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Album Reviews : Among Them – Coming and Going

By on May 2, 2018

As a life-long fan and appreciator of metal, there was a decade of my life when I actually all but tuned out of what was happening in the metal scene. I still regularly spun Death, Deicide, Morbid Angel and a host of enduring legacy artists, but ‘new’ sounds were elusive. With my focus on career pursuits and achieving other milestones; the shift from a physical copy to downloads was in full force, the epitaph was all but prepared for print media, and genres didn’t just splinter as much as they were smashed and mashed creating all sorts of diverse and unique sounds.

The reason I share this insight into my personal odyssey is that by the time I resurfaced into the world of metal again (circa 2016), the manner in which one discovered bands, listened to music and shared what was grooving had changed remarkably.

In 2018 Perth based Among Them release an album that may indicate just how much metal has evolved, in as much as it also demonstrates how little things have changed.

I had a chat to Among Them’s impressive frontman Lachlan Carroll recently, it was through this conversation that profound insight was offered into the bands lyrical narrative. This is where metal has evolved to a point where themes of isolation, depression, anxiety and personal struggles can be approached with meaning and intent.

The band’s music is probably best described as post-hardcore. Carroll’s vocal delivery is raspy and almost desperate as if he is going for a breath of air that lies somewhere beyond his reach. Because of the lyrical themes across Coming and Going, his vocal style suits the music, which is driven by the performance of lead guitarist Ethan Macpherson and rhythm guitarist Brody Nelson. Both guitarists offer the contrasting light and shade that give the listener respite from the sonic onslaught on almost every cut.

The production is crisp and balanced, offering all instrumentation aural clarity. Listening to bassist Oakie Diggins locking in tight with the bass drum of percussionist Lucas Baker, much like Emmure’s percussionist extraordinaire Josh “Baby J” Miller and animated bassist, Phil Lockett… the lads know when to switch between rhythmic hammering and melodic interlude (check out the cut “Reflect Project”).

As a fan of the bands mentioned in the first paragraph, my instinct is to seek and reference the quality of the riffs contained in an album cut. Among Them don’t so much offer riffs on Coming and Going as they do vast movements of brutal guitar soundscapes measured by the length of Carroll’s vocal. When I started listening to ‘new’ releases again, it actually took a while to get used to this type of songwriting. Metal has evolved so that a band can attract listeners with the patience to absorb lengthy, often moody and introspective sounds yet still remain identifiably hard and heavy… just the way metal fans have and always will want the genre’s identifying characteristics to remain.

Coming and Going is very much the product of musicians tuned into the sounds of the new millennium. This is metal in 2018 and frankly, given the merits of the debut album Carroll and his bandmates in Among Them have delivered, they are precisely the type of musicians to steward the genre beyond 2020.

Band: Among Them
Album: Coming and Going
Year: 2018
Genre: Melodic Hardcore
Label: Independent
Origin: Australia

About

Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith