The Pitch: Australian progressive metal/metalcore band Above, Below take on growth, life and death with their new album The Lotus Chapters. FFO: Periphery, Textures, Unprocessed
What I Like: This is going to sound weird, but I assure you it works: think Periphery, but instead of Spencer you get Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco. That's Above, Below in a nutshell...add it to the list of things you can't unhear. Now having said that, don't let me fool you into thinking this is some contrived radio pop album. Quite to the contrary, there is still plenty aggression to be had with tracks like "Blood Wine" and "Beyond the Mosaic Garden." The djenty Architects/Periphery riffs and vicious screams give even the likes of "Blood Eagle" and "Chvrch Burner" from P4 a run for their money. And even if you aren't a Panic! fan, I think that the clean singing is done well and adds a unique layer to the music. Combined with the drama of a 3 act musical (essentially what this is), you've got yourself a pretty engaging experience filled with plenty of ups and downs.
Critiques: There are a few parts, particularly on "Mantra" and the interludes, that meander more than they probably need to. A little trimming might tighten the experience up a bit.
The Verdict: Great riffs, dynamic songwriting, and a varied vocal performance all make The Lotus Chapters an impressive experience that you should definitely check out. Above, Below were a new band to me going in, but in this single release I have more than enough reason to remember them in the future.
Flight's Fav's: Blood Wine, Beyond the Mosaic Garden, Eternal Sunshine
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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