A Light Within
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A Light Within

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Post-metal




"EP Review: A LIGHT WITHIN Epilogue"

A few years back, I was suggested a rather peculiar EP by A Light Within titled Body Matter—its tracklisting was simply page numbers. The style was undeniably unique. It fell somewhere on a spectrum between post-metal, prog, and space rock. With further investigation, I found out that the EP was the middle-piece of a trilogy with Preface being previously released a couple years before. And with patience, I can finally witness the third and final piece to the "A Light Within puzzle," Epilogue. It's important to note that all three releases stay consistent in the page number theme; which allows for the plunge into the musical journey to feel as if you are peering into a cryptic diary filled with emotional passages, secrets, and plot-twists.

The Kansas City-based quintet consists of Kyle Brandt (vocals/keyboards), Jeff Irvine and Josh Bennet (guitars), Andy Schiller (bass), and Nick Sloan (drums). Additionally, Paul Malinowski (Season to Risk, Shiner) recorded and mixed the EP while Acle Kahney (Tesseract) mastered the four tracks. Before diving into these songs, it's necessary to address one of A Light Within's most unique attributes. The vocal delivery is simply incomparable.

If I am forced to draw some similarities, I'd point to the gothic undertones of Type O Negative merging with a British drawl akin to David Bowie or The Cure. Of course, that doesn't quite do Brandt's vocal style justice; I most definitely felt some parallels with the aforementioned artists at moments. If I was being picky, I would hope for some possible unclean vocals in addition. Understandably, maybe growls aren't of Brandt's vocal style, however, a guest appearance to really push the climax to more extreme heights would be most impressive.

Opener track, "Page #9 (Shells)," sets a very moody atmosphere, one constantly in the state of building momentum. Although the track could've benefitted with an explosive ending; the song succeeded in establishing the emotional-driven dynamics of the band. "Page #54 (Chemical Drive)," has a song structure that is even more powerful—with possibly the catchiest hook in the band's discography so far. Beeps and boops accurately provide the setting for "Page #27 (Surrounded by Astronauts)" before launching into a proggy, space rock jam. Though I claimed the vocals are particularly one-of-a-kind, "Page #35 (An Educated Gentleman)" however, sounds a lot like Chino Moreno. Brandt's voice is reminiscent of Palms or Deftones' softer songs.

While the understanding of songwriting, as well as a skill in musicianship, is most definitely present; I feel this project’s best characteristic is their mastery of production. I’m not too much of an audiophile, but listening through my tiny computer speakers vs. my headphones made a major difference in picking up on the panning of noise from one ear to the other or the swells of volumes with each riff. I'm uncertain how much of this magnificence is attributed to the production team or the musicians; regardless, the clarity within each song's soundscape is beyond immersive.

Considering I have subconsciously awaited a follow-up to the EP that originally got me hooked on A Light Within; Epilogue perfectly satisfied my desires. Fair warning, this project's style is not extremely heavy by any means, but functions and excels in the use of atmosphere, reflection, and dynamic range. If you're into the subtleties of post-metal and space rock, lose yourself in this emotionally moving and engaging EP. - Metal Injection

"Post Rock Post // February 2018"

Just in case you thought that intelligent post metal, made over several albums, and dealing with an occult/intellectual figure was only for Junius to make, A Light Within are here to prove you wrong. This month, they released the third and last EP in their trilogy, an amalgamation of aggressive post metal, dreamy ambience and concept album. The obvious comparisons to Junius aside, seeing as they are the masters of this genre, A Light Within stand in their own light. Epilogue is perhaps their strongest release so far, expertly polishing their formula down to near perfection. The vocals are especially improved, carrying power and impact which many other vocalists can only pray for. The composition has metamorphosed around them, turning the spotlight on their unique timbre as the prime mover and shaker for the album. Just listen to the opening track, “Page #9 (Shells)”, if you need any proof of the above; the crashing chords and cymbals are the backdrop against which the vocals climb to ever increasing heights before ending on a screeched and abrasive tone. The rest of the album builds up on this hackle-raising promise and delivers one of the finer post metal releases of the past few years. - Heavy Blog is Heavy

"A Light Within - 'Epilogue' EP"

I believe it was my friend Jason who first told me about A Light Within, a kind of Proggy Rock band from Missouri. As we live in an age where distance doesn't matter but the download speed of your internet does, I was quickly listening to their first two EPs, a mix of spaced out, tight jams and strong vocals. Then static as the guys disappeared to work on their next release.

Finally, the world has waited enough as the band finally allow their next EP to escape the clutches of the studio. "Epilogue" is the final part of a series of three conceptual releases from A Light Within. Starting with 'Preface' (2013), then 'Body Matter' (2015) and now closing with 'Epilogue', the loose theme is of a book containing the slightly abstract thoughts of it's writer. Each track name begins a # page number, with none of them following a sequential order, reminding somewhat of Mark Z Danielewski's brain melting "House Of Leaves" (if you have a love of strange, challenging writing, please look for a copy of the book as well as the album "Haunted" by Poe that also ties in with the book).

But I digress, perhaps it's the Prog getting into my brain.....

"Epilogue" opens with 'Page #9 (Shells)', the sound of water lapping at you as various oriental and ambient sounds accentuate the peace before the band crash in. Kyle Brandt's vocals seem like another instrument in the mix, treated with effects and mixed in a way that adds to the feel of the music. There's just so many layers, I keep hearing something new on every listen. I love to hear this in songs, where you need to actively listen, to absorb what's going on within the music. It's not an easy listen but, boy, is it rewarding.

The musicians work together so well. There's space between everything sonically that allows everything to hang without bleeding into each other. Vocals are treated in the same way as the guitars, bass and drums, adding to the songs without taking them over. The mix and production work by Paul Malinowski, as well as the mastering by Acle Kahney, deserve special mention too. Everything sounds perfectly balanced with each other, something that a lot of big name albums struggle to achieve, especially when there's so much going on with the music.

'Page #54 (Chemical Drive)' slides it's way under your skin next, a more traditional sounding song than the opener. Nick Sloan uses the drums to pin everything down, holding everything in place with tight percussion whilst allowing everyone else to play their parts perfectly. Guitars, bass and vocals all weave around each other, leading to a grand and epic sounding chorus.

Third song, 'Page #27 (Surrounded By Astronauts')', opens again with ambience before dropping in Morse code, radio and Andy Schiller's picked and driving bass line. Kyle's voice is given chance to soar into the universe of the song, showing his range without becoming over dramatic but still showing confidence. In the meantime Jeff Irvine and Josh Bennett's guitars weave around the rest of the music then crunch away with a riff or two. They blend almost effortlessly together, making it hard to figure out who does what part thanks to their harmonious playing off each other. There's no excess here, everything is perfectly set to service the song.

'Page #35 (An Educated Gentleman)' brings the EP to a more than successful close. Again, everything has space to breathe and grow. Everything holds a perfect balance here, there's no ego in the musicianship. Everything is sacrificed for the song meaning there's no showing off to show how clever they are, the songs mean everything. Then, just when you were wishing there was more, the track ends, it's closing coda reminding you of how 'Epilogue' opens, ready to begin again.

Prog can occasionally come across as distant and cold, sacrificing emotion for technique, songs for showing off. Not so these guys. People may align A Light Within with the likes of Tool (come on guys, just make a damn album!) and possibly the Deftones but they have more musically in common with UK bands like Mogwai, Amplifier and Public Service Broadcasting. The songs are tight and emotive, really connecting with your brain at a primal level whilst nourishing your soul and imagination. 'Epilogue' is a soundtrack that fits anywhere, I've been listening to it in busy city centres, bus journeys to work and darkened rooms at night. It fits in with any kind of mood.

It's not often that a "progressive" band can connect on this level without becoming self indulgent, and that's a huge asset for A Light Within. Nothing is done for the sake of showing off, there's no extended guitar solos or hugely long instrumental passages that give you an excuse to go off for a three course meal only to return to find they're playing the same bloody song still. This is not too say that they've sacrificed that side of their musicianship to become commercial. They've found a way to strike a harmonious balance that straddles both worlds without slavishly treading down the well worn road of cliches.

Now that they've completed their run of conceptual EP's I'm extremely interested to see where their journey takes them. At the moment the only thing that limits them is their imagination. As for other bands a challenge has now been issued. Do you wish to challenge yourself musically? Then let A Light Within shine your way forward. Me? I'm going to try sequencing all three EP's tracks together in numerical order to see if they reveal any hidden undiscovered secrets.......

'Epilogue' is available now from A Light Within's Bandcamp page. - 3 Songs & Out

"A Light Within- Epilogue"

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. - Ghost Cult


Hello. Chris here. I’m identifying myself in order that Dave is not implicated in this review of the new EP by A Light Within. I have skin in the game, you see, because I am smitten with this band. Epilogue is the third and final installment in their series of concept works and, somehow, it pushes boundaries already re-established by Body Matter. This is progressive, post-everything, epic rock that’s musically exploratory and vocally distinct even from A Light Within’s other releases. One of my favourite bands is getting even better. Ridiculous. - THIS DECAY

"Reviews: A Light Within Body Matter EP"

The description "shoegazing post-metal" didn't exactly have me dying to hear this, but it's not bad. It's not really metal, either, mostly, 'post' or not - nothing wrong with atmospheric indie/alt-rock, though. ALW have a big, immersive sound: at it's best, kinda like Pink Floyd's 'Pillow of Winds' heard through a sandstorm. At their least inspired, they sound a bit like Deftones - possibly nothing to be ashamed of. Five songs here, all either pretty good or very good. Worth a listen. - Zero Tolerance Magazine (Print Version)

"Reviews: A Light Within"

It's always a nice feeling when a band surprises you and produces something a lot better than you were expecting. In the case of A Light Within, they have created an EP that is definitely one of the better surprises of the last month or two and, as such, has thoroughly impressed me.

Hailing from Kansas City, USA, A Light Within produces a sound that, whilst not wholly original, really hits a nerve with me and forces me in for repeated listens. The music acts like a tractor beam from which there is no escape, pulling the listener in inexorably so that before you know it, the six tracks have passed, the recording is at an end and you're cut loose, bereft. OK, so that might be an over-exaggeration, but 'Body Matter' is certainly a compelling listen from which it is difficult to extricate oneself once it has started.

It's not often that the bass guitar takes center stage, but for A Light Within, it is the instrument that arguably makes the biggest impact within an already rich post-metal-meets-shoegaze musical tapestry. It rumbles and churns powerfully and yet possesses the ability to create drama and beauty with a single note. That said, each track features a simple yet effective melody, be it via the guitar or keyboards, many of which give me goosebumps. 'Page #22 - No Charge' and 'Page #13 - To Have; To Hold' are particularly beautiful and noteworthy. And then there are Kyle Brandt's vocals, which are another big strength for A Light Within. Emotional, sincere, powerful and melodic, they are the perfect foil for the huge soundscapes that created behind and around him.

I only wish this was a full-length album, because then I'd have more music to enjoy. Let's hope A Light Within will rectify this appalling oversight very soon indeed.

Powerpoints: 8 - Powerplay Magazine (Print Version)

"A Light Within Stream New Song"

I've aired my bias before on this here Deciblog against anything that can be described as shoegazing post-metal. Of course, my mutterings of discontent are always attached to a stream by some band that breaks away from the boring mope-n-chug that are usually associated with such music.

So it is with A Light Within. As they near a release date for their new EP, Body Matter, we give you track number four from that recording, called "World Through the Window." Luckily, somebody shoved the word "Junius" into the description of the band, and it turns out to be an apt comparison. Kyle Brandt's vocals - actual singing - are spot-on awesome, and the band brings an aesthetically tuned forcefulness to the song that is consistently enticing.

Static Tension Recordings will release the EP on July 7th.

Says A Light Within about the song:

"Death: A final state that everyone will eventually experience. It appears unwanted and takes something you love. It refuses to be avoided. At arrival; your body will numb. The mind will warp. Souls flush. Memories stake claim, and attempt to refill vacancy.

You appear at a crossroads.
Through the window to the left: a maze of regret.
Through the window to the right: a light of satisfaction.

On page 29, the author feels guilt in the loss of love. A mirror. A common artifact. A reflection so easily correlated."

Look out for a July 7th release date of A Light Within's Body Matter EP. Can't wait? Get more info at the band's Facebook site and hear more music at their Bandcamp page, and hit up their label, Static Tensions. - Decibel Magazine


I had no idea who this band was until something just told me to randomly see what they deal was when I saw them listed among the "Also dropping today" section below. I'm so happy I checked them out. They are a post metal collective that could be for fans of Isis, Deftones, Callisto, Russian Circles, and so on. A really, really good band that deserves a chance. - Metal Injection

"A Light Within – Body Matter"

A Light Within hail from Kansas City, Missouri and with the release of Body Matter they have two EP releases under their belts. They play a mix of post rock that has a touch of post punk to their sound, and they give us these six new songs that show that they’ve gotten better since their previous release.

The band has both a gentle sound such as on instrumental opener “Torn Page #21,” but they also have a harder, more biting sound that meshes together with the quieter bits really well. “Page #22 _No Charge” has the feel of what U2 should be trying for with their sweeping songs, these guys hit everything right. They have the sweeping sound, uplifting playing, passionate vocals and the thrilling playing that grabs you from the start. “Page #51 _Between Shores” brings the heaviness and it’s more of a slow and dirge like grind throughout that really sets the tone, dark and dirty, with vocals full of pain and anguish that ties into the beautiful arrangement that the band gives us. The vocals kind of remind me of Trent Reznor from NIN on this track and it’s probably the best track that NIN never did. The band plays with an amazing amount of energy and gives us a lot of thrilling sounds on this EP, plus the vocals from Brandt are spectacular throughout, which are clean but sometimes rough, but mostly smooth. All of that combined, it can raise the hairs on your arms.

This has so much going for it, that just calling it post whatever is a disservice. It’s a great album that is filled with music that should be heard by the masses right now. This is the kind of music that should be all over the radio and be hyped up in the press, not the pop, emo, fake crap that is forced down our throats. - The Independent Voice

"#FiveAlbums: Unsafe, A Light Within, Dawn Patrol, Veruca Salt, Cradle Of Filth"

I don’t know how to pigeon-hole this so I’m not even going to bother with a label, but this is the second EP (as far as I can tell) from A Light Within, a five-piece band from Kansas City whose music is the conceptual retelling of the lost diary of an “unknown author”. The end result in this case is a mini-record that’s progressive, exploratory in the extreme and unwaveringly experimental. Body Matter will take you off into another world and yet it finds a gritty essence that anchors the whole thing in an earthbound gloom. It’s clear from the beginning that this EP has something. ‘Page #22_No Charge’ is the stunning second track, gloriously ethereal and totally gorgeous in its artistic curiosity. It flirts with the sound of some of the mellower Deftones songs, only somehow bigger and definitely weirder.

‘Page #51_Between Shores’ is much slower but still utterly brilliant. The vocals are awesome, borrowing more than a little from the darker fringes of prog metal, and, at longer than seven minutes, the track is beautifully orchestrated and achingly intense. Those vocals are on show again on ‘Page #29_World Through The Window’ despite not exactly being the focus of a shorter song that might be more easily consumable but lacks none of the temperament of the longer tracks. There’s an instrumental interlude to bridge that fourth track to the sixth and final song, ‘Page #47-48_Glaso’, which is, frankly, breathtaking. It packs more punch than ‘Page 51’; it’s a looming, expansive saga which pushes nine minutes but never drifts for a nanosecond. This is a phenomenal release.

http://fivealbums.chrisnee.co.uk/search/label/A%20Light%20Within - Five Albums


Released through Static Tension Recordings, ‘Body Matter’ is the new, soon-to-be-released EP from the Kansas City 5 piece: A Light Within.

Personally my first time introduced to these guys, the new 6 track is almost shoegazey; paired with progressive and post metal feel, it went down quite neat, (along with my scotch..). The band come together with plenty of lo-fi screams and epic vocal melodies, nicely structured bass lines and creative guitar riffs, which manage to produce a unique heavy ambient sound that is of their own.

Although possessing a sound of their own, they resemble bands such as Tool and Deftones (which is obviously not a bad thing); the EP as a whole is worth checking out. “World Through The Window” was a strong standout for me, as was the new single “Between Shores”. Launched only in 2012, this should be a big year for the boys. In an interview with Dutch Metal Maniac, guitarist Jeff Irvine explains: “With the changing of bassists, the sound changed. Not drastically, but organically. We all went out of our comfort zones, and came up with something really great.”

Released July 7th through Static Tension Recordings, the label also had this to say about the release: “Step into the gloom, feel its warm embrace. Close your eyes and let the ambience wash over you, the music unfolding into a wave of shoegazing post-metal. Distant, pained clean vocals appear in the haze, drawing the words from pages in a diary and turning them into a catharsis. The guitars flip from fragile melodies to thundering riffs at a moment’s notice, and the bass accentuates the deeper recesses of this stellar – in every way – sound. You are experiencing A Light Within.”

An emotional rocket of ambient/prog post metal, it certainly has enough depth of lyric, variety, and contrast to take you to a post metal lucid dream state (if that’s the kind of thing you’re into). The band quotes underneath the lyrics of their clip: “He said: The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won’t let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they’re not punishing you, ” he said. “They’re freeing your soul. So, if you’re frightened of dying and you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. But if you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.”

[Jacob’s Ladder. Dir. Adrian Lyne. Carolco Pictures, 1990.]

2.9/5.0 - The Sonic Sensory

"A Light Within – “Body Matter” EP"

A Light Within are another band from Kansas City. I had no idea that KC had such a vibrant scene but thankfully, now I do. A Light Within are standard prog metal at all. Their sound is a mix of the moodier moments of Deftones with some post metal from Neurosis. Though they most remind me of the band Junius, who I am quite fond of. With all of that said, they still have their own take on the progressive shoegaze post metal. I think I just made that up.

The EP “Body Matter” has some great songs on it. Granted it does have a minute long intro piece that probably works well as a “walk on” for concerts but it’s not something that merits repeated listens. I love the groove on “No Charge.” It definitely remind me of Junius but I think the vocals are actually much stronger than Junius. Kyle Brandt has a GREAT voice, very powerful. Yes, I will say he is better than Chino from Deftones too. There, I said it.

The one problem I have with this EP is that two tracks, “No Charge” and “Beyond Shores,” have endings that are rather sudden. Each sound like the producer was sitting on the fader and just cut the end as fast as possible. It’s a shame too. Each song really should be allowed to breathe at the end. I don’t mind an abrupt ending but dammit, let the instruments ring a bit. I guess I will get used to it. Thankfully, it’s just those two tracks.

“World Through the Window” is a slower track which sounds like Neurosis trying to Alcest. Very cool song with lots of space and atmosphere. “To Have; To Hold” is a short ballad of sorts. It shows that yes, A Light Within can pull of a beautiful piano driven track. The sound textures that are swirling around in the back of the track are a nice touch.

The EP finishes strong with “Glaso,” which an almost nine minute, slow burner of a song. I like that each track is unique and memorable. They all fit perfectly too. The band understands how to sequence songs which feels like a dying art these days. Also each track is prefaced with a page number, which is part of a larger theme. Pages from a diary? Well, you’ll have to buy the CD to find out. So will I!

A Light Within have a vibe about them that I really enjoy. Despite my issues with the abrupt fade of two tracks (one would have been PLENTY), I really enjoy this EP. I do wish it was a full album but I can’t fault bands for doing things as they need to. A Light Within are well named. “Body Matter” is a blanket of darkness which the band shine just enough light on to guide you on a journey through their post metal world.

Rating: 8.5/10 - Progressive Music Planet

"Review: A Light Within – Body Matter (EP)"

Late last year I heard “Beyond Shores” and immediately wanted to hear more. A Light Within hail from Kansas City, Missouri and with the release of Body Matter have two EP releases under their belts.

Body Matter is apparently influenced by an anonymous author’s lost diary. This isn’t too difficult to believe, as the songs are full of dark, heavy emotions. The tracks, named for pages in the diary, feature plenty of staccato guitar picking and great bass lines. The vocals are mostly clean despite the heavy subject matter – but you’ll never hear me complain about clean vocals. There seems to be some minor effects on the vocals, but it’s done well and doesn’t detract from the music at all. (I apologize in advance if I’m wrong about this!)

If a comparison had to be made, Body Matter would likely appeal to those who enjoy the guitars of Interpol and The Cure, the bass work of Tool, and the less-ridiculous vocals of Type O Negative (I do love Type O Negative, but c’mon, Peter Steele was way over the top in many instances).

The standout track is definitely “Page #51 _Between Shores”. It’s a slow, dark, and deliberate track with an ambient background that sums up the EP quite well. It has the strongest vocal performance and builds to an ending crescendo that comes to an abrupt halt. “Page #29 _World Through the Window” has some more diverse guitar work and more aggressive vocals. “Page #47-48 _Glaso” gives the drums a chance to shine a little more than in the other tracks. “Page #13 _To Have, To Hold” introduces a haunting piano melody – it must have been a particularly painful day for our dear anonymous author.

I’m not even going to try to pigeonhole this into a genre. Others will call it post-rock/prog/metal/whatever-shoegaze. If that helps you sleep at night, so be it. It’s a good EP that many people will enjoy.

TheShrevest’s Review Score: A-. A great listen, perfect for the times when something a little darker is needed without shredding eardrums. A little more diversity between tracks would have put this at a solid A+. I’m intrigued by this band and can’t wait for their next release. - Unappreciated Scholars

"Amplified: A Light Within brighten things up"

More often than anything, I’ll end up favoring bands that skew a lot more extreme to be covered for Amplified, but a good song is ultimately a good song, and between myself and the rest of the Metal Insider crew, we’ll give just about anything a chance. Kansas City’s A Light Within stood absolutely head and shoulders above the rest this week.

Their newest EP, Body Matter, is a gorgeous, introspective journey based mostly around stark melodies and building atmosphere, rather than blasting your face off. Though the band’s self-professed love of bands like Neurosis and Isis results in the occasional sludgy riff break, the end result is an EP that’s manages to be intense while for the most part not being exceptionally heavy. Their similar love of Deftones shows loud and clear in the vocal department, favoring dreamy melodic choices. Let the record show: I love shoegaze and post-rock, and this is music you can absolutely get lost in. Normally, a record that easily fades into the background would be the kiss of death, but the textures that A Light Within sculpt are ones that feel natural, and the mark of good music in this genre is its ability to feel like the notes are bouncing around in your head, rather than coming from a set of speakers. - Metal Insider

"A Light Within - Body Matters"

I came across Kansas' A Light Within, a couple of years ago, when they left a comment/song link on a Porcupine Tree post, i checked it out and was blown away, immediately snapping up the digital EP, and never looked back since. That will tell you something about an influence on this band. Though the genius of Steven Wilson would be an understandable inspiration, the individual members are also bonded by the love of one band, specifically, Junius. These 2 bands, along with ALW's first EP, 'Preface', will give you a heads up what to expect here. But then again.........you maybe surprised! For me, this has been a long time coming, the 20 minutes/3 songs of their still available debut definitely whetted my appetite and, finally, the new release, 'Body Matter', is available to all. A Light Within don't, necessarily, do 3 minute pop songs that will get you bopping around the room with a big grin of your face. They play music that you have to give in to, to invest yourself in, to LISTEN to, and be rewarded for, accordingly. The song titles are prefaced wink emoticon with Page Numbers, as is ALW's way, and these new 6 'pages' mark a noticeable change/evolution from their debut. It's no secret that ALW have chosen to expand, and experiment, more this time around and that shows, and in this case, it's a successful move. First up, after the initial 1 minute intro, 'Torn' (or 'Page #21', if you prefer) could it be waves? Could it be an incoming electrical storm? Whatever it is, new bassist, Andy Schiller, hits the ground running at the start of 'No Charge' (Page #22). Probably their fastest song.........now when i say 'fast', remember we aren't talking The Great Kat on speed, here, this is A Light Within! While 'Preface' could be described as 'dreamy' or even 'laid back', 'No Charge' could, and should, be a blistering opener to the live set judging by this, and judging by Schiller's performance overall, it should make ALW a far heavier-sounding live experience. Fans of the band will probably have noticed hints of Chino Moreno in Kyle Brandt's voice, this is present again on this song, not in an irritating way, and, it is just one facet of his voice this time around. Kyle has worked hard on his singing in the interim, and there's a lot more facets to his style these days, though still favouring the Flagg Mic (best described as an old telephone from the red telephone boxes of yesteryear! No, really!) to give him his unique sound. Third up is 'Between Shores (Page #51), early on bringing to mind a hint of 'October Rust', and while Brandt will never be a Pete Steele, there is a slight Gothy vibe here and there on this, before the song comes to an abrupt end, but that's not before, drummer, Nick Sloan gets a chance to work up a sweat. Another reason you should look forward to hearing these songs live. 'World Through The Window' (Page #29) is next up, one of 2 tracks off this ep that i have heard as part of a live download that was very briefly available last year. Jeff Irvine and Josh Bennett letting loose their distinctive guitar sound again on this one, another noticeable step forward on this EP. As with 'No Charge', it's an in-your-face 4.48 that has Kyle probably closest to his vocals on 'Preface'. 'To Have; To Hold' (Page #13) is a beautiful, short piano led interlude, with minimal vocal, written and performed solely by Brandt. Final track, 'Glaso' (Page #47-48), is the other track on the live download i mentioned before, and a comparatively older song. At 8.53, the longest song on the EP and Kyle is, again, giving it some on this one. Coupled with the guitars that are at the core of BM, it makes for a pretty epic finish to an awesome ep. I would recommend checking out 'Preface' as well as 'Body Matter', they are 2 different sides of A Light Within and this time they have added new sounds, new pages, new moods to their catalogue As i say, the rewards are there for letting yourself go and discovering this band, A Light Within fans will be happy to know that the wait was well worth it and with a couple of very exciting plans ahead in the pipeline, it's a perfect time for newcomers to discover them for yourself. - Unsigned Melodies

"A Light Within Releases Second EP ‘Body Matter’"

Previously featured on our Modern Artists Showcase Volume 23, A Light Within is a post-metal group consisting of vocalist/keyboardist Kyle Brandt, guitarist Jeff Irvine, bassist Andy Schiller, guitarist Josh Bennett, and drummer Nick Sloan. The band released their debut EP, Preface, in 2013 and have just recently followed up with the Body Matter EP via Static Tensions Recordings. The material was mixed by Molitoth and mastered by Nick Zampiello and New Alliance East.

Similar to the dynamics of Deftones’ more experimental works, Neurosis’ subtle diversity, or Isis’ evolving soundscapes, this release undeniably expands the horizon of the already vast genre. The unpredictability lays in Brandt’s vocals which reaches the bass-baritone level of Type O Negative’s infamous Peter Steele before heading back to a proggy-alternative scowl and everything in between. A Light Within’s Body Matter truly possesses alluring and expansive qualities spread across six solid tracks. - Alternative Nation

"Exclusive Premiere - Between Shores"

2015 is already kicking off with aplomb. Ragnarok Reviews is proud to reveal the exclusive premiere of the newest single from A Light Within, a project delving in the dark recesses of shoegaze, ambient, and post-metal sounds. "Between Shores" is a spiritual experience and already has me excited for the band's upcoming EP to be released around late April. This EP will follow their previous effort, Preface, which I find to be quite an impressive display of work.

"Between Shores" starts off in the shoegaze and ambient vein, slowly building up to the introduction of vocalist Kyle Brandt. Brandt immediately summons a Peter Steele-esque energy evolving into a style much like that of the band Junius, who released an amazing EP in 2014. A Light Within doesn't disappoint, as Jeff Irvine and Josh Bennett create a drowning void with their hypnotizing guitar playing, backed up by the ever powerful presence of Andy Schiller on bass. Nick Sloan rounds it all out with a diverse drumming approach that hangs back for most of the track and explodes along with the rest of the members. The band's energy is the most intense near the end, possibly exhibiting that the track will serve as an introductory passage for EP.

With every replay, you end up finding something new underneath all the layers. Even while searching through these layers, one can't help but become lost within the song itself. This method of songwriting is refreshing to the ears, as many bands go with the catchy chorus system or something similar. This works pretty well, but A Light Within take a risk with the thinking man's approach.

Give the track a listen before its release (late January). I can't wait to hear the rest of the EP and it could quite possibly be added it to the best of 2015 lists. Also, check out the links to stay up to date with the band and check out their previous work. - Ragnarok Reviews

"Atmospheric Layers Of Perfection: Bro-Metal Review, A Light Within "Body Matter" EP"

Atmospheric layers of perfection. That could be the end of the review right there. This EP, simply put, is perfection. "Body Matter," sucks you in quickly with the track, "No Charge," and doesn't let you go until the last sound on "Glaso." In between, you will find yourself completely invested in each song. When I listen to this EP, my mind wanders and the music becomes the soundtrack to my wandering. It is transformative. It is atmospheric layers of perfection.

Amazing musicianship and vocals are why, A Light Within's new EP, "Body Matter," is my favorite EP of 2015, (so far), and deserves every bit of the Bro-Metal rating, 10/10. Perfection. -Bro - Bro-Metal.org

"Album reviews: Radkey, A Light Within"

A Light Within “Body Matter”

Kansas City’s A Light Within is what happens when an instrumental band gets vocal, and it sounds so good.

On its second EP, the six-song “Body Matter,” the hard-hitting band, fronted by St. Joseph native Kyle Brandt, starts off with him whispering “Can you hear me?” on the opener “Intro.”

The following “No Charge,” with its towering brick wall of sound from booming bass to clean guitars to yells, the answer is a confident “Yes.” Channeling groups like Explosions In The Sky and Russian Circles mixed with Brandt’s, a mixture of latter-day AFI’s Davey Havok to touches of Depeche Mode, the five-piece makes a cohesive marriage of alternative, ambient and active rock without veering into jock-rock territory.

For all of its dark, drone-y bass and echoing riffs serving as the backdrop of the seven-minute-plus “Between Shores” in the vein of Chevelle and Tool, the lyrics remain hopeful, as Brandt yells “Rise above the fire/Erase the burn/Rise into the light” before launching into machine-gun bursts of drums.

It’s a perfect encapsulation of the band — dark orchestrations mixed with, as the band’s name would suggest, hope within. The following tracks, like “World Through The Window” follows a similar suit, broken up by a little slice of ’80s cheese on “To Have; To Hold,” mixing piano with guitars before launching into the closer, near-nine-minute “Glaso,” a soaring, bombastic closer.

It’s another promising EP by an up-and-coming band whose sound is unlike anything in the St. Joseph-Kansas City scene right now. - NewPressNow

"EXCLUSIVE: Stream The New EP From A Light Within!"

A Light Within are a band from Kansas City who have a very strange ear. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what type of music they play, and it’s not a bad thing. Their combination of post-rock, progressive metal, and a little bit of ambient music really makes them a great band to listen to no matter what mood you’re in. With the band getting ready to release a new EP, they’re extremely excited and ready for you all to hear it, and what better way than with an exclusive full album stream?! Check it out!

The EP is fantastic and the band have a very bright future. I really appreciate the mixing of genres, because it’s really hard to pull it off effectively without decades of trying. Hell, even Between The Buried And Me took over a decade to mix their more classic Pink Floyd leanings and combine it with their metalcore and progressive metal leanings to create an album. At any rate, we’re excited these guys shared their record with us, and we’re also equally as excited to see what great music will be coming from them in the future! Keep your ears focused on us, because we’ll have more from this band in the future! - Heavy Blog is Heavy

"A Light Within - 'Body Matter' EP (Review)"

A Light Within's new second EP “Body Matter” is a pretty fascinating genre blend. This is one of the catchiest album's I've ever heard that incorporates an authentic sounding “underground” sound. The vocals in particular are a strong point, with thoughtful lyrics and a powerful diverse delivery; I can honestly say this is an incredible record to immerse yourself in and let the textures wash over you. The instrumentation is seamless and mixes ambient to heavy and back in a way that I've only heard a few bands like Junius do.

Jumping around a bit, the fourth track “World Through the Window” has the most heavy Junius vibes, particularly in the beginning with some epic singing and atmospheric guitar-work. Then it moves into some Deftones territory (the good Deftones stuff) with a sweet guitar interlude that isn't quite a solo. The rhythm section does a great job of not overplaying on this track with very tasteful bass lines and some really nice rolling drum-fills.

Speaking of drumming the vamp the drummer does on the final track is really well done as he slowly builds tension over the first couple of minutes with an unusual stomping beat. Jumping back, the way the EP begins is extremely well done with a short ambient wash with some murmured background vocals kicking into the second track “No Charge” which echoes “A Pillow of Winds” with a rooty delay wash beginning. The band meddles a bit further on the second to last track “To Have to Hold” with classical piano melodies floating over some arpeggios.

As different as A Light Within sounds, I will say the vocalist sounds creepily like the guy from Ghost Brigade at times. About an average length EP without any filler, this is a cool introduction to the band, although after starting with two solid EPs we can hope for a full-length in the near-term future. Overall a nice look into where these guys are going and I strongly recommend checking out their first EP “Preface” which is also excellent. - The Sludgelord

"A Light Within – ‘Body Matter’ EP Review"

There’s a reason why I sport A Light Within t shirt wherever and whenever possible, and that is because, simply, they are one of the best underground acts currently emerging from the US. Capable of blending the most subtle and sublime of music, they have taken the post-metal genre and made it their own, drawing out the elements that make acts like Mogwai, Slint, Isis and Red Sparrowes so enchanting and adding their own spin to events, not least thanks to the stunning vocals of Kyle Brandt whose voice soars over the material like a majestic bird of prey in flight. ‘Body matter’ is the band’s second full-length EP, following on from only the most tantalising of glimpses with the ‘preface’ EP and the ‘page #51 (between shores)’, and it easily matches the early promise shown by those wondrous releases.

Opening with the brief, scene-setting prologue ‘Torn page #21’, the EP starts properly with the stunning ‘page #22 no charge’ which sounds like the Deftones jamming with neurosis. It opens with a sublime post-rock riff, all shimmering guitar and somnolent percussion before slowly building into a monster that aches with unexpressed emotion and frayed hopes. It’s beautiful yet heavy, stylistically familiar and yet innovative and, over it all, Kyle stands, his voice guiding us through the peaks and troughs of the music, only for the song to end leaving us feeling suddenly bereft. Next up is ‘page 51 between shores’ which we reviewed thus “A slow-building piece of music, ‘…between shores’ rises out of a heat haze of ambient noise to take in elements from a wide range of genres. In the slow, measured verse you’ll hear elements of the grandiose gothic rock of Sisters of Mercy, in the build-up that may (or may not) be a chorus, you’ll hear the towering sludge of neurosis and in the extended outro you’ll witness the band tripping the light fantastic through the spacey post-rock of Mogwai and Red Sparrowes” when we first received the track. My original opinion has not changed, suffice it to say that t’s still a track of stunning power, familiarity having done nothing to dull its impact. ‘Page #29 world through the window’ opens with dense chords before Kyle’s voice floats into view and the listener is reminded of the Smashing Pumpkins at their most oblique (think the epic, sky-scraping prog of ‘ghost and the glass children’) and we are reminded, once again, of the power that Nick Sloan can bring to bear on his drums, whilst guitarists Jeff Irvine and Josh Bennett carve out castles in the sky with their beautiful guitar figures.

The short ‘Page #13 to have to hold’ opens with some desolate piano work, and echoes of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘ghosts’ project are apparent in the ambient feel of the track. Kyle’s voice is fragile and yet full of power and the track is unbearably beautiful, the music washing over the listener and evoking, unbidden, nostalgic memories. It is a truly stunning piece of music that underscores the amazing power that music can hold over a listener when played with such passion and depth. The EP closes with the epic, eight minute piece ‘page #47-48 Glaso’. A slow-building track, the band use the expanded run time to deliver one final mesmerizing piece of music that deserves to be filed alongside the likes of Tool, A perfect circle and Neurosis in any and every music fan’s collection. It is a stunning conclusion, a devastating assertion of the band’s ability and it perfectly closes an EP that stands as one of the year’s best releases – it is not lightly I compare any release favourably to Tool, and yet A Light Within are one of the very few bands that deserve to stand in that prestigious company.

We get many bands here at SonicAbuse and many of them are excellent. Some, however, become firm favourites, guaranteed to be played regularly and to sit proudly on the shelves alongside bands that have long been part of the fabric of my life. A light within are one such band. How far they’ll be able to reach the audience they deserve in these days of fans being unable to see the wood for the trees remains unclear, but in a perfect world the band would be gracing the cover of every rock and metal magazine from here to China. What marks them out? There is the precision of their playing, the power in Kyle’s vocals, the near-perfect production and the beautiful artwork, and yet many bands have these things. No, what marks A Light within out as truly special is that unseen, impossible to define quality that sees a group of individuals come together and somehow craft songs that truly matter. There is power, anger, beauty, love and loss in these stunning songs and the EP flows beautifully from start to finish. Almost impossibly good, A light within have laid the foundations of an amazing career and their next work cannot come soon enough. - Sonic Abuse

"CD Review: A Light Within - Body Matter"

...If you're into hard but also very atmospheric music with a darker haunting vibe you should give this record and band a listen. As for me it's one of the best records in 2015 so far. It's music taking one far beyond and I totally love it for being that way. It's outstanding and takes the listener to another world in a positive way.

Track-by-track review

1. Torn Page #21
This intro slowly takes you away from the world you know. It feels as if you can hear the sound of the sea breaking it's waves on the coast. Mixed in distorted guitars tell you that something new is to arrive near you....

2. Page #22 _No Charge
A soft opening touches in before a constant rhythm begins to play. You'll notice the strong bass guitar elements and much more variations in the drums on this one. The midtempo rhythm comes quite as a sort of surprise on the first listening. Excellent vocals along with fine guitars with the punching rhythm make this a remarkable track. Nearly every little section comes with a different vocal part, some are more decent some are more stretched but they all fit very well in here. The song builds up more and more before it returns to the structure of the beginning at the middle of the track just to begin building up again. A hard scream towards the end then some more of the song before a hard cut marks the end.

(c) by A Light Within, used with kind permission

3. Page #51 _Between Shores
This one builds up slowly, crawling towards you. The drums play a cool pattern fill and the full song theme and haunting melody unfolds towards the listener. The vocals take a darker and harder tone than on No Charge. The distorted guitars contribute to this heavier attitude. The second part of Between Shores cleans out the melody to give the drums and spoken vocals more room. It brings in some sort of silent and clearing effect to the listener. The small melody softly played to it gives it a calming effect. A dark and hard voice lifts up the track to a more moving piece of music again. The drums give it a harder punch towards the end which is a bit suprising before a clean yet abrupt ending comes in.

4. Page #29 _World Through the Window
Epic, long dark and hard guitar riffs blowing out on the beginning. Clean and direct vocals push in to straighter song. Much variations and direct drumming in here which were not too often audible on A Light Within songs before. A beautiful melody comes in towards the middle of World Through the Window before some crushing guitars step in with the clean vocals. Some hard pushing riffs to the end give this one a very heavy and groove-oriented feeling.

(c) by A Light Within, used with kind permission

5. Page #13 _To Have; To Hold
The shortest number on Body Matter gives you some time to breathe and relax with it's soft and feeling lost melody and soft vocals. A dreaming moment in the vast ocean of time we are all living in...

6. Page #47-48 _Glaso
A slow and very silent fade in at the beginning before a hard rhythm kicks in. Some more silent notes before the track changes to a pushing beat going back and forth while bringing in various vocal elements. The edgy guitars give it a special note like some sort of screams mixed in. The second half is filled with a even more punching beat giving the track a more direct note. Maybe the most direct song of the band so far. Some hard riffs at the end form a good outro and leave one behind with a smiling face.

A Light Within made it once again. A band I hope many people will listen to. They would surely miss out a lot otherwise... - Heavy Metal Underdogs

"A Light Within, Preface (EP)"

Patient, refined, with enough space for the ultimate crescendo, the three pieces on “Preface (EP)” build off of each other. Together they work to create a series of fascinating dark territories. Outside of the obvious debt to Post-Rock they have a number of particularly well selected moments. From their focus on constant change the songs each have a particular personality befitting of the overall tone of the collection. Vocal styles too remain incredibly important with the singer trying out multiple approaches to define every moment.


Extreme care is taken with the delicate opener “Page #32 (Morning)”. For this piece A Light Within controls its impulses with this conflict giving the song a particular sense of impending doom, courtesy of the deeply felt bass. Only about halfway through the song do they bring the cathartic flood of sound. Perhaps the most atmospheric song is “Page #18 (Grin)”. A Light Within experiments with a lot of different elements on this particular track, found recordings, greater amounts of space, a slower tempo, and a particularly creepy extended outro.

By far the highlight of the collection is the closer, the late 80s tinged “Page #66 (Sixes)” which has an amazingly soothing opening akin to Sonic Youth at their darkest moments. The vocals themselves are strangely appropriate similar to the shredded screamed vocals of Deafheaven. Despite the extreme levels of volume used the shadowy origin is never lost but rather amplified until it sinks into the mind.

A Light Within’s “Preface (EP)” is how Post-Rock should be.

http://www.facebook.com/ALWAudio - Skope Magazine - Beacon Sloth

"Review: 'A Light Within' 'Preface EP'"

Building from a slow, shimmeringly atmospheric introduction, the heavily processed vocal drifts in a supple tide of rippling guitars. Ponderous, introspective, spacious and entirely worthy of the Pink Floyd, Perfect Circle, Oceansize and Porcupine Tree comparisons that have been drawn already, the three tracks that make up ALW’s debut EP really are breathtaking in their expansive yet controlled intensity.

Midway through the second track, ‘Page # 18 (Grin), everything bursts to life in the first of a succession of epic choruses, and the final track ‘Page # 66 (Sixes) is dark and brooding, growing from a whisper to a roar.

With their combination of post rock and contemporary progressive rock with a serrated metal-edge, ALW combine powerful dynamics with passion and precision musicianship to create a sound that’s worthy of the description ‘Epic’. As debut releases go, it’s night on faultless and I suspect they’ve got the potential to be as big in terms of audience reach as their musical ambition. - Whisperin and Hollerin

"A Light Within-Preface"

I review a lot of music, so it's not often that I stumble upon a band who defy genre specifications. I'm so used to being inundated with all sorts of sound that I feel like I can categorize almost everything that comes across my speakers. Well it seems like A Light Within have me beat, their unique and powerful brand of... I don't even know what, has a very open and ambient sound that somehow also fuses more direct guitar tones which give a sort of lining to the ethereal substance that makes up so much of the music on this three song EP.

Alright, I'll give it a go, the music on Preface is essentially post-rock. It has a very Cult of Luna-esque vibe at times, highly intelligent music that takes a while to really get into. The throbbing might of tracks like Page #18 (Grin) is oftentimes hard to define and gives a very clear flavor to the music. The just audible samples on some of these tracks gives an almost alien feeling to some of the music, making these tracks feel as if they are not of this world. Getting into this record takes a few spins, but their is a certain beauty to it, an undying magic of a band who understand what it means to make music that reflects the soul and opens the heart. This is what post-rock should be all about.

A Light Within is the kind of group who use a broad and oftentimes atmospheric sound to speak to the soul. Sure, these tracks aren't wholly engaging and might not get a listener bipping and bopping about, but it certainly will force them to take a second look, dig into what this abstract and ethereal genre of music is all about. I hope that Preface stays true to its name and precedes good things to come. So dive into the sound of a band who are not held back by traditional norms, a band who refuse to be stopped, but will simply rise stronger and more triumphant, masters of their own reality. - Two Guys Metal Reviews

"Discovering A Light Within"

A Light Within is a Kansas City based band that is a must see. Forming from now defunct bands Auternus and Vibrant this is a band that took no time picking up where they left off. Their music is intriguing, pulling you in from start to finish. For fans of Tool, Oceansize, Nine Inch Nails, and Pink Floyd; A Light Within hits on all sides of the spectrum of ambient progressive rock to metal. A Light Within follows the DIY model recording, mixing, and mastering all of their material entirely on their own. You can access their music on Facebook at the following link: http://www.facebook.com/ALWaudio/app_2405167945

As a musician, myself, I am blessed with the opportunities to sit down with many bands, but rarely get it down on paper. This time I decided this one was just too good to keep to myself. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you A Light Witin.

Can you explain the entity that is A Light Within?
Kyle Brandt (KB):
Every musician in a band should know that special feeling you get. The one you get after partaking in that few minutes of musical chemistry. The moment you look into everyone’s eyes… and they are all gazing back with looks of: “wow, we just did that!”
The power of creation should be a great feeling for everyone involved, and I think that’s what really drives into what A Light Within is, and what it means to us.

Jeff Irvine (JI):
When Auternus played our last night note, I immediately knew who I wanted to work with on a new project. Obviously I was hoping that Brett, bassist from Auternus, would join me in our next adventure and was thrilled to have him on board. I had heard Kyle sing in his previous project and knew that was the voice I wanted to work with. But I first contacted Josh, guitarist, because he and I had similar ideas in what we were doing and it just felt like it was going to be a great match up, and it was. Luckily Josh was at that time working with his drummer, Nick, and I was ecstatic to find out that he was up for it.

When we first started writing, everything just flowed and was fun and engaging. Even now when we play those songs, something powerful happens and just takes you away. When the song is done, we kind of look at each other in amazement and that just feels so good.

Josh Bennett (JB):

Being that we all come from other bands, this project we all wanted to do the same sound. A simple idea to strive toward, creating great music while having fun and to open your brain to new sounds. And of course, sweet jammy jams!

What are your goals behind the project?
(KB) I think each member’s goal with this adventure could be a little bit different, and I also think the goals could change with time. Some goals may become accomplished, in which new goals would then need to be determined. Every musician wants to be heard, so I could say that would be a common goal between the five of us.

(JI) To write, record and release great music and play some amazing shows.

(JB) To create great music and put on fantastic shows.

Your lyrics are very metaphorical. What inspires the band to write? Is there a central theme?
(KB) As a lyricist, it’s my chance to put down whatever I want on paper and have it be heard, whether by few or by many. Many times I could be influenced by human perception, politics, religion, beauty, fictional stories, wisdom, or basically anything that could be changed with an optional choice. I’ve always admired poetry/lyrics/movies that can come across as a one-size-fits all medium. Using metaphorical terms and leaving new possible relations open to the listener, leads me to believe that more people will be satisfied with what they are spending time listening to.
I have always been obsessed with concept albums. I used to love studying up on my favorite bands lyrics and what they could mean. The album art and how it made you feel as you looked at the pictures and attempted to apply a mood to the feel of the albums audio. A behind the scenes documentary on how much effort went into their tracks and concept. Albums such as Pink Floyd’s – “Animals”, or dredg’s – “el cielo” have always been a big influence on me. I appreciate everything about those albums because I believe it’s much more difficult to come across albums that have that extra amount of effort applied to it.

Currently A Light Within is focusing on telling the story of an elder whom had written a variety of ideas into an old notebook. Random words of wisdom… to personal feelings… to stories of childhood. The old tattered notebook is being pieced together and transcribed into musical format. As stories are found and translated, they are labeled with the page number and an alias.

What are your influences musically? Do you all have the same taste or do you draw from different influences?
(KB)This is where ALW gets a little complicated. Personally, I am heavily influenced by bands with a good vocal presence that can relate to different emotions through style shifts. I - http://www.projectbackstage.com

"A Light Within – ‘Preface’ EP Review"

Auternus were a band that inspired leaps of the imagination and adrenalin surges in equal measure with their progressively-minded post rock. Sadly the band unexpectedly collapsed and it has taken some time for Jeff Irvine to return with a new act, the stunning A Light Within. Typically for SonicAbuse we’ve had a hold of this EP for some time now, but time constraints and a memory that would make a 94 year old blush means we are only reviewing this now. Shame on us, for it is an excellent release, building upon the stunning framework laid down by Auternus and even improving upon it.

A three track EP “preface” features the talents of Josh Bennet (guitar), Nick Sloan (Drums), Kyle Brandt (vocals and keys) and Brett Southard (bass) alongside the aforementioned Jeff. The five-piece create epic, spaced-out post rock with hints of progressive, ambient and even the tormented sludge of Neurosis all incorporated into the band’s genetic make-up and the result is an outstanding collision of genres that conspire to leave you awash upon the fringes of your own vivid imagination as the music languidly wraps itself around you. Page # 32 (Morning) introduces us to the band’s sound, a steadily growing throb in the distance aroused by the tolling of a bell and the slow seep of a guitar into your outer consciousness. The band set the bar high, slowly building their sound rather than revealing everything at once, and between the rippling guitar work and somnambulant drums, Kyle’s vocals subtly draw you in, his half-whispered croon a mix of Maynard James Keenan and Chino Moreno, the music sat between Red Sparrowes and the Deftones at their most wilfully out there. There are no massive explosions here, no wild guitar pyrotechnics, just a gradual build up of tension, a relentless march towards a darker, deeper place than you have yet visited. There is beauty here, but like the beauty of a rose it carries thorns, and the hint of danger is never far away. Despite a seven-minute run time, the track is over before you know it, lost in the sound of the approaching tide and then we’re into the second track, ‘page #18 (grin)’ which cuts across the listener like the cold breeze from a car window as you try to get some sleep. Kyle’s voice becomes increasingly mired in distortion as the music stirs itself into molten gobbets of churning riffs before settling once more into a subtly woven-dreamscape that haunts your waking moments – the closing drones slowly dissolving into a sample from 2001 that is uniquely terrifying in its emotion-free calm.

The final track appears even as the listener is fighting down the hard knot of terror floating in the pit of the stomach inspired by Hal’s soulless chatter. It begins quietly, but something isn’t right, and as Kyle’s voice screams out of the darkness, it is clear that the slow unravelling of the senses hinted at in ‘grin’ has reached its fruition. The result is a track that claws and spits its insanity from out of a blackened cell once more recalling the Deftones at their most experimental. There is real fire here, smoke and burning too, and it’s almost a relief as the riffs become increasingly heavy, sending out their own searing heat and engaging a fight or flight response that leaves you staggering from the blazing building, alive, unharmed, but somehow enlivened by an experience that can only be shared by those who have undergone the same experience.

As you’ve probably seen from a review that lapses into metaphor and simile with distressing regularity, A light within is not really music to be described in conventional terms. It is music that fires the senses and demands an individual interpretation from all who listen to it – your interpretation is as liable to be accurate as mine – and this is where A light within excel. Like reading a good book (before a film version comes along and leaves you forever stuck with the image of a pampered Hollywood superstar in place of a once imagined character), A light within don’t offer simple and obvious exposition, instead they take you to a place and leave you to fill in the blanks, an immensely difficult trick that few bands can successfully pull off. The music is a muse, a source of boundless inspiration even as it is, itself, inspired and there is no doubt that the band’s first full-length outing will be magical indeed. A light within is essential listening for anyone enchanted by the magical power of music to excite the senses and comes very highly recommended indeed.

Did we get it right? Listen now and find out! - http://www.sonicabuse.com

"A Light Within – Preface EP"

You know when you’re discussing music with your friends/family/work colleagues/that tramp who sits in the underpass on your way to work and they say “Oh. Hey. You like [insert band name here], you should check out this band. They sound like them”. Sound familiar? Do you also get that slight sinking feeling at that phrase because you want something new sounding? Something that has influences, but has also twisted it into something of their own. Something fresh? Yeah me too. Kansas City’s A Light Within was recommended to me as “in the vein of Tool”. But on Preface they demonstrate that they are no Tool copyists. This is something more.....
With only 3 tracks on offer (at a total running time of 21 minutes) A Light Within has to give us something pretty bloody special. And oh they do. Firstly let’s make sure they have ticked all the correct prog essentials. Vaguely spacey looking album cover? CHECK! Vague song titles? CHECK! Song lengths over 7 minutes? CHECK! (Although I’m docking points for not reaching at least 10 minutes per track). Right now that’s out of the way what does it sound like? Well like this:

‘Page #32 (Morning)’ opens with a sound reminiscent of a tolling bell. A guitar line is played wistfully in the background until vocalist Kyle arrives on the scene. I think this is where the Tool comparisons stem from. The vocals are treated much like an instrument; they form a musical part of the tapestry, the weave in and out and are at times indecipherable. Much like Maynard’s vocals, Kyle uses his voice to add another layer of melody and musicality to the songs.
Some Pink Floyd-esque wind sounds segues us into ‘Page #18 (Grins)’ which has the emptiness reminiscent of Floyds more jam-led songs. It works well. After the dissonant opening track this song is like letting a wave wash over you. It’s gentle and peaceful..... even when the distorted guitars and harsher vocals appear it still soothes and floats. Final track ‘Page #66 (Sixes)’ starts with a nice bass riff from Brett and takes us on a journey into darkness. Guitars swell and shift, drums rise and fall vocals implore and menace.
This is an impressive debut EP. A Light Within has laid an excellent set of foundations to build upon. If this is just the Preface, I can’t wait to read the full novel.
(Apologies for ending this review in such a cheesy way, but I am a librarian. It was too good to not use.) - http://echoesanddust.com

"Album review: A Light Within - Preface (EP)"

There are millions upon millions of songs that celebrate happiness: “I’m in love!” “She said yes!” “It’s a great day to be alive!” All valid emotions to be sure, and hooray for those who get to experience life in those circumstances … but what about when the feelings you’re feeling are along the lines of “It’s cloudy outside” or “Why won’t she talk to me” or “I can’t take this anymore”? These are also valid emotions which deserve musical voice, and in their debut three-track EP Preface, A Light Within delivers on the desire to hear the darker side of the psyche being celebrated in bombastic, beautiful anguish—doing so not only with thunderous power, but with a deft touch as well.

The titles of the three songs are page numbers that reference the concept of the album: the writings of a man reflecting upon his life, from beginning to end. The words, in concert with the music, reveal a life lived in doubt and anguish, as the protagonist struggles to reconcile his time on this planet before the last grain of sand falls through the hourglass. Lyrics such as “These open eyes are closing down / I’m too tired to sleep through life alone / This gallant heart is a fairy tale grown old” (“Page 32”) and “Whoever feels irrelevant has become as one with death to the living / Whoever claims innocent is blinded by a sun that can't be seen” (“Page 18”) offer a window into a soul that is indeed lurking among the shadows rather than relaxing in the warmth of the sun. These are places where many would rather not tread, but we all find ourselves battling our own army of demons at some point in our lives (whether they originate from external sources or are self-inflicted)—and even in the more sinister realm, there is a beauty to be found that may end up saving one’s sanity if one clings to it tightly enough. The beauty of these tracks lies in the arrangements that somehow manage to be musically uplifting and inspiring … even though the words and emotions may not be.

When dealing with the harder, more somber edges of post-rock, the easy path to follow is to overwhelm the listener with volume, both from an instrumental and a vocal standpoint. “We’re angry, we’re pissed, we’re going to bludgeon you over the head with our seismic swagger”. A Light Within knows well enough to rein in this urge when properly called for, but is unafraid to let the reins loose as needed. Preface shows the raw power and melodic maturity of a band that, even though it may be in its infancy, has a lot to say—and, more importantly, knows how to say it for maximum effect.

Here’s to the next chapter that this preface is leading us into. - Deli Magazine - Michael Byars

"Small Mercies The New Blood"

There's a zen-like quality about this Kansas City quintet's high-concept EP. The final installment of a trilogy detailing inner divinations, ALW's harmonious post-metal rewards patience during tremulously emotive build-ups with cerebral eruptions. - Metal Hammer Magazine


"Epilogue" (EP) _Feb 2018
"Body Matter" (EP) _July 2015
"Preface" (EP) _May 2013



"...A Light Within writes songs that deal with the darker side of the psyche being celebrated in bombastic, beautiful anguish - doing so not only with thunderous power, but with a deft touch as well." - Michael Byars, DeliMagazine

“...the band brings an aesthetically tuned forcefulness that is consistently enticing.” - Dan Lake, Decibel Magazine

“...I'm so happy I checked them out. They are a post metal collective that could be for fans of Isis, Deftones, Callisto, Russian Circles, and so on. A really, really good band that deserves a chance.” - Daniel Cordova, Metal Injection

“...a gorgeous, introspective journey based mostly around stark melodies and building atmosphere, rather than blasting your face off. This is music you can absolutely get lost in.” - Nick DeSimone, Metal Insider

“...their combination of post-rock, progressive metal, and a little bit of ambient music really makes them a great band to listen to no matter what mood you’re in. I really appreciate the mixing of genres, because it’s really hard to pull it off effectively without decades of trying.” - Spencer Snitil, Heavy Blog is Heavy

“...I can honestly say this is an incredible record to immerse yourself in and let the textures wash over you. The instrumentation is seamless and mixes ambient to heavy and back in a way that I've only heard a few bands like Junius do.” - Chris Tedor, The Sludgelord

“...a mini-record that’s progressive, exploratory in the extreme and unwaveringly experimental. Body Matter will take you off into another world and yet it finds a gritty essence that anchors the whole thing in an earthbound gloom. This is a phenomenal release.” - Chris Nee, FiveAlbums

Band Members