Age of Emergence – The War Within Oursleves

Rating: 3.0/5
Distributor/label: Self-released
Released: 27 March 2020
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Band line-up:
Age of Emergence- The War Within Ourselves

Dean Holmes – Bass & vocals
Matt Neilson – Guitar & vocals
Benn Baxter – Drums



1. Stone Cold Icarus – 5:53
2. Wake the Beast – 4:23
3. Your Kingdom Dies – 5:44
4. Ascender – 5:18
5. Two Halves – 5:36



Age of Emergence formed in the Australian Newcastle region in 2013 by ex-Shambhala members Dean Holmes and Allan Hofer. They teamed up with Order of the Dragon guitarist Matt Neilson. After many free form jam sessions, a set of originals began to take shape. Home recording started and after much practice and tweaking sounds and equipment, the first demo was released on Soundcloud. After a year of gigging locally the band recorded their first EP in 2017 and now in 2020 follows up with the new release The War Within Ourselves.

The band states:

“‘The War Within Ourselves’ is the culmination of years of work with new drummer Benn Baxter. It is a reflection or reaction to the current world landscape. We dive deep into the human psyche when humanity is in turmoil due to climate change.”

There’s a lot to be said for this band’s ability to write complex and compelling concepts into their songs. I found the opening track Stone Cold Icarus to be both enigmatic in its lyrics and have a strong simple melody. Unfortunately, beyond the strong opening track, the EP strays from the solid initial concept, bouncing around here and there with its tone and mood. In principle, I have nothing against a little discord amongst tracks but there are a few in there which let the others down. One of these problematic tracks is “Wake the Beast”, which is a little clichéd since from what I understand it’s just another hard, fast song is about releasing your animal instincts.

There is one other small detail which ruins this one track for me, and that is that I can hear Matt Neilson’s Australian accent as he sings, and despite his best efforts it does undermine the whole epic, raging tone of the song. Australian just isn’t the angry raging accent that song needs. However, the EP overall is poetic and intriguing enough to keep me interested.

Review by

Annalisa Orlando