Album Name: Eternal Blue
Release Date: 17 September 2021
Genre: Alt Metal
Courtney LaPlante – Vocals
Mike Stringer – guitar
Bill Crook – Bassist
Spritbox – It’s the name that’s been on everybody’s lips lately. The mere whisper of it gets people trembling. This is partially due to the fame Courtney LaPlante has garnered for the way she effortlessly flows from haunting, airy vocals that seem to drift in from deep space; to earth-shaking growls that can blow the pants right off of you. This, weaving in and out of sultry riffs and delicious basslines, means the alt-metal trio don’t disappoint with their debut album: Eternal blue.
Unlike its namesake, the album is symbolic of depression and the darkness that feels never-ending. A dark narrative is woven with its songs that flow effortlessly into one another, while each song holds its own space, reclaiming and reimagining what the word ‘heavy’ truly means. At times, it takes inspiration from New Wave acts and at others, from Nu Metal and even Pop, but never undermines the hefty content.
The album kicks off with the dramatic, ‘Sun Killer’, like a pulsating heartbeat. With only recently having fully healed from a vocal injury, we are now finally getting to see LaPlante flex those versatile vocal chords of hers and fully start to show off her vocal range (yup, we weren’t even getting all of Courtney LaPlante before). The Nu Metal references in ‘Hurt You’ hit us with a dose of nostalgia, while Yellow Jacket brings the Djenty goodness and one of the tastiest breakdowns I’ve heard in a while. While it doesn’t contain the most screaming, it definitely contains some of the lowest and scariest on the album. And of course, with vocals from Sam Carter of Architects on the track, who wouldn’t want to progbop along? My personal favourite on the album is Holy Roller, with its unapologetic heaviness, described even by LaPlante as ‘Selfishly Heavy’. The song seems to explore both religious cultism as well as being your own ‘devil’, whispering words of self doubt, with a musical backing to bring down mountains.
Lyrically, the album explores deeply personal subject matter, from loss and success to watching the world from behind a screen during the pandemic. Musically, the album explores contrasting tones and techniques, creating volatility and vulnerability, painting scenes of different dimensions. While it’s not always tonally heavy, and many purists might turn their noses up at it, Eternal Blue goes to show that ‘heaviness’ has many layers and therefore does not make any promises about where it’s going next.
So, with all that being said, while I thoroughly enjoyed the album, I’ll only be giving it an 8 out of 10, because I’d like to think that Spiritbox’s offering is only going to get better from here.
By Roushan van Niekerk