Below - _Below_
by: Brian Meloon (3 out of 5)
Below is a one man project from Pennsylvania, playing complex thrash. The first song isn't very impressive, but from there, the demo picks up considerably. The music is usually fast and heavy, but there are a few slow, clean sections which are usually pretty good. The riffs range from generic to intricate, but all have a somewhat dated late-80's feel to them. The songs feature a hodge-podge of riffs, strung together in unpredictable ways, which gives the album a disjointed feel in places. The drum programming is pretty good, usually following the guitar lines, but the playing isn't as tight as it could be. There are a number of places where the guitar and bass and/or drums aren't in perfect syncopation (and other screwups, like the ringing strings in "Mistere"), and these give the demo a generally sloppy feeling. Given the level of technicality, this is understandable at times, but he seems to have troubles with some of the simpler riffs as well. Of course, given a limited budget, I can understand if he was rushed in the studio. The vocals are talked, slightly distorted, and are very low in the mix. This is quite distracting, since you can't really ignore them, but you can't really pay attention to them either. The production is average: somewhat murky, but everything is audible. This is a promising demo, and I look for good things from Below in the future.

Contact: BELOW, 739 Grant St., Reynoldsville, PA 15851, USA

(article published 5/2/1997)

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