The brilliant and meaningful song-writing mind of Beartooth frontman Caleb Shomo is once again highlighted in two bonus tracks featured on the Below (Deluxe) album released March 18th, 2022 by the Ohio metalcore band. "Fighting Back" and "Permanently Sealed" both have unique twists, but definitely fit right in with the hardcore style that Beartooth fans love. In addition to the bonus tracks, Below (Deluxe) includes all 12 songs off the original album, the reimagined "Skin-Alternate Universe Version", and 17 performances from the Live From The Journey Below livestream. In addition to Shomo, Beartooth also includes Oshie Bichar (bass, backing vocals), Connor Denis (drums, backing vocals), Zach Huston (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Will Deely (rhythm guitar, backing vocals).
" 'Fighting Back' and 'Permanently Sealed' are undoubtedly experimental songs for Beartooth," Shomo said. "I really tried to push the boundaries of what I'm doing with guitar, what I'm doing with my voice, and what I'm doing with the songwriting. The outcome may not have made the first cut of the album, but I think they're definitely worth hearing and play a big role in how the record ended up turning out." The intro of "Fighting Back" has an interesting little riff that almost reminds me of someone strumming on an acoustic guitar. The tempo picks up in the verses, then slows down to a more intense chorus which had me bopping my head. The breakdown includes both hard and softer vocals by Shomo, plus more of that initial guitar sound from the intro. "Fighting Back" is an anthem of strength, about standing up to people who want to put you down and control you. My favorite lines are "I won't let you in my head again. Try to tear me apart, I'll just keep fighting back." This song inspires me to fight the negativity and demons in my own life. The guitar riffs in the verses of "Permanently Sealed" are intriguing. with a psychedelic vibe. This song is infused with varying guitar sounds as well as a range of different vocals by Shomo. The breakdown is somewhat underwhelming, but does include some nice guitar work and drums. "Permanently Sealed" makes me think of the struggle between achieving success and battling the uncertainty and pressure that come with it. The line "Stuck in the silence, I don't know what's real" reflects that doubt and uneasiness.
Beartooth is currently on the Below Tour Part 2 which includes Silverstein, The Devil Wears Prada, and ERRA, and will be playing at multiple festivals this year. Also, half of the next album is already written and, according to Shomo, "It's going to be a wild ride." <Annie Schlottman>