Above, Below are growing their sound even further with ‘Labyrinth’; don’t count them out just yet.
Sydney prog-metalcore act, Above, Below, hadn’t really caught my eye before. Well, until now that is. For with their newest single, my attention is now honed in on them, as ‘Labyrinth‘ is something new for the NSW heavy act.
Surprisingly starts out with clean guitar skirting behind acoustic guitars with some lo-fi singing from vocalist Jacob Wilkes (who has a very interesting but fitting vocal timbre), Above, Below’s newest tune then erupts into a melodic, emotive metalcore jam. Whilst familiar sounding, it all comes from such a genuine place that it all works well. The smaller flourishes to their established metal sounds are what honestly makes it stick out, with plenty of neat little surprises in-store, like some vocoder usage, great vocal dynamics, and some intricate guitar lines as well. It’s equal parts atmospheric and heavy, with each side well-balanced and blending into the other side competently .
‘Labyrinth‘ is all about being at peace, becoming in tune with nature, and rooting yourself to the earth – perhaps both figuratively and literally speaking, as the lyrics seem to hint. It’s about lush forests, cracking skies, and in a metaphor for the dynamic of life, climbing tress and mountains; something that’s also imparted the flow of the song too. So while the track’s accompanying music video – shot and edited by Connor Rancan – is the typical “band-plays-in-woods” shtick, it at least loops back around to the actual theme and message of the song. Something most artists seem to forget about when putting their visuals together.
‘Labyrinth‘ is Above, Below really taking a risk, but having it pay off nicely, with the band still finding time to get on their heavy and djent moments; like the blast beats kicking off at 3:26 or like that huge breakdown in the mid-section. This is a real step up and it caught me well-off guard. Don’t write these guys off just yet, they’ve got a lot more to show.
Stay tuned for the reveal of the new Above, Below album.