Review by Sheri Bicheno for MPM
Canadian – American metalcore knockouts Spiritbox surfaced with their colossal breakthrough first album Eternal Blue In 2020, which followed a plethora of stunning singles that built hype within the realms of melodic metalcore lovers, offering a stunning adaptation of the genre.
As the first release since since touring bassist Josh Gilbert officially joined, The Fear of Fear echoes familiar ground as Eternal Blue in places, with a much heavier ground than its predecessors.
Cellar Doors opens the EP with a digital and tech infused intro swirled with nightmarish synth inputs and groove laden riffs from Mike Stringer that transpire into some of the hugest djent chords pounding together with Josh’s low and threatening bass notes.
Courtney LaPlante displays some extraordinary vocals that shred into the song with coreshaking gutturals, blasting the track into a sonic strike, heightening the mechanically explosive breakdowns of Zev Rosenberg.
Probably one of the heaviest tracks Spiritbox has released, there are definite elements of Djent infusions lacing through before fading into a beautiful, ethereal synth sprinkling through the vocals and chords before continuing seamlessly into second track, Jaded.
Twisting into a beautiful fusion opening of guitars and beats with Courtney’s clean singing, we’re given a look into the depth of the better known style of Spiritbox- glacial, groove encapsulating and with a stunning balance of both light and dark moods.
The balance of Courtney’s beautiful voice and her edge of trembling screams create a dynamic that textures together a dreamscape behind spiking riffs and melodic drums.
Mike Stringer uses interjecting slamming djent tones with groove harmonies to deliver Josh’s underlying bass beats that focus technical components throughout the track, making way for Zev to display some of the E.P’s most intricate pedalwork.
Too Close/Too Late starts almost eerie with keys before Courtney comes in with glacial vocals that talk to us of the unknown.
Atmospheric polyrhythms course through this track that are familiar grounds with Circle With Me and serves as a beautiful reminder that whilst the EP tampers around with the heavier elements of Spiritbox, these guys don’t forget where their roots lay – balancing the lighter shades with electronic synths, delivering an emotionally transforming track.
Right now, I’m looking out the window watching the night roll in, dark contrasts capturing the colours of the last dregs of sunset whilst this track blasts out… ethereal senses really encapsulate this song and make moments like this even more beautiful.
Angel Eyes serves up a chuggy and industrial offering. The work between Mike, Zev and Josh is paramount here.
Ripping riffs that punch into the blastbeats and staggering breakdowns of the drums take the lead, deliver a face smashing rainfall of fury. The thumping bassline provides tech fuelled aggression and puts Josh well and truly into yye songs limelight.
The Void brings a higher paced, upbeat offering that was released as a single in April. Spiritbox’s ability to combine heavy elements with stunning atmospherics are not lost on this track. Courtney contrasts the ambience in her melodic vocals to the almost trance – esque dynamics of the track, which displays a nice change of genre to The Fear of Fear.
A beautiful aerial tone with the guitars brings a stop to the track before we’re lead into the gentle lulls of final track Ultraviolet.
Starting with some warp style synths and subtle beats, Courtney introduces us to a pop-groove dreamlike track that plays around with airy synths and epic keys to create an uplifting and sunshine soaked mood.
Mike comes into the track a little way through it with some powerful riffs that crash through and weave in and out of the synths – some breathtaking moods encapsulate this track and really empowers those emotions it creates.
Spiritbox leave no wonder that this new offering is one of the years best releases, encompassing immersive visuals and musicianship. The Fear of Fear is a short but meaningful journey that delivers a diverse range of emotions, moods and thoughts whilst taking on twists of genres and bending them to beautiful and trembling lengths.
Listen to ‘The Fear Of Fear’ now HERE.
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