spill out, spill out, spill out.”
The song delves into darkness after the second chorus with a big chugging low-tuned guitar sound leading into a haunting wall of synth, massive cymbals and guitars under the intense vocals: “All my fury, hate and glory, Save your breath, Now hear my fucking story” then ends on big screamed repeats of “I won’t be the one to let you.” Check it out in the video below:
The more melodic side to Rolfe’s vocals come across in the excellent singalong track Voices, which features an absolutely massive breakdown of booming guitars and drums, then possibly my favourite of their tracks, Golden. It opens up with fast-paced guitar riffs and smashing drums that lead into a verse with fast guitars under the vocals then lead into a fast-paced chorus that ends on a big scream. Spoken / screamed vocals follow, then a repeat of the chorus, then the pace drops right down with lingering synth noises supporting a clean guitar riff soon joined by the delicious vocals “It’s hard to see precious things die when they deserve to thrive, You are priceless and you are golden, No longer silent and no longer broken.” These words repeated as the instruments build, then the track ends on a fast burst of guitar.
AEU’s crushing heaviness is then evident in abundance on The Astral Project, which opens up with an effects-ridden guitar sound and a massive guitar riff supported by booming drums, before the EP ends on a more mellow note with the delicious Tides.
George tells us: “We would describe our music as crushing riffs and soaring vocals, fused together with haunting synths. We try to keep variety and diversity in our music to keep the listener guessing and we aim for each song to hold its own personality, to stand out in its own way.
While Adam adds: “We’re all driven to write music as its our passion however the songs that we choose to keep are always the ones we get the most excited about and predominantly are the ones that are based around an impactful event on our lives. Our new single Centuries, for example, is about people who blindly conform and are willing to make massive life choices without questioning the status quo.”
Given they have six members, and the contrasts between their styles, there are a wide range of musical influences influencing the As Everything Unfolds sound – ranging from Paramore, Mallory Knox and My Chemical Romance through to Being As An Ocean, Meshuggah, Periphery and Porter Robinson. As Adam says: “Due to the nature of our writing style we take influence from almost any artist and this list is bound to change by the next time we’re asked this question!”
As Everything Unfolds have a few shows booked in before the end of the year, including Phoenix Bar in High Wycombe next Sunday (29 October) and Fatlils in Witney on 9 November. More info on their gigs is here. But their main focus is on finishing their next EP with the aim to be back in the studio and back on the road early next year.
The single Centuries and EP Collide are out now, you can get hold of them on MusicGlue, iTunes, Bandcamp and Spotify. And you can follow As Everything Unfolds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.