Dark Below are their own worst enemies in their tightly wound new single and video Tense — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Propelled by a relentlessly heavy groove, anchored by urgently gritty guitars and husky vocals, and decorated with cutting-edge sonics and production, the latest hard-hitting track from this Missouri power trio stakes out an aggressive line between classic post-grunge and ultra-modern metal. But even though it gives no quarter and takes no prisoners on the musical front, the lyrics paint a drastically different picture.
“The song is about health anxiety / hypochondria and describes the feelings and struggles that are associated with the condition,” singer-guitarist Josh Campbell says. “We want people to know it’s OK not to be OK, and that we all have periods of stress, doubt and worry. We’re lucky to have this creative outlet of music to help express those emotions and we hope it resonates with fans.”
The claustrophobic intensity and isolation in Campbell’s words are echoed in the nocturnal, disorienting video. “I think the main thing that stood out to me is how hot it was,” Campbell explains. “Once everything was set up and ready to go we had to wait a bit because it was so humid that it was actually foggy in the room. Going into making the video I was pretty nervous since I hadn’t been part of making one before, but Juan (Ibanez, the videographer) was really great to work with and helped put us at ease by just being laid back and telling us not to worry about making mistakes.
“I’ll admit that making the video was a hell of a workout. With the heat and just having to play the song over and over, giving it everything I had, it was definitely not easy!”
Formed in Columbia, MO, Dark Below’s current lineup of Campbell, bassist Josh Grove and drummer Quin Koldan have been together since 2016. It all started with a Craigslist post Campbell made in search of musicians for a hard rock band. Grove, originally a guitarist, was friends with the musicians — but after hearing Campbell and the original drummer talking about needing a bass player, he volunteered for the job.
He wasn’t the only one leaving his comfort zome. “I didn’t really want to sing originally but we couldn’t find anyone, so with me singing and playing guitar, Grove on bass, and the original drummer we started playing shows in the Columbia area,” Campbell says.
The band released their self-titled EP in 2017, followed by the single Halo in 2019. They have toured for the past five years, opening for Buckcherry, Saliva, Pop Evil, Smile Empty Soul, The Veer Union and more. They are working on an album with producers Jason Schrick and Malcolm Springer (Matchbox 20, Collective Soul, Fear Factory), who were also behind the glass for Tense.