Metal band Above All gained a quickly positive reputation in the 90s for putting on an amazing show supporting some amazing names like Fear Factory and Korn. Now, after a whopping 26 years away, they have returned with some new music. This is a big deal guys, let’s check it out together!
The EP’s title track opens on some quick drums and an interesting black metal style riff. The vocals come in and feel pretty hardcore, reminding me a lot of Jamey Jasta’s sound. It fits the instrumentation perfectly and feels like an all out assault, full of anger and fire. In fact, it all sounds like a slightly more black metal version of Hatebreed, I like it! The track doesn’t let up for a second either, the chorus being just as heavy. The subtle backing vocals giving it more power was a nice touch though, adding some catchiness to it. The breakdown after the second chorus is also awesome, slowing stuff down while keeping it massively heavy, especially with the screams over the top. The it heads into a final crushing chorus to finish things off. An awesome way to open an EP and an awesome return from the band!
The riff that opens ‘DEADWEIGHT’ around the bass drum was awesome. Then it quickly kicks into a heavy gear again when the vocals come in for a crushing verse. It opens out slightly for the chorus but it still has heavy Hatebreed vibes to it. It’s catchy, though! It drops down to a great cleaner guitar riff in the middle, the drums and bass staying low as some cool spoken word comes in over the top. It builds up steadily with the harsher vocals before we get a crushing bridge and breakdown part. We even get a brief guitar solo behind the vocals for the outro, the drums working overtime and making everything sound huge. It easily makes our playlist!
The final track on the short EP, ‘Foot to Throat’ is another that feels like it builds up more and more, from a quiet(ish) opening to another guitar riff filling out the space below the vocals before it opens up more and more. We even get some clean vocals in the background of what I assumed was the chorus. It was a fun change of pace! However, the more I listen to them the more I feel like it’s maybe just a bridge?
We do get an AWESOME solo out the back of one of them though, and the double tracking of the second half was especially a highlight. A good ‘ugh’ leads to a fantastic breakdown riff. It unfortunately doesn’t last anywhere near long enough before the other guitar comes back in over the top, but it does give the ending of the song a pretty epic feel to it all.
Overall: The band sound just as good and brutal as they did back in the day. This was a great reintroduction to the band, and damn do I want more immediately. I would happily hear another album from them, but this will definitely be played a lot over the next few months anyway!
The Score: 7.5/10
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