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Beartooth - Below Award winner

by John Foley at 20 September 2021, 7:40 AM

They are the monster of a band from Columbus, Ohio that are taking the world by storm and have just released their new fourth album “Below” back in June 2021, today we have the mighty BEARTOOTH. The band is essentially the brain child of lead vocalist Caleb Shomo as he plays most instruments in studio on other releases and does a lot of the production and engineering himself in studio. The band are well known for there very high energy shows and have played at festivals like SLAM DUNK, WARPED TOUR and DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL. They have even toured with the likes of SLIPKNOT, BRING ME THE HORIZON and A DAY TO REMEMBER. They have even gone on to win awards for best breakthrough band at the METAL HAMMER in 2016 and LOUDWIRE in 2017. So as you can see these guys are heavy hitters so lets dive on in to their new album.

The album kicks things off with the title track “Below” with some feedback opening the tune. Some drums come in as the vocals come over it, and then we are hit with some real rockin’ riffs. There are some really cool vocals on this one and the song has a great vibe to it. A big chorus hits with some cool lead guitar lines. When the middle section hits you can hear they are building to something big and then that breakdown hits to start us all off with the headbanging. This was a powerful opener.

Next up is “Devastation” and this track just wastes no time and jumps right into the groove based riffing. There is so much energy here in this track as we then get hit with a big sing along chorus from out of nowhere. There are lots and lots of cool riffs happening here and an excellent build to the breakdown that gets you hyped. After that we got “The Past is Dead” which opens up with a chant for getting a crowd going and to join in. This one has a real hard rock feel to it and is a lot of fun too as the song really gets you moving. A very bass heavy breakdown then hits for all you headbanging needs. The song seems to have a positive message behind it with being about acknowledging your past but finding a way to move forward.

“Fed Up” comes next and this on has a very punk feel from it with a killer groove riff. We get a massive sing along chorus here and the song seems to be about standing up for yourself. The breakdown will totally open up the pits with this. It is a simple song that really hits hard and I loved it. Then we got “Dominate” and this one really brings the heavy. The riffs here really pack a punch and the vocals are very aggressive and it switches to a melodic chorus. The drumming here is just class and has this evil sounding middle section and breakdown. This song has a lot of different styles all blended together and it all flows nicely.

“No Return” has a real headbanging riff right from the start. It has some really cool guitar work for the verses and is very melodic for the choruses. This is a really cool song with lots of sing along moments mixed with lots of moshing moments and a very out there breakdown but it does pack a punch too. “Phantom Pain” has a slightly punk feel to it right from the start. Killer riffing through out with the tone switching for a melodic sing along chorus. The song really keeps you on your feet. There are some really cool sections here with lots of heavy elements too.

“Skin” which seems to be a fan favorite off of this (judging by the Spotify streams). The bass kicks things off here with the vocals and then the guitars coming in to compliment the bass line. Those sing along choruses are back and the song seems to be dealing with having negative thoughts. We are hit with a middle section that really gets you hyped and then builds back up for another sing along chorus. After that one we got “Hell of It” with its heavy riffing that really kicks things off. This is a really mosh heavy some with some killer grooves here and you just got to head bang to it. The drums are just pounding way here and are a real highlight as the bass leads to way to the breakdown.

“I Won’t Give Up” has so much energy to it, a fast paced song with some cool lead guitar lines. Some old school metal guitar riffing for the verses and a really big sounding chorus make this track up as the vocals command the song. This is a really fun tune that really packs  punch too and I just love the guitar work here. Coming up towards the end we got “The Answer” as the lead guitar starts us off with the rest of the band then bringing in the heavy. This one has a very melodic verse as the chorus then hits and you can hear that this track has a lot of emotion in it. It then builds to a really heavy breakdown and then brings it back to the tracks melodic side. This was a great song.

Final track on the album and it is the instrumental “The Last Riff”. To open this up here the guitar rings out and you can hear that they are building to something. The band comes in and the song then stomps along like a monster. The band then brings it down only for them to come thundering back to the heavy side again as the guitars then ring out for the album to close.

From listening to “Below” you can hear that BEARTOOTH are once again a band that are on fire. This one has a bit more of a hard rock feel to it when compared to their metalcore past. But it must be said that there are a great bunch of songs on here. Through out this album you can hear that the songs got so much energy to them which is just like their live shows. The vocals here got a lot of range to them and there are so many killer riffs to be found. BEARTOOTH are a band I never really used to pay much attention to but after listening to “Below” they now have a new fan in me and I really loved this.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Musicianship: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Below
2. Devastation
3. The Past is Dead
4. Fed Up
5. Dominate
6. No Return
7. Phantom Pain
8. Skin
9. Hell of It
10. I Won’t Give it Up
11. The Answer
12. The Last Riff
Caleb Shomo – Vocals
Oshie Bichar – Bass and Backing Vocals
Connor Denis – Drums and Backing Vocals
Zach Huston – Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
Will Deely – Rhythm Guitar
Record Label: Red Bull Records


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