This summer has quickly aged like fine wine for Milford-born guitarist Joan Carranza.

This summer has quickly aged like fine wine for Milford-born guitarist Joan Carranza.

Carranza and his bandmates in As Alice Sleeps, a post-hardcore outfit, are only a few days removed from headlining their first tour, which lasted two weeks and took the boys throughout the tri-state area. What's more, As Alice Sleeps is slated to drop its sophomore album, "Absolute," around Aug. 31.

But before then, Carranza and the crew will brush shoulders with notable bands like Every Time I Die and Chelsea Grin at the Reverb in Reading, Pa., as part of the All Stars Tour 2013 on Aug. 16.

"Every time I Die is pretty big for me," said the soft-spoken 22-year-old Carranza, who's decorated in tattoos, piercings and sports gauged earlobes. "I'm actually really, really stoked. It's exciting."

The All Stars Tour is a big event in the metal scene, featuring big names such as Veil of Maya, Terror, Stray From the Path, Capture the Crown, I Wrestled A Bear Once, For All Those Sleeping, Ice Nine Kills, Structures and Dayshell, along with Every Time I Die and Chelsea Grin.

'Absolute' positivity

As Alice Sleeps approached "Absolute" from a fresher perspective. Gone is the profanity and pessimistic tunes inspired by horror films that populated the first record.

"We tried to make ['Absolute'] more family-oriented, even though there's screaming and stuff in it," said As Alice Sleeps guitarist and co-founder Drew Price, 19, of Smyrna. "We didn't curse at all. It's a clean album. We just want to show a new maturity level from us because our old album was all about blood and guts and those horror films and different bad situations."

The band's message on "Absolute" is for listeners to have faith they'll overcome even the most negative of circumstances. In fact, the album's title, "Absolute," is symbolic of absolute values in mathematics, which is a pre-algebraic equation that turns any negative number into a positive number or zero.

'Perceiver' and 'King Thinker'

Some of the motivational songs on the up-tempo "Absolute" include "Perceiver," a tune that Carranza composed most of the arrangements for. The song spotlights a guy who has a reputation of being dishonest to remind listeners that poor decisions can eventually catch up with you.

There's also "King Thinker," which is Carranza's favorite to perform.

"The whole concept behind that one is basically speaking about what you believe in and doing what you can to make everybody hear you," Carranza said. "I think that's one of our more [upbeat], like, 'jump' songs. It gets you to move a lot."

'Going to be really awesome'

With the All Stars Tour's concert only a week away, Carranza and the guys are still pinching themselves about the opportunity to play a show with national bands like Chelsea Grin and Every Time I Die.

"This show is going to be really awesome," Price said. "It's like, if you're a sport's guy and you want to make it in the NBA, NHL or NFL, then all of a sudden you're playing with the players you used to watch on TV and you're going against them. It's kind of that feeling."

"Next thing you know, you got Allen Iverson sitting next to you," Carranza joked.


WHAT All Stars Tour

WHEN 1 p.m., Aug. 16

WHERE Reverb, 1402 N. 9th St., Reading, Pa.

COST $22 in advance; $25 in door

INFO Visit or call (610) 743-3069