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Album Reviews : Artemis Blade – As Above…So Below

By on May 14, 2018

Ritualistic drums and ceremonious hymns open strongly with ominous keys. Vocals hit on the second track, brutal death screams contrasting against the singing guitars. Clean vocals come in, not unpleasantly, creating a dramatic, moving edge with music softening before the guitars sweep in again and take precedent. I still find it hard to believe such talent can come from my own soil, albeit the other side of the county. Perfectly refined and mixed, Artemis Blade, a six-piece Sydney Melodic Death Metal band should be on bills to support bigger acts.

A great debut album following a fairly typical melodic metal structure, creating a sound reminiscent of the European forefathers that created the genre. Vocals lend more towards an American style with screams rather than the growls I prefer. There are some guttural growls throughout, but as backing vocals with the roaring scream prominent. Exquisite clean vocals trace through As Above…So Below, with the addition of some spoken word, creating a diverse sound throughout the album.

I found the album falls a little later on, the second and third last tracks being my least favourite. “Murder Unheard Of” is a little too mellow for my liking, taking a few listens to be able to appreciate it in the flow of the album. “As Above” differs in tone once again, adding more of Artemis Blade’s historic progressive sound. Likewise, there are hints at thrash elements coming from the bands original sound. “Dark Ambitions”, an earlier track was a sinister song, but the ending track, “State of Cold”, is darker, even with its catchy riffs. It is repetitive with, ‘watch me drown, who’s gonna save me now’; a much more aggressive and depressing end to the haunting almost symphonic start.

As Above…So Below takes you on an impressive musical journey, melding genres to create an album worth checking out. Still, at the end of this journey, I am unsure if I like the album or not. Certain elements call me, where others put me off. I love the harmonious guitar and rhythmic drumming, but the vocal range is too dynamic for me, I could do with less clean vocals, but that is a personal preference. If you don’t mind clean vocals definitely listen to this album if you’re not the biggest fan you might be able to enjoy the other elements. Melodic guitar fans, especially, will appreciate the shredding and beautiful melodies. Give “Burn” a listen to if you want to try one song first, that’d be my favourite.

Band: Artemis Blade
Album: As Above…So Below
Year: 2018
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Australia