As It Is – I Went To Hell and Back (Album Review)

Forming a decade ago, and signed to Fearless Records since 2014, As It Is are back in 2022 with their latest album I Went to Hell and Back.

Released on Friday, February 4th, their fourth overall studio album comes 4 years after their impressive 2018 album, The Great Depression. Feeling like a lifetime has passed since then, much has changed for the International Pop Rock band, including the the departure of Guitarist Benjamin Langford-Biss in 2019 and Drummer of Patrick Foley in 2020. Now a three-piece act – Patty Walters (lead vocals), Ronald Ish (lead guitar), and Alistair Testo (bass) – what does the new materials have to offer? 

Consisting of fourteen tracks in total, much like The Great Depression, I Went to Hell and Back is quite a personal piece of work. With the majority of the songs beginning with ‘I,’ it is easy to see that the lyrical content is taken right out of life. That in mind, while some songs are fast and thriving, others are more melancholic and melodic. Whatever it may be, just like their prior efforts, everything As It Is dishes out always seems to be heartfelt and sincere.

For example, “IDGAF” starts out the album strongly with Walters’ vocals coming straight from the heart with sheer honesty. Straight forward and relatable, “I Lie To Me” and “How Are You” are just as catchy and equally as energetic. This vibe continues on “I Can’t Take It” before a shift into the slow, moody, and thought-provoking “I’d Rather Die.” 

Moving on, “I Miss 2003” is a nostalgic trip that brings back the energy once more. This is while “I’m Sick and Tired” offers an irresistible rhythm before the intense “I Want to see God” which reaching for the stars and beyond. Then there is the attention grabbing beat heard on “In Threes” (featuring Set It Off’s Cody Carson and JodyPurp), the self irony of “I Hate Me Too,” the hopeful “I’m Gone,” the steady rhythm of “Die 1000x,” before the impossible to ignore despair dripping from “I Can’t Feel A Thing” (featuring The Word Alive). The latter closing with emotionally charged shouts from the back of Walters’ throat, wrapping things up nicely is “I Went To Hell And Back,” a mellow title-track that leaves you with nothing by your own thoughts to get lost in. 

As mentioned, As It Is have a knack for creating some really honest and personal music. Speaking their mind, this album is about the struggles in life, as well as the disappointment and thoughts that come up during these tough times. Quite relatable, yet still very catchy, Cryptic Rock gives I Went to Hell and Back 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

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