This album is a journey worth taking; a musical expedition that takes you to places far away. Places you never thought an album could take you, let alone a hardworking and meticulous band from the suburban landscapes of Langhorne, PA. With sounds ranging from the profound reverberations of surges and streams roaring high above in outer space to the rumbles from those thunderstorms off in the distance, this album is as organic as a summer night.
With a full-length long overdue for Days Away, the extended wait has been well worth it. After years of progression and tinkering, the band have finally found their forte. I’m extremely impressed with how much Days Away have taking songs from their past and have tweaked them just enough to get them to a point where they are undivided and whole. Those who have followed the band from their early demos and EP material will be smiling from ear to ear when they hear just how far along some of these songs have come. They have gone from simple, pop rock tracks to multifaceted and complete songs that are marked by a deep intricacy. A perfect example of this would be the song, “Keep Your Voices Down,” which has been softened and toned down from the original version to fit into the scheme and mood of the full-length. The new version might take awhile to grow on you, but when paying attention to the overall frame of mind of the album, the change is a positive one.
That’s the most prominent and striking aspect of this album, how each and every song connects and bonds to each other creating one of the most complete albums in this genre for a long while. You probably won’t find many songs that stand out or over power any of the others because I believe this album was meant to be listened to as a whole, not through individual songs. I really admire the effort and initiative that Days Away have poured into this full-length in terms of that idea of creating an album that is comprehensive and absolute.
From the opening track “God And Mars,” the pace is set as the song explodes and lets the listener know they’re in for quite a ride. This song provides a great introduction as to who Days Away are. From the divergent and stirring voice of vocalist/guitarist Keith Goodwin to the drumming of Tim Arnold, the mood, energy and instrumentation is established. From there, everything just flows as evenly as can be. The captivating sound of Days Away gives you the feel like you have heard this before but it’s still quite unlike anything else that is out there today. With the added keyboards of Bryan Gulla, the sound of the band is given another layer that really keeps the sound animated and lively. When listening to this album, don’t be surprised if you feel as if you are floating above the clouds, especially on songs like “Mirrors” where the ear piercing wails fill up the song’s hard-hitting parts.
Another aspect that really pushes Days Away to elevated heights is how much each band member’s playing style and technique coincides with each other. It goes back to that whole perception of this album being as complete as possible. From the calming guitar lines that often find faint, tempo changes that really match up well with the subtle yet authoritative piano notes; everything just fits into a tight package. So when the album closes out with “T. Kline’s Decline,” a 6+ minute, larger-than-life song that is clearly a work of art, the journey begins to wind down … but only for Mapping An Invisible World, because Days Away are just beginning and there is so much more to be heard.
(Fueled By Ramen)