Photo Credit: Andre Giovanni
Signs Of The Swarm are probably one of the hardest working deathcore bands in the scene today. Forming in 2014 they stay quite busy with the rinse and repeat model you see any successful metal band doing today. Write an album, tour and promote, come home, write another album, tour and promote etc. Each album is a snapshot in time as they’ve progressed as a band as they’ve seen quite a few lineup changes since they began. One member has been a constant since SOTS started producing music, Bobby Crow.
Bobby came on originally as a drummer then moved to bass then back to drums; but he has been the main writer and composer of the band since they’ve been on this constant turn and burn cycle. SOTS have written and produced all their previous releases on their own. They were all previously released on Unique Leader Records. This newest album they took a leap outside their comfort zone and decided to work with legendary producer Josh Schroeder (Lorna Shore, King 810, Tallah, Varials). Its stated that this album was so heavy that when Josh was playing it in his studio is blew his subwoofer…
Amongst The Low & Empty is the first release on their new label Century Media Records and it transcends beyond the standard deathcore genre. There are many instances of death metal, metalcore, djent, and some industrial influence that is perfectly balanced and compliments SOTS’s claim to the deathcore genre. “Malady” is a deathcore masterpiece that has set the bar for where deathcore should strive to be. When playing “Malady” in my studio at home its completely understandable how they blew the subwoofer at Josh’s studio. ITS FUCKING HEAVY. The production across the board is masterful and perfectly balanced. Guitars, Drums, Vocals, Effects, and Bass are all in perfect harmony. Nothing clashes anywhere.
The overall musicianship shines on this album for sure. With the new approach to allowing a producer in the mix perhaps it likely gave more freedom to stay in the headspace of honing in their sound and direction on Amongst The Low & Empty. Each track is just a pummeling wall of sound with a thick layer of digital soundscapes that kind of force you to leave your body as you sit through this album. This is a great album to zone out to if you’re looking to get lost for a while.
There are a few all-stars that have a hand in this album that should be mentioned. Matt Heafy from Trivium contributed guest vocals on “The Witch Beckons” and Josh Travis (Emmure, Glass Cloud, The Tony Tapdance Extravaganza) provided riffs as well as Cameron Losch (Born Of Osiris). Bobby Crow stated “At one point Josh Travis was recording a chainsaw in his backyard, his neighbors probably hate him for that”
Signs Of The Swarm have already dominated tours with acts like Whitechapel, Archspire and Entheos recently and previously toured with Suicide Silence, Carnifex, Lorna Shore and Decapitated. They’ve shared the stage with Born Of Osiris, Shadow Of Intent, Fit For An Autopsy, Aborted, Ingested and Brand Of Sacrifice. They’ve already cemented themselves as a top tier deathcore act that should not be taken lightly. They have a packed summer tour spanning across Europe and finding themselves playing a long list of summer festivals.
Amongst The Low & Empty showcases Signs Of The Swarm at their best. Its Eleven songs of pure American Deathcore written, recorded and produced at its peak levels across all fronts from everyone involved. This album is a glass of fine red wine that gets better each time you listen to it. Sounds in the background appear on the second, third and fourth listen you didn’t hear the first few go arounds. This album will 100% be an album that a listener can age with and revisit for years to come. I for one am whole heatedly excited to see where this album can take the band from here and hope they see years of success to come. DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS ALBUM.
Overal Score: 10/10
Review by: George Bauman IV