Review: Spiritbox – Eternal Blue

Artist: Spiritbox
Album: Eternal Blue
Label: Rise Records

“Sun Killer”
“Hurt You”
“Yellowjacket (ft. Sam Carter)”
“The Summit”
“Secret Garden”
“Silk in the Strings”
“Holy Roller”
“Eternal Blue”
“We Live in a Strange World”
“Circle With Me”

The ocean is as mysterious as it is beautiful. It’s full of secrets, dangers and curiosities with depths that humankind may never reach. It’s fitting then, that it can be used as a metaphor for many things. Depression, grief, the afterlife and so much more can be described using the simple, yet complex phrase “Eternal Blue.” Canada’s Spiritbox tackles many of these themes in their long-awaited, debut Rise Records release of the same name. Few bands have a sound as unique as the one that the relationship between vocalist Courtney LaPlante and guitarist Mike Stringer has created. Are they metalcore? Djent? Progressive metal? Death metal? No one can truly pin down this otherworldly (and often ethereal) masterpiece and that’s the beauty of the art that they create.

Crafted from real life, painful experiences, as well as vivid dreams (and oftentimes nightmares) that have plagued LaPlante, Eternal Blue is a masterwork the likes of which the metal community has never seen. The myriad of influences this band has is evident, yet displayed in a fresh manner. Deep, industrial roots surround tracks like opener “Sun Killer” and “Yellowjacket” (which features Architects frontman, Sam Carter). These tracks are reminiscent of early works bands like Nine Inch Nails and Placebo. Each track the band has released as a single, whether intentional or not, has served to solidify their place among the greats of their genre. While religion is a major theme among many of the band’s tracks, “Holy Roller” is the most venomous and calls out those who are “holier than thou,” using their faith as a means to mock and put down others. This track, while definitely one of the shortest on the album, explores the heavier nature of the band, while still delving deep into metalcore territory. It’s worth noting that the band put out a version of this song featuring Crystal Lake frontman, Ryo Kinoshita, that finds a way to dive into darker territory while remaining true to it’s original counterpart.

If you’re looking for something less seething, perhaps you’ll find comfort in tracks like “Secret Garden,” “The Summit” or the title track, “Eternal Blue.” “Secret Garden,” explores the theme of depression and dissociation, while ultimately finding oneself. This track was the band’s first exploration into a more active rock territory and lends well to the breathy, higher pitched vocal style that LaPlante often employs. “The Summit” is another track that, while rooted in heavier lyrical themes, really stands out and seeks to explore a more positive sound. This track, in particular, explores the use of LaPlante’s impressive vocal range with the verses being much lower, building into a soaring chorus and beautiful layering before capsizing slowly. “Eternal Blue,” the title track, is quite honestly one of the best Spiritbox songs that has been released and it doesn’t take long to figure out. There is a beautifully melancholic, ethereal air surrounding this track, lending well to the vocal.

While each track, vocally, stands apart from the next, it is the instrumentation that sets each of them off. From heavy, driving guitar parts to larger-than-life drums and a keen and clever use of each and every bass line, these tracks really feel ready for something bigger. Imagine closing your eyes and being transported to another dimension. In fact, I have found that closing your eyes and listening from start to finish, with no distraction, creates an experience unlike any other.

Whatever your tastes may be, Eternal Blue has something for everyone. If you’re looking to expand your horizons with something wonderfully different, yet wildly familiar, this album is for you. Moreover, though, this album is truly going to resonate with those who have felt the pain associated with loss. These songs, through their 43-minute entirety, resonate with a sad aura that refuses to be denied. Do yourself a favor and sink deep, lose yourself in Eternal Blue, out tomorrow via Rise Records. You can view the official music videos for each single, as well as find pre-order and social media links below. Be sure to catch the band as they support Underoath on their “Voyeurist” release tour, this coming Spring! Dates and ticket links can be found here.

Pre-Order Eternal Blue

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