OK, so we have another metalcore band here, one that sits more on the ‘core’ side of the the sort of metallic fence. Coming and Going is going (hah!) to come (double-hah!) out on April 27. With nothing in the electronic press kit except for a track listing, we do not know much about Among Them other than that they are from Perth, Australia. All we have left to talk about would be the music.
Among Them seem to be unable to decide what they want to be, generic metalcore or experimental noise. The first eight songs on Coming and Going sound like Architects with all their urgency but less of the impact (Brighton’s finest understand that ‘core’ on its own often lacks substance, while the boys from Perth might have missed that memo). The last three songs on this album show Among Them’s potential for originality and a signature sound. The band sounds like nobody else on those. It is a direction they should have taken for the whole album.
Other than the breakdowns, the first eight generic metalcore songs are not headbanging heavy music; far from it. Among Them like noisy, ringing guitars and arpeggios and favor them over power chords. Yes, they djent a little, and most of the songs have brief but heavy breakdowns to liven up a pit.
Metalcore, of course, has been played to death. Every metalcore band in 2018 needs either a legacy or an original edge of some kind. The clip above does not show it, but Among Them has that all-important element when they go full-on ambient noise rather than trying to play straight songs. These moments manifest in Coming and Going’s third act. This aspect of Among Them, accented more, could have brought Coming and Going into the same league as other albums we seem to love right now at this site. As it stands, “Reflect Project,” “Evergreen,” and “The Others” ought have seen release as an EP to show Among Them at their best.
On the whole, Among Them have a lot going for them. The rhythm section plays imaginably. It is always nice when the bass stands out in the mix. Something has to be said for guitar playing that sweeps through many different styles in the same song. The vocals would be the only weak point in Among Them’s sound: all screams, all the time (a few low growls get snuck in before breakdowns), and all in the same range with neither variation nor range of emotion. This signals yet another contrasting point with Architects. The more famous band benefits from Sam Carter’s ability to convey a range of emotions through the subtlest application of clean singing. Lachlan Caroll of Among Them comes close to ruining some very good songs, with his relentless screaming depriving Coming and Going’s best moments of depth.
One can conclude that Among Them need to venture outside of their metalcore comfort zone and embrace their inner noise freak. They succeeded in setting themselves up for what will hopefully be a devastatingly good album, the next time around.
Notable Tracks: “Reflect Project”; “Evergreen”; “The Others”
FFO: Architects, Northlane