Above The North – ‘A Tale They Whisper’ EP
Formed in 2012, Above The North are another example of the natural progression that often makes a band. Originally, the band’s sound was more focussed on a harder, riff-based Metalcore style that employed pummelling drums and break downs that were supplemented by Melodic Hardcore sections to break the assault.
Since 2014 however, a line-up change and a new vocalist have set the band in a new direction. The aggression hasn’t necessarily been lessened, rather, adapted.
The Melodic Hardcore flirtations from the earlier releases have now taken the forefront and themselves utilised a mild Post-Hardcore influence, in lieu of the current wave of the genre that has bands such as Touche Amore, La Dispute and Counterparts leading the way.
Of course this doesn’t mean the Metalcore element has disappeared. I was in conversation recently with vocalist Clement Darlix, where we discussed the band, as well as music in general. Darlix, and the indeed the rest of Above The North, are as fond of Metalcore as they are all things Punk and Hardcore. Which is no surprise as the previous Metalcore bite still shows it’s teeth from time to time between the Punk chord progression.
As much as I could feasibly go on a gargantuan amount of tangents and side notes, I won’t. Here is what Musically Fresh thought about the new EP, A Tale They Whisper:
One of Four is entitled ‘Rains’. The lead single and video for the EP, it was the first given air and public view and with good reason, as it really gets straight to it. The rhythms and general song structure of the opening bars echoe Comeback Kid strongly into the centre, where a whirling crescendo leads us to brief Metalcore breakdowns.
The contrast between slower and faster sections in this track are well constructed, with the crescendo and melodic lead guitar work in the verses standing out.
Track two is misleading with it’s down-tempo intro, as within seventeen seconds we are sent forth on a short burst of Hardcore Punk before the mid-pace is resumed. Overall, ‘One in a Million’ has this Post-Hardcore-esque dynamic to it’s almost ballad-like Melodic Hardcore, as it shows the band’s various genre influences and demonstrates their skill at arms.
Three, ‘Bright & Honoured’, is fast and furious. Clement Darlix’s vocals are fuelled with aggression that contrast perfectly with the nature of the guitar melodies, rumbling bass and precise drumming.
The chord progression in this track, and in particular, the bouncy Punk riffage atop of a classic bass between 0:23 and 0:32 is particularly enjoyable. Track three is fast and melodic, with the band’s signature edge being fuelled by emotion. My personal favourite.
The current wave of Melodic Hardcore seems to have a tendency to slow things down a bit, and get as ballad-like as you can get with Hardcore rooted music.
Track four, ‘Hills’, leans the very same way. Upbeat tempo changes elude upbeat Punk influences, while slower riffage shows the band’s Post-Hardcore tendencies through said tempo and “mood” changes, all whilst allowing the band to show off their influences once more and, to an extent, their past.
There we have it. The latest EP from French troupe, Above The North. If you’re interested in the band and their music then follow the links below:
– The band’s music available for streaming on bandcamp, Spotify and Deezer and videos via their Youtube Channel.
– To purchase/download, head to the band’s bandcamp, where the older releases are available in the ‘FREE/name you price’ bracket. The new EP is also available on bandcamp for a cheap, regardless of currency and is also available on iTunes.
– If merch is your calling then you can find hard copies of the new EP and t-shirts on Above The North’s bigcartel site.