Spiritbox

Eternal Blue

Written by: PP on 31/12/2021 15:36:16

Spiritbox was formed from the ashes of electronic grindcore/metalcore band Iwrestledabearonce. Vocalist Courtney LaPlante married guitarist Mike Stringer, who showcased some of his new song ideas to her that would have radically altered the soundscape, so they decided to form a new band instead to expand the available stylistic palette. Since then, they've been joined by Bill Crook on the bass of Living With Lions fame, and a young drummer in Zev Rosenberg. Millions of streams later, the music world has been awash with hype regarding their debut album "Eternal Blue", which since then has garnered tens of millions of streams across the web. So what does it sound like and is the hype justified?

Spiritbox is a metalcore band at heart, but they dabble extensively with djent-laden guitars and electronics in the background to form a massively dramatic, theatrical soundscape. It's modern and futuristic thanks to the tight djent riffs utilized throughout, almost taking on an industrial vibe similar to the sci-fi metal of LLNN this year. The songs are based on progressive metal but have been reduced to a radio-friendly format and for those of us without long enough attention spans, and that's good.

On vocals, Courtney LaPlante continues to utilize both her gothic clean vocal style that reaches operatic heights at times and harsh screams and growls to ensure the expression has enough brutality attached to it. A song like "Holy Roller" is embroiled in breakdowns and guttural barks by LaPlante, an almost polar opposite to the softly sung and pop-laden "The Summit", which explores her clean vocal range similar to the title track.

The extensive use of electronics allows the band to substantially enlargen their soundscape, resulting in echoing atmospherics that is supplemented by pummeling riffs and plenty more djent. It's truly an enormously expansive sound, which is reined in through the signature Rise Records style compression of the guitar distortion and the drums at the production stage. Stylistically, you could compare it to the likes of Silent Planet, Skyharbor, Jinjer, or Invent Animate without it necessarily sounding exactly like any of them, per se.

LaPlante demonstrates herself to be a capable singer and growler in equal measure (which we knew from her Iwrestledabearonce days), and Stringer's theatrical songwriting guarantees a wide audience for Spiritbox's songs. But scratch beneath the surface, I remain skeptical about the longevity that "Eternal Blue" has to offer. Its magnificent production and radio-friendly melodies ensure plenty of hype - perhaps even mainstream accession - but will you still be listening to this in a year from now? It's not exactly offering anything new or improving on the modern djent-ish metalcore formula, just because it features a solid female vocalist.

7

Download: Hurt, Yellowjacket, Holy Roller
For the fans of: Silent Planet, Skyharbor, Jinjer, Invent Animate
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.09.2021
Rise Records

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