ALBUM REVIEW: Spiritbox – Eternal Blue
Photo Credit: Lindsey Byrnes
Back in 2020, they’ve wowed everyone with Holy Roller and this year they’ll amaze everyone yet again. At long last, the much anticipated debut album by Spiritbox is about to hit shelves (and streaming services actually, but the point stands). It’s pretty wild to think that just last year, we were still none the wiser as to the existence of Eternal Blue, but that has since changed, and we are now days ahead of this momentous release. It’ll be hard to talk about everything it offers without coming off as a “track-by-track” breakdown, but we’ll certainly do our damnedest.
From the minute the play button is pressed/tapped, and the first notes of opener Sun Killer hit your eardrums, you realise that you’re in for the musical ride of the year. Equal parts melodic, groovy, and crushingly heavy, this stellar track essentially lays out the blueprints for the 11 counterparts that follow it – both in terms of instrumentals and Courtney LaPlante’s (astonishing) vocal performance. Whether it’s crystal clear clean vocals, or the filthy screams we’ve grown accustomed to, she can vocally do no wrong, and now she’s gone and proved it.
What remains amazing about this release (aside from the quality of the songs, of course), is how the common sonic themes are shared between these 12 tracks. There’s the groundbreaking heaviness found in Holy Roller or its predecessor Silk in the Strings. There’s the head-bobbing groove of Circle With Me and Halcyon (a trait which comes courtesy of guitarist Mike Stringer and bassist Bill Crook’s stunning instrumentals). Secret Garden and Constance’s clean beauty returns in title track Eternal Blue, and even the tracks which at first might seem ‘forgettable’ compared to the rest of the tracklisting, such as recent single Hurt You or 3rd track Yellowjacket (which features Sam Carter of Architects fame) are absolutely amazing.
Despite sharing these themes between themselves, they all sound different in their own way, and each of them could very well be singles in their own right. That’s especially easy when these aforementioned elements blend with each other so well, such as the clean/screamed vocals in the latter part of Halcyon, or the heavy instrumentals and clean vocals in The Summit’s chorus. Every single track is awe-inducing in its own right, and if some of them failed to put a hold on you upon first listen, they’ll surely grow on you the more you listen to them.
And so, we can safely confirm what everyone’s been dying to hear: the wait has been well and worth it. Eternal Blue is an utter masterpiece, worthy of every album of the year title that it will, undoubtedly, receive by the time 2021 leaves us.
Standout Tracks: Circle With Me, Holy Roller, Secret Garden, Sun Killer, Hurt You, Halcyon, The Summit
For Fans Of: iwrestledabearonce, ERRA, Jinjer, TesseracT
Written by: Florin Petrut