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Above, Below – The Lotus Chapters Award winner

Above, Below
The Lotus Chapters
by Brad Pfundheller at 05 October 2019, 10:48 PM

Australia has been known to produce many talented Metalcore bands over the years, such as NORTHLANE, IN HEARTS WAKE, and PARKWAY DRIVE. But in 2019, I am here to present to you Sydney’s own up and coming Progressive Metalcore band ABOVE, BELOW; with their debut full length album “The Lotus Chapters” which is released independently. With a single released in late 2018, these guys have been keeping fans on edge for the better part of the year waiting for the release of this record.

“Chapter I: Seed”, is what starts us off and it’s nothing more than an introduction into the story that these guys have put together. It’s a calm and collective song but don’t get too comfortable because what’s next is “Eternal Sunshine”. It just explodes with impassioned screams and palm muted guitar pulses at the beginning. It begins to slow down throughout with the vocals going clean for the chorus. But the “djenty” guitars keep the momentum going. “Kensho” just starts out heavy right away. Low guitars and a single china cymbal playing in the back helps get you pumped up and intrigued to hear the rest. “Chapter II: Flourish” begins with an eerie feel to it and continues until the end serving as part of an interlude on the album.

“Mantra” has a nice mixture of clean and unclean vocals, and the instruments flow really well together throughout. The breakdown isn’t just your average either, it incorporates quick blast beats and pinch harmonics that help feed the progressive sound.  “Equilibrium” is featuring POLARIS guitarist Ryan Siew and I would say that he fits right in with the style and playing aspects. Phenomenal guitar work and vocal placements is what makes this song one to remember.  The album ends with “Lotus” and it serves as the culmination to “The Lotus Chapters”. The emotional lyrics and changes in speed really put this entire album into perspective with an understanding of the interlude tracks. In my opinion, it’s a great way to end the record.

Overall, after hearing “The Lotus Chapters” there is no doubt in my mind these guys have what it takes to climb their way to the top. The execution of their distinct style is what will help carry the Progressive Metalcore genre into the ears of other metalheads or people just checking them out for the first time. Very solid and well put together album and I can’t wait to hear what these guys come out with next.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Chapter I: Seed
2. Eternal Sunshine
3. Labyrinth
4. Kensho
5. Chapter II: Flourish
6. Mantra
7. Blood Wine
8. Beyond the Mosaic Garden
9. Chapter III: Bloom
10. Equilibrium (feat. Ryan Siew)
11. The Gradient Lake
12. Lotus
Jacob Wilkes – Vocals
Zac Adamson – Guitar/Vocals
Nicholas Bird – Guitar
Dylan Mallia – Bass
Isaac Ross – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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