Admittedly, I was a bit hesitant to give What Dwells Within a listen based on their looks, which wasn’t very promising. They look very young and are likely still in high school–giving weight to this theory is the fact that they only play shows on the weekends. (Not on a school night, boys.) Then my mother’s lesson of “never judge a book by its cover” echoed in my head and I remembered that Eddie Van Halen was only 19 when Van Halen’s debut arrived, which means he must have been 18 when he recorded it. Subsequent to that album’s release, Eddie was named the world’s best guitarist for a number of consecutive years.
I gave What Dwells Within a listen because such youthful acts are often a barometer for what’s to come. They’re no Eddie Van Halen, but then nobody is. However, they’re not half bad for an aspiring, yet-to-signed young band. Yes, they need some tweaking here and there and would benefit greatly from a producer, but for such young lads their song structure is surprisingly advanced and creative; it’s actually rather progressive.
What Dwells Within states that they are of the hardcore, pop punk, and screamo genres, but I hear some metalcore, death metal, and progressive metal in their style. They also claim to sound like Alesana, The Devil Wears Prada, and Tool, but the jury is still out on that one.
The metalcore vocals are nice, as are the straight vocals, but the death metal growl needs some maturing if it’s going to sound realistic. The synth that they incorporate is original and brings a refreshing element, not unlike a twist of lime to your rum and coke, to the heavy riffs.
You can hear what they have to offer on their Facebook band page and judge for yourself (keep in mind that they’ll need some refinement if they stay together after graduation), but the notable tracks from What Dwells Within are “Where Are You Now, Isaiah,” “Over Your Dead Body,” and “Smile Make the World Go Round But So Do Astroids.”