Continuing to grow hype for their upcoming album The Lotus Chapter‘s release next month, Above, Below have released new single “Blood Wine”. It’s a tumultuous stunner like we’ve come to expect from the Sydney five piece, which features Jacob Wilkes (vocals), Zac Adamson (guitar/vocals), Nicholas Bird (guitar), Dylan Mallia, (bass) and Isaac Ross (drums).
“Om Namah Shivaya” chants Jacob Wilkes, with only his face visible in a pool of red liquid. This is where “Blood Wine” begins before landing in hefty and slow riff territory. Growing further into eerie and dissonant guitar calls and drum blasts, “Blood Wine” comes across like a dark tale of failure. With the first song section fittingly entitled ‘Elegy’, there’s references to the “lotus I dream” being “drenched in rain”, perhaps tying into the overarching theme of the album.
Raw urgency and frustration spark a push to “wake up” to the choices being made, with red dominating the Connor Rancan created music video. It’s softened purple at the choruses though, where the chaos momentarily abates to reveal something melodic and pensive. A question of there being something else, perhaps? Of learning, of growing?
“I learned to mourn when I learned to love – a fragile gift on the wings of a dove.”
It’s “Blood Wine”‘s second part then, with ‘Diatribe”s arrival. There’s a distinct kicking up of the heaviness, where rhythms and instruments seem both mistreated and masterful at the same time. Jarring notes punctuate the multilayered heavy feast, and lines like “I was dying of thirst and you fed me salt” break through for air.
The song section matches its title; throwing barbs toward a “fucking snake” and plunging heavily downward into a cavernous breakdown with side-to-side collisions of rhythm. I think it was around this part when hearing the song for the first time that I let out a few choice expletives. Somewhere here in amongst the filth is a delicate melody trying to break through…. which it does with the high and soaring chorus’ second coming. Phew, what a song!
From where I’m sitting, Above, Below are three for three with singles “Beyond The Mosaic Garden”, “Labyrinth”, and now “Blood Wine”. Maybe it’s a good time to pre-order The Lotus Chapters ahead of its 27th September release? Do that here: https://abvblw.bigcartel.com