Let’s not beat around the bush at all here—this is the album that As Everything Unfolds needed to make. Now that the traction they’re picking up really can’t be ignored anymore, doubling down on where that came from initially is really the only course of action. After all, that had been present in flickers above anything in the past. Among a crowd of big, melodic post-hardcore slingers desperately trying to yank the 2010s’ waves into the present, they had the energy of second-stringers like so many others around them, even if they were encroaching onto something potentially more dynamic and powerful.
With Ultraviolet then, that’s been made a firm foundation that everything else is shaped around. Just in the way that everything lands now, As Everything Unfolds bear the unmistakable mark of a band re-energised. They feel sharper and punchier than ever, and tuned in to the most consistently high bar of their career. Just from the opening run, that’s made abundantly clear—the title track is the powerhouse re-establishing; Felt Like Home is the phenomenally high standard for hooks; Slow Down is the clear indication of how sparing yet smoothly their metalcore touches are brought back.
With regards to their heavier aspect, that slight retooling ultimately feels like the best case for As Everything Unfolds to make. As much as Flip Side might suggest otherwise (and do so rather well, to be fair), they aren’t really a metal band, but making use of those elements is a different story entirely. If anything, it can be the natural extension of Charlie Rolfe’s voice; she’s powerful to the nth degree, and the occasional coaxed-out scream or breakdown behind her does a lot to accentuate that. Plus, it never hurts to firm up this sort of confessional, emotionally explosive lyrical fare. As Everything Unfolds don’t hugely deviate from the norm of that sort of thing within post-hardcore, but that doesn’t mean their blows don’t strike just as forcefully.
In fact, it’s a wonder this review has gone on for so long already without mentioning Holding Absence, and how the ripples of their current supernova are still being felt here. Yes, it’s incredibly clear that Ultraviolet is cribbing more than a few notes from there, especially when its creators can fit in basically the same mould of attempting to rejuvenate an ‘older’, Britrock-style post-hardcore, polish and all. It’s never distracting, though. At no point do As Everything Unfolds entirely slink into anyone else’s shadow, or feel overly beholden to that approach. It’s hard to call this groundbreaking either, but it’s also not just a rehash.
For one, it’s clearly an interpretation that puts more emphasis on heaviness buoyed by atmosphere rather than the other way around. Jon Cass’ synths are always present but never overpowering, often as the miasma by which the mix is filled out in the deep sonic colours it provides. Otherwise, the guitars are significantly weightier and more present, really across the board. Particularly on faster-paced moments, they really do shine, like some of snappy flourishes spread around Saint Or Rogue, or the wall-of-sound pop-rock that’s definitely an ear-catching choice on the closer All I’ve Ever Known. Furthermore, the Impericon-core production style is far from the hindrance that it normally is, more so as a means of keeping the rigidity and hard edges in place, and being far more preferable in doing so.
Ultraviolet simply acts as a far more ideal culmination of these ideas at play, in all. It’s not an album that requires too much further analysis as a result; they’re all talking points that have been rinsed countless times in a negative context, so when they pop up in a positive one, it just clicks. And that’s exactly what this is, as As Everything Unfolds make good on their potential in rather indisputable fashion. When it hits, it hits, and as the result of a long-inclement impact, Ultraviolet’s is cratering.
For fans of: Holding Absence, Dream State, Spiritbox
‘Ultraviolet’ by As Everything Unfolds is released on 21st April on Long Branch Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall