ANTHEM ROCK: Caleb Shomo is one of the most brilliant minds in metalcore. An artist who knows how to blend dark and aggressive elements to portray emotional catharsis, each album since Beartooth’s Below has documented Shomo’s growth personally and as an artist. The band’s newest release, The Surface, continues to show this evolution in a more lighthearted and confident manner, detailing one who is coming to terms with depression and becoming an overall better version of himself.
Like all its predecessors that have come before, the album begins with an aggressively intense experience, “The Surface.” Never one to shy away from sharing the demons within his personal experiences, Shomo starts off this particular journey with positivity and overcomes the worst of his depression and self-loathing, allowing the rest of the album to tell a story of navigating complex emotions.
Infectious and lyrically potent moments, such as “Riptide” and “Doubt Me,” are beautifully hefty and polished, accented with titanically dense moments that flesh out the emotional fury in both tracks. “The Better” and “Might Love Myself” dive into more lush pop alternative aural territories, changing things up while still maintaining the key aggressive elements at its core. The Surface continues to bear its creative teeth to make way for more stripped-back moments on the record. Shomo’s prowess lies in his ability to create powerful and uplifting moments, which is exemplified in “Look the Other Way” and the dark horse juncture, “My New Reality.” These tracks highlight his skillful use of melodic execution, adding a touch of vulnerability to the overall experience.
The closing track of The Surface, titled “I Was Alive,” is a powerful, stadium-ready anthem that serves as the culmination of Shomo’s journey toward overcoming depression. This track is the pinnacle of Shomo’s venture towards conquering these challenges, demonstrating his unwavering dedication to the creative process.
Throughout his career, Shomo has invested his heart and soul into his music that reflect his personal growth and struggles. The Surface is one of Shomo’s most raw and in-depth portrayals of his personal battles with mental health and finding light in the middle of that struggle. The Surface is simply powerful because it feels genuine, weaponizing attractive melodies, imposing guitar, and percussion sections, with a sense of nakedness inside his beautiful lyrical cadence. ~ Sammie Star