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Not Above Evil – Always Darkest Before

Not Above Evil
Always Darkest Before
by Bruno Diniz at 07 February 2017, 4:57 PM

From the depths of Manchester, England and Stockholm, Sweden, the trio of NOT ABOVE EVIL formed by Daniel Mucs (Drums), David Gwynn (Guitars / Vocals) and Sideeq Mohammed (Bass / Vocals), brings us their third full-length album entitled "Always Darkest Before", mixed and mastered by Daniel Mucs (Independent Label). Founded in 2009 the band had already released two great albums: "Deification" in 2010 and "The Transcendental Signified" in 2011, raising our expectation for this new one. The musical styles continues being Melodic Death Metal with some passages true Black Metal, always played with a lot of technique and creativity.

The track chosen to introduce us to this new work, was "When The Day Comes", a strong and striking song, revealing all the dark side of the trio. Full of rhythm and melody, it has a short and somber introduction, followed by a sigh and instruments, combined with some whispers preceding the vocals, changing between Black and Death. After the introductory song, the trio begins to implement a greater speed and ferocity in "Adrenaline". There is a brilliant passage on the middle of this track, with only cymbals and vocal, that turns it into one of the highlights of the album. "Unleashed" comes next and it is the kind of song that makes you bang your head from the beginning to the end, having several modern elements and changes in rhythm.

The introduction of "Fiber and Sinew", makes us feel inside a horror movie. this one is more groovy, having more harmonious parts. The riffs and solos seem to touch our souls. "Elevation Of The Form" ends the first half of the album being the longest song of all. Here the musicians expressed all their versatility with perfect precision, making it my favorite among all, not only from this work, but regarding all the others from the band. It is really stunning. The chorus will surely stay in your mind for a few days after the first listening. "The Close" is a two-minute instrumental track, focused on piano. It fits in perfectly with "Doors and Desolation" that brings more reflective and introspective musicianship, and goes on into more obscure and depressive layers.

In "Compression" we can see a strong influence of bands of Death metal of the beginnings of the nineties. It is very different from the rest bringing a more crude and primitive sonority. "Turning Over" starts with drum-like beats from ancient wars and then keeps them well marked by guiding the other instruments to a well-directed Black Metal universe. "And The Skies Returns" ends the album in a brilliant way, bringing new vocal variations and fast tempo changes.

Can we say that it was worth the wait of 5 years to listen to "Always Darkest Before"? Definitely yes! In my opinion, it certainly has evolved a lot in relation to its predecessors. The mixing could be better worked with certainty. In some points the vocal becomes a little low and distant. However we have to consider that it is an independent production. Still not perfect, but surely these guys have shown us that they are on the right path to becoming one of the big metal names in the future.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. When the Day Comes
2. Adrenaline
3. Unleashed
4. Fibre and Sinew
5. Elevation of the Form
6. The Close
7. Doors and Desolation
8. Compression
9. Turning Over
10. And the Skies Return
Sideeq Mohammed - Bass, Vocals
David Gwynn - Guitar, Vocals
Daniel Mucs - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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