"As Above, So Below" (Acerbic Noise Development; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

The sophomore album from this Michigan-based band finds them a bit more poised and certainly testing the waters. Most of the songs center around a sound that could probably be described as post doom with the deliberately singular sounds and the solid control of the slow but heavy tones. Yet they quickly push beyond this and inevitably the music just flows, oftentimes in multiple directions, as they weave in and out creating a wide spectrum of beats and flowing rhythms. Still they are always in control and just as quickly as they allow things to spread, they can pull it all back in and tie everything together into a package that makes complete sense. 

There are five tracks on "As Above, So Below" and each one has its own identity. Inevitably, each track is like opening a box of various treasures because each song sparkles in its own way. It's not about complexity or virtuoso indulgence, but rather about building and adding parts and, although they vary, they still feel enough like very natural extensions of the foundations that they emerged from. 

On "As Above, So Below," Ganon not only create contrasts, but they actually seem to thrive on them as they can take you into deep dark shadows and then lift you, soaring through beautifully flowing layers of spiraling sound. This is certainly an album that you likely need to concentrate on to really understand everything that is taking place. It's probably also one that you will continue to discover more things to like about it each time you listen to it. 

The little bit of vocals that are here are slightly one-dimensional, but the music more than makes up for it. With "As Above, So Below," Ganon proves themselves to be a band who is bending and stretching the basics of metal music.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Jul 2022 15:03:28 -0400.