Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

below

CD review BELOW "Upon a Pale Horse"

Veröffentlicht am 18. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Below, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Epic Metal, CD Review, News, Metal Blade

(8/10) Below started in 2011 in Sweden and their focus was, and still is, on more epic, heavy and dark doom. The first release of this five-piece band was a 4-track EP, which came out end of 2012, creating some first excitement in the metal community. This EP was an enabler for Below to embark on a 10 days tour through Denmark, Germany and Holland, followed by signing a contract with Metal Blades. It was also the time when I had a first interview with the guys and I can remember very brief answers. However, the potential was already very obvious back then and therefore it wasn’t a surprise that the first full-length album, “Across the Dark River”, received quite good feedback and fan reactions. This was in April 2014 and three years later we can welcome the anticipated new album “Upon a Pale Horse”.

The new record comes with seven new songs, which are introduced by the classic entitled “The Plague Within”. This gloomy minute sets the tone of voice for the other seven songs. Below is still in epical doom metal and what we can see/hear on the second album is a further evolvement of their sound and songs.

“Disappearing Into Nothing” is the first song that hits you. Slow and menacing the track unveils an intensity that acts as a dark wake-up call. Things change slightly with “The Coven”. As with all the songs, also this one has a sinister vibe; this time in a more half-acoustic way in the beginning. In the second half the songs turns into a mighty metal smasher that comes with some King Diamond parallels before it ends again in a more silent fashion.

The title track is the longest track on the album. With almost ten minutes Below puts everything they have in the offer into one track. And if this would not be enough the guys could gain Primordial’s Alan Averill for some spoken word, introducing this well-crafted doom monster. “Suffer in Silence” is a traditional metal song with singer Zeb showing the full width of his vocal range.

The last three tracks can keep up the high level of performance. Heavy riffs, great vocals and lots of atmosphere are what you get with “Upon a Pale Horse”. It took below three full years to come up with their next album but it seems that the time was well spend and used. These seven grim metal anthems show the band at a next level, strengthening their position in doom metal.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Plague Within
  2. Disappearing Into Nothing
  3. The Coven
  4. Upon a Pale Horse
  5. Suffer in Silence
  6. Hours of Darkness
  7. 1000 Broken Bones
  8. We are All Slaves

 

Label: Metal Blade

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: May 19th, 2017

CD review BELOW "Upon a Pale Horse"
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BELOW on tour in Europe

Veröffentlicht am 14. Januar 2015 von Markus W. in Below, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Dark Metal, News, Tour

Swedens doom newcomers Below will be on tour in Europe in February. They will play some shows in Germany, Denmark, Benelux and a show in Poland. Here are the details:

BELOW on tour in Europe
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BELOW on tour in 2015

Veröffentlicht am 27. November 2014 von Markus W. in Below, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, News, Tour

Swedish doom metal newcomers will play several shows in Europe in February 2015.

The band stated already: "We can't wait to be back on the roads of Europe to bring the heaviest of doom for you guys. To maximize the darkness over Europe in February we have invited Taiwaz to join us for this adventure!"

Here are the dates:

BELOW on tour in 2015
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BELOW revealed a new video

Veröffentlicht am 2. August 2014 von Markus W. in Below, Doom Metal, Candlemass, Heavy Metal, Video, News

Doomsters Below from Sweden released a new video. "Bid you farewell" is taken from the bands debut "Across the dark river". For doom fans a must - esp. if you haven't heard from the band earlier.

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CD review BELOW "Across the dark river"

Veröffentlicht am 11. April 2014 von Markus W. in Below, Doom Metal, CD Review, News, Candlemass, Procession, Black Sabbath

(7/10) Doom metal from Sweden - does that ring a bell? Of course it does. The mighty Candlemass are omnipresent. Since the masters of doom slowed down bit, the community was looking for a dignified successor. It seems that this search comes closer to an end. The nname of the band is Below.

They have published already a four track EP earlier in their career and now it's time for their debut full-length album called "Across the dark river" which comes via Metal Blade.

The album contains seven epically long songs and one short intermezzo called "In my dreams". With 35 seconds those dreams seems to rather short.

But talking about the songs. The seven minutes long opener "Trapped under ground" is showing a clear reference to Candlemass, which by the way are also seen as a big inspiration for the band. Slow riffs are dominating the song and the tune is excellent doom metal. Down tuned guitars and minor melodylines are reflected in each track and represent the trademarks of doom. Additionally the voice of singer Zeb is to mention. His way of singing reminds a bit to doom legend like Messiah Marcolin and Tony Martin, who, respective Black Sabbath, have been influencers for the band too. Eventhough Zeb doesn't reach the high benchmark of those singers -yet.

Next the these good points there are also few weaker things on the album. For me the album looses  a bit of the excitement in the second half. This has nothing to with the each song in specific. It is more the feeling, that all the songs follow a kind of the same pattern. This is something which reduces the positive impression of the record. If I look on genre godfathers like Candlemass or also Solitude Aeturnus I have to say that these guys have more variations in their songs. The potential is there. Another thing is that Below plays solid and traditional doom metal. Basically this can be seen as something positive, but it also doesn't make the album stand out from other good doom discs like from e.g. Procession.

A word also regarding the production. This was in the hands of Andy La Roque who gave the band and the album a very good doom sound. Sometimes you have the feeling that there are even those small Kind Diamond moments, which is of course not a surprise..

"Across the dark river" became a good doom metal debut album. Fans of this genre will like this album for sure. And let's see what the future will bring. The first step is set, but it seems to be very tricky for all the newer doom bands to step out of the huge shadow of Candlemass and also Black Sabbath.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Trapped under ground
  2. Bid you farewell
  3. Ghost of shepard
  4. Portal
  5. In my dreams
  6. Mare of the night
  7. The whitechapel murder
  8. Across the dark river

 

Label: Metal Blade Redords

Genre: Doom Metal

CD review BELOW "Across the dark river"
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Epic doom metal band BELOW release their debut

Veröffentlicht am 2. März 2014 von Markus W. in Below, Doom Metal, News, Black Sabbath, King Diamond

Epic doom metal band Below from Sweden recorded their debut album "Across the dark river". The first song "Portal" is online. See also the interview from summer last year.

Released date: April 11

 

Epic doom metal band BELOW release their debut
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Interview with BELOW

Veröffentlicht am 16. August 2013 von Markus W. in Below, Interview, Heavy Metal, News

BELOW is a new band from Sweden. They are playing mainly doom metal and they recently signed a contract with Metal Blade. So far we don't know a lot about them. Actually I haven't seen a photo from the members which shows more than just a sillouette and I also haven't got the line-up. But they seem to be five guys and the two songs which are available already sound pretty good. I got the opportunity to ask some questions to Tobbe, the manager of the band, about the band and their background, which he answered in the name of the whole band. But there seems to be still quite some 'secrets' which don't have an answer (yet). Where from Sweden are the guys coming from? Why haven't we seen them on a photo? What are their names? In which bands have they played before? Questions over questions. Is it just a lack of experience or is it because there are maybe some bigger names behind the 5 guys? Who knows. But read for yourself what they want to share...and build your own opinion.

Markus' Heavy Music Blog: Hej to everybody, how long are you guys playing together as a band already?

Tobbe: We have been playing together as BELOW for about a year and a half.

MHMB: Have some of you played in other bands already before?

Tobbe: We have all been playing in different bands before.

MHMB: Tobbe, can you tell us in which bands you guys played before?

Tobbe: Sorry, but we do not wish to reveal in which bands we played.

MHMB: Sweden has famous doom bands like Candlemass. Did they influence you?

Tobbe: Candlemass are a huge influence on both us as persons aswell as the music we summon.

MHMB: What are your influences?

Tobbe: Besides Candlemass, King Diamond are big influence to us. And so are the later Black Sabbath, specificly the Tony Martin era.

MHMB: You recently signed a contract with Metal Blades? How have you established this cooperation?

Tobbe: We got together with Tobiee at Howlin Owl Productions, who is also playing bass in this great band Noctum that is signed to Metal Blade. He started sending our songs to different people and the guys at Metal Blade really liked it. And here we are.

MHMB: Will the coming record on Metal Blade be your debut album or do have you had already other releases/demos?

Tobbe: We have recorded a 4 song EP which is unreleased.

MHMB: Who is writing the songs? Is it just a few of you or is the whole band involved in the songwriting?

Tobbe: The whole band is involved in one way or another.

MHMB: You will be on tour in November. Will those shows be the first ones outside Sweden?

Tobbe: Yes.

MHMB: Have you had a chance already to open for some bigger bands in Sweden?

Tobbe: No, we have only done 2 shows in Sweden so far.

Interview with BELOW
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