Music » Band of the Week

Above This Fire



Free speech be damned: Legislation is needed to prohibit songwriters from comparing their emotional strife to death. Even if it comes from the heart.

Above This Fire jots down ideas and thoughts that don't quite add up to songs, blemishing its lopsided take on metalcore. "MMIII" skews toward classic thrash, its five songs dispatched in hardcore tempo, but not hardcore style. Guitarists L.T. and Rick Sans shred, harmonize, and shred more. Drummer Jeff prefers fills to double-bass rolls. In masochistic rapture, singer Andy bays as if he's being flayed. And therein lies the problem.

Song titles such as "The Business End of a Hammer" are a good start, but the lyrics -- "Like arson you engulfed me . . . I go numb from city nights alone . . . Just drive the last coffin nail in . . . Cut my skin . . . Let my utopia die" -- are a generic variation on something that's been done hundreds of times. Want to stand out? Take a look around, then do something different. But apart from the "I'm in hell and sad" lyrics, this record's a heck of a ride.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.