Above, Below talk the five bands that inspire their music the most

Next Friday, September 27th, progressive-metalcore crew Above, Below will release their new record, ‘The Lotus Chapters’. It sees the young Aussie group turning over a new leaf, trying out new sounds, and being far more adventurous with their art, whilst also still sticking to a lot of their djenty, heavy, riffy prog sound. With that in mind, guitarist/vocalist Zac Adamson and the rest of the Sydney band revealed the five artists, and their most influential works, that inspired not only the creation and writing of this new record but Above, Below as a whole – from The Beatles right through to Reflections and Silent Planet. 

The Beatles:

“Alright, let’s begin at perhaps the root of abstraction, weirdness, and creativity in rock music: The Beatles. More specifically, The Beatles from Revolver onwards. Whilst sonically existing in a very different world to us, there was something covertly refreshing and inspiring existing within the weirder, eastern and acid-drenched era of The Beatles. It really prompted us to experiment with as much weird shit as we could think of and it was super exciting. George Harrison’s work with the sitar on songs like “Tomorrow Never Knows” established the idea of using a sitar on ‘Beyond The Mosaic Garden‘; the lysergic and abstracted lyricism throughout most of Revolver and Sgt Peppers was a heavy source for much of our linguistic designs; and the acapella dream that is “Because” was what sparked the notion of opening our new album with an acapella. Without the experimental juice of these albums and this band in general, the odd, strange and fun direction we took with a lot of parts on The Lotus Chapters just wouldn’t have been the same.”


“Okay, we’re gonna keep it weird with our next one. Vildhjarta. Now, where the fuck do we even begin with Vildhjarta? Many, many nights have consisted of us sitting around and worshipping this band like some omnipotent being that created the very essence of groove. The riffs, the bends, the “thall”, the very insanity of this band runs through us like blood and spills out its influence all over The Lotus Chapters. We are the self-proclaimed biggest music nerds, constantly searching the darkest reaches to find the weirdest most batshit crazy stuff we can listen to, and to this day, I don’t think our obsession has sated itself as much as it has in Vildhjarta. Jacob once described them as “knowing everything and nothing about music at the same time” and a truer statement couldn’t exist in our opinion. From the acoustic Phrygian journey that is Dimman to the thall driven riffage in maastaden this band never fails to blow my mind. If Vildhjarta were a religion and had an altar, we’d be the first people bending our knees and clasping our hands at it. (P.S if they’re reading this, please give us the new album already – it’s been too long and we often cry about it.)”

The Contortionist – Language (Rediscovered):

“Ah, The Contortionist. What an effortlessly beautiful and brilliant act. This album and this band, in general, were one of, if not the strongest influence we had when writing TLC. The spiritual, eye-opening and downright blissful journey Language paints is perhaps one of the most enlightening and creative things this earth was ever given and it just gets better and better with each listen. This isn’t an album that people will get on the first, second or even third listen, they might even hate it, but this is a record that grows and grows and breathes something so utterly unique and satisfying that its impossible to not just lose yourself in it once it clicks. The subtle yet emotionally riveting voice of Michael Lessard floats effortlessly amongst a dream world of guitars, effects, synths, and beyond insane drum and bass grooves. It’s utterly entrancing. Even more elating are the synths! Eric Guenther’s synth work on this record and particularly on the rediscovered tracks are just fucking mind-blowing! This isn’t your typical early post-hardcore Attack Attack-esque use of synths, but a meticulously designed artwork painted with 70’s brass pads and leads, modulating waves and analog synth glory. Diving into just the synths is an album and journey on its own and you’ll notice our worship of this analog vibe through TLC’s experimentation with synths and pads. We can’t express how much people need to hear this record and endlessly thank The Contortionist for existing. Please let us tour with you, guys. xo.”

Reflections – The Colour Clear:

“This is a record that bleeds melancholy. Whilst TLC has a mostly positive and elated vibe, there are some downright heavy, angry and violent bits and we probably owe a lot of that to how much we’ve all listened to The Colour Clear. This album perfectly blends the technical aspects of djent and tech metal into a groovy, straight up, heavy and moving record. The pure emotion and forcefulness in the vocals, driven by some of the best riffs and breakdowns you could ever find really knocks you around and shows you how morose life can be sometimes. Their stupid ability to throw blast beats wherever they can also become a staple we use because of how much we loved it and the furious vocal spitfire that you can find on tracks like Sadist and Shadow Self were a major influence for the middle chapter of TLC and more specifically, Blood Wine. This is a sad and bleak look at humanity and its existence but it is nonetheless an important contemplation on what it is to be human and to be in turmoil. Shoutouts to the immaculately executed tom hits in Limbo as well by the way! If you know, you know.”

Silent Planet – Everything Was Sound:

“Silent Planet is probably one of the most important metalcore outfits of this era. If you haven’t heard this band or this record, go listen to it right now. Silent Planet are jaw-droppingly good. They attack so many dire and important issues with a level of emotion, finesse and pure genius that make it simply impossible to not idolize and praise their level of talent. The ideas and conceptions you find woven throughout the effortlessly phrased and written poetics of this band are breath taking, insightful and downright educational. They even have actual fucking footnotes for their lyrics, and I have genuinely gone and researched stuff for hours after reading through them. This sagacious, philosophical and psychologically driven writing tickled our nerdiness so much and was the backbone for so much of our lyrical flow, ideas and structure. It pushed us to explore writing with an extreme level of depth and detail beyond what we had previously ventured into and honestly made the writing process for TLC so much more cathartic. Musically, Silent Planet mirrors the meticulousness found within the words with tight and perfectly executed grooves, riffs and technical flair that most bands would envy being able to even remotely pull off. It’s intoxicating when you really fall into the techy and hectic atmosphere they create and god, the riffs are just so sick. The guitar work is brilliant, the drums are brilliant, the lyrics are brilliant, the whole band is just entirely brilliant. This is a MUST listen to for anyone and everyone!”

Above, Below’s ‘The Lotus Chapters’ arrives September 27th! Check out ‘Labrynith’ below: 

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