Hailing some of the heaviest riffs across 12 gritty tunes, Beartooth go back to their roots…

Beartooth recently unleashed ‘Below’ – their fourth studio album, and one they’ve been teasing since the beginning of the year – and it doesn’t disappoint. Unapologetically heavy, with some spell-binding riffs and addictive hooks, ‘Below’ takes us across twelve gritty tunes all reflective of the turbulence of fourteen months spent in isolation.

Opening with disruptive message ‘Below’, this track has a colossal build-up of distorted guitar shrikes and edging screamo vocals from frontman Caleb Shomo. The album’s title track, this track courageously throws you into the deep end with a thrash of guitars and hard-hitting drums. Addictive play on words - “six hundred, sixty-six feet in my hell below!” - has you furiously screaming along; ‘Below’ is easily one of Beartooth’s best introductory tracks in a long while.

Next up is lead single ‘Devastation’. Having dropped this back in March as a surprise release, the track is our initial glimpse into the chaos of what ‘Below’ holds and sits comfortably between explosive opening track and militant second release ‘The Past Is Dead’. From the lyrics to the boisterous music video, ‘The Past Is Dead’ has a self-explanatory storyline, that is frequently weaved throughout the rest of the album. Playing in a dark room with bursts of fire and a lingering grim reaper, this figure hovers between the band like an unwanted fog.

Across the album the group have made it very apparent what message they want to convey. From introductory ‘Below’ right down to ‘The Last Riff’, 'Below’ carries through the message of better days ahead. Sharing across their socials on release day, the boys wrote: “sometimes embracing the darkness and starring the evil in the face is how we move forward. It’s time for a new chapter.” Across the album it’s very apparent just how much progress the group have made with not only their music, but themselves, the message they’re pushing is as clear as gold and is a burst of hope for the music industry.

Making the half-way benchmark is album standout ‘No Return’; unleashing his guttural scream from deep within, Shomo bellows: “who knew you’d be hated for being who you are.” Progressing harder and faster as it goes on, the build-up is so extreme it’s hard to put into words, an epic mid-point to say the least.

‘Phantom Pain’ leaves no room to breathe; another undeniable album standout, the instrumentation throughout this track alone is a force to be reckoned with. Across the album, Beartooth wear their hearts on their sleeves as they delve deep. Sturdy yet flaring with anticipation of a colossal drop is concluding track ‘The Last Riff’. Progressively edging you into Beartooth’s staple sound, ‘The Last Riff’ is an incredible guitar heavy interlude that sees ‘Below’ out with a bang.


Words: Laviea Thomas

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