Before we begin, it is important to note that As We Draw is not like many things on this site. Sure, this French band has elements of atmospheric sludge and could draw their lineage to bands like Neurosis but other than that things get blurry. As We Draw fits into the disputed territories which lie in the middle of metal, hardcore, and heavy experimental music. In these borderlands are things which sort of resemble traditional genres but have long gone feral. Mirages may have been a sweet record at one point but is now rabid and out for blood.
It is easy to see how this happened. As We Draw’s 2010 debut Lines Breaking Circles was a moody post hardcore record with instances of clean emotive and anguished emotive. Aside from longer track lengths, Mirages is more effective in each department which makes up their structure. The brief grind passages are more frantic, the choked vocals seem almost strangled, and the instrumentation now cascades with violence. The low end goes so much heavier as to reinforce the emotional ruin which is the foundation of this record. Where Lines Breaking Circles threatened punches, Mirages gives little warning before throwing blows to the head.
It is important to note that all of this imagery of violence is only mentioned because it comes so easy. As We Draw has the perfect combination of fury, emotion, and instrumentation which makes Mirages exquisite. Just the fact a band could utilize those elements without being cheesy or whiny is outstanding. The dichotomy between traditional post hardcore and complete destruction on songs like “Shipwreck” is enough to give pause as the passage between the noisy outro of “Fata Bromosa” into the opening drum march of “Panic” is enough to seal a positive opinion on this record. While As We Draw and Mirages is far from ever finding a home in traditional genres, the disputed borderlands seems a good place to start an empire of outlaws.