A View From Afar is out now.
Hailing from Ilmenau, Germany, instrumental post-metal outfit Below A Silent Sky explore a particularly expansive brand of music. Combining slow burning, idiosyncratic song structures with periods of supreme tenderness punctuated with blasts of intense aggression, the band manage to craft music that is both hypnotic and pummeling. That’s what we love here at Overblown.
With that we mind, we wanted to find out more about the songs on their most recent album A View From Afar. They duly obliged.
1The Highest Shrine
Robin wrote the frame structure for this song at a time when he got deeper into the Band OM for the first time. This is why especially the calmer parts have a kind of OM-y vibe to them. The remaining band members bestowed the typical “Below” character upon that structure. We released the song earlier in February 2017 on YouTube in the context of a live video recording in our rehearsal room. Still, you will notice that the album version did evolve in details until the final recordings.
2Caverns of Light
This song is probably the best example for the transition from the last album to the present one. For us, it has a very positive vibe to it – and is most likely the brightest track on the record. But ‘Caverns of Light’ also has its heavy moments, making it an interplay of light and darkness. This is also the reason why we chose this exact title for this song, as it, at least to us, represents said duality perfectly.
This was the first song of the new record. I think you can guess from listening to it, that we decided to go for a more doomy sound after the first album. The intro to ‘Tartarus’ was also the first time, where we used a violin bow for one of the guitars. During the writing process for the rest of A View From Afar, we kind of cast ‘Tartarus’ a little aside, but after not playing the song live for almost 9 months and then re-rehearsing it for the recordings, it came back with a big bang. I guess something magical happened in the meantime 🙂
The mid-part of Earthshifter came into being at a time where Robin was having a tough time due to a tense situation in his shared apartment. When he showed it to Christian, he immediately had a fitting Intro ready to launch. The title for the song was set even before the end part of ‘Earthshifter’ was finished. It was the last riff we wrote for the album and we all knew it had to be something that would make the earth tremble. So Robin maltreated his acoustic guitar until, finally, the riff came up thanks to some inspiration provided from (Mighty) Mike Scheidt from YOB. Then, only some arrangement in the rehearsing room had to be done, et voilá!
5The Great Divide
The concept for this song mostly was Christian’s idea. Despite the length of the track, the structure came up easily and pretty quickly. Still, at first we didn’t intend it to last almost 20 minutes. Sometimes the music just seems to write itself – you come up with a melody or a riff and as soon as you start recording it, your head is already perpetuating the idea and is coming up with the following parts. Almost as if there was a curious logic in the progression of the individual moments.
When we realised, that the song would stretch into epic lengths, it became clear to us it had to be the grand finale of the album. Accordingly, we decided NOT to conclude the album with a big bang, but to let the last strains play a little more with the emotions of the listener. The hardest part, I guess, was to memorize the song as a unit. As quickly and intuitive the writing may have come to Christian at first, the longer it took to work out all the details as a group in the rehearsal room.
Find Below A Silent Sky on Facebook.