Band of the Day: Below

Below - Across The Dark RiverWoah. Here we are. Number 365 in 365 days. A whole years of (New) Band of the Day articles. More about this elsewhere, but I’m really glad the band picked at random for today’s post fits in with the original idea behind the category – a fairly new band, just about to release a debut album after working hard to get where they are now.

Today’s band are Below from Sweden. Originally formed in 2011 by three members who discussed the merits and downsides of the current doom metal scene, they recruited two more to create the sound they wanted.

An unreleased EP was used for promotional purposes, got them some good reviews, management and a string of dates across Europe culminating at the Hammer of Doom Festival in Germany. Then Metal Blade caught wind of it and signed them.

The result of that contract is the forthcoming Across The Dark River which oozes its way out of the darkness on April 15th. Written as a homage to the styles of Candlemass, latter-day Sabbath, King Diamond and so forth it’s fairly easy to get an idea of what they were after. Those were heady days, after all.

Capture it, they have, though. Upon hearing the vocals kick in on opener “Trapped Under Ground”, my first thought was “Dio“. OK, the music is slower than most of his better known tracks, but you get the idea. Thing is, it’s not just a “let’s rip off these old bands” outing. The album is genuinely original with its own twists and touches that give Below a sound of their own. At the same time, it could have been released back in the 1980’s and fit right in to the classics coming out at that time.

“The Whitechapel Murderer” is the only track from the album I can find online (via their management’s Soundcloud page, so it’s above board). It’s representative of the album as a whole so if you like it then I promise you’ll like the whole LP.

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