Album Review

This Is A Lifetime - Clarity

Released January 14, 2014
Steve Allanson
This Is A Lifetime has returned with all guns blazing - not only with a new album Clarity, but also with brand-new vocalist/front-man Stevie James. The new album is James' first with the band, with Clarity being the bands 5th release.

Stevie breaks right out of the gate spitting venomous and inspiring lyrics with the albums first track “Witness”. With heart-pounding drums, fist-pumping rhythms and wicked riffing, the song grabs your attention by the throat with Mike Oiler's infectious chorus, "Witness / Every battle that has been fought and won / Witness / The tragedies slowly fade with the rising sun."

The next song, “Survival” takes the album in a whole different direction and showcases the band’s origins in pop-punk genres. The catchy lyrics will have you hating your ex-girlfriend all over again; while reminding you why you're better off with out them. Once again, Mike balances the aggressiveness of Stevie's screams with his own uplifting melodies.

“Clarity” the title track and current single from the album is the perfect middle track. Mixing the heaviness of “Witness” and the beautiful melodies of “Survival”, “Clarity” keeps the album moving with driving beats, aggressive rhythms, and indelible melodies. The chorus is bound to be caught in your head, "I'll never let myself fear the unknown / If I can make it here then I can make it home / I can make it home / With Clarity / I can walk a million miles / I can part the seven seas / I can laugh to myself / Or I can bring this world to its knees."

The entire album keeps you head banging and wanting more. With pulse-pounding riffs and contentious lyrics, “Price” is no different. The fourth song on the EP will give your neck a good work out as you bob your head to the fast-paced rhythm of the track. While, musically, “Price” stays on pace with the rest of the album, lyrically, the song deviates and is noticeably different than the rest of the songs; as it strays away from uplifting or inspiring messages, as the lyrics point out faults in society’s canonization of money. "Money money money money / that's all we've got ... / You can never have too much but you'll never have enough."

The album ends with “Ascend”, which sums up the album perfectly and contains elements of all of the songs leading up to it. With classic metal riffs, heavy rhythms, and a chorus that will have you singing along, “Ascend” is bound to be a favorite. "I've got a date with the impossible / A one way ticket to a miracle and I can only ascend." Overall, Clarity will please metal fans and This Is A Lifetime fans alike with its heavy riffs courtesy of Mike Oiler and Morgan Patterson and a wide array of pulsating drum patterns provided by Joe Czekaj. The additions of vocalist Stevie James and Czekaj are vast and noticeable improvements to an already great up-and-coming band. If you're a metal fan and want some music with a positive message behind it, Clarity will deliver. And for the $5 asking price, it's "worth the price you pay."