Spawned from the remains of several other outer-west Sydney bands like The Blackened Beneath, who issued a CD of their own a couple of years back, Artemis Blade are announcing themselves in a very positive way.
Taking their lead from Swedish craftsmen like At the Gates and local exponents such as Daemon Pyre, Artemis Blade’s experience as players and songwriters is on display early as ‘The Fall’ blazes out of the intro track with an immense staccato riff and interwoven guitar melodies. Will Hert utilises alternating dry rasping growls and a sinister clean vocal reminiscent of Mikael Stanne, teaming well with CJ McMahon when he steps on for the crushing ‘Forsaken Light.’
The real stand out here is ‘Dark Ambitions’, a moody track in which Artemis Blade throw everything at the wall and make it stick. From the haunting piano intro to the spoken word vocals and chugging riff, this is a track more expected to come from a band later in their career. Despite the strange title, ‘Murder Unheard of’ is also a highlight, with darkly semi-spoken vocals intoning over a brooding guitar pattern. The closer brings in gang vocals as it powers toward the end with a nice mid-pace chug.
As Above… So Below is short but does exactly what it should do, showing off a solid new band in all the colours they have on display. They aren’t breaking the mould, but Artemis Blade are punching above their weight with plenty of good ideas. If they can keep this up and build on it, they could do very well.
- Despair Descent
- The Fall
- Forsaken Light
- Dark Ambitions
- Murder Unheard of
- As Above
- State of Cold