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Vancouver quartet Spiritbox (featuring former members of Iwrestledabearonce) ply a somewhat '90s-influenced brand of melodic alternative metal featuring multiple genre elements, beautiful vocals, and possibly paranormal EVP (electronic voice phenomena) field recordings. Their sound -- incorporating elements of metalcore, nu-metal, prog, shoegaze, and djent -- combines crushing heaviness with beautiful ethereality, while Courtney LaPlante's versatile voice swoops from gorgeous melodicism to tortured screams and shrieks. Spiritbox released their eponymous debut EP in 2017 to wide acclaim. Their debut album, entitled Eternal Blue, was released in September 2021. Spiritbox was formed in 2016 by the core husband-and-wife duo of Courtney LaPlante (vocals) and Michael Stringer (guitar), 'round about the time they had jointly decided to quit their former band, the experimental metalcore outfit Iwrestledabearonce. Thrust back into menial, low-paying jobs, they focused on their passion: to create music that was original and from the heart. The band became complete with the addition of bassist Bill Crook and drummer Zev Rose. They called in favors from creative friends to help them with artwork and music videos, which were made on a shoestring but didn't look like it. They were championed by IWABO's manager Jason Mageau, who ultimately started his own label, Pale Chord, to release their music; the label went on to partner with Rise Records. Spiritbox released their eponymous debut EP in 2017 to wide acclaim. Obvious touchstones for the band's music include acts like TesseracT, Deftones, and Evanescence. The band undertook tireless self-promotion in the underground press, becoming well-liked for their easygoing nature, openness, and relaxed interview style. A Singles Collection followed in 2019. Work on their debut full-length was halted for almost a year by the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing online hype to build to massive levels as their music racked up millions of streams. By the time the album eventually came out, Spiritbox, who had played only 15 live shows, were being called "the hottest band in the world." Entitled Eternal Blue and released in September 2021 by Rise Records, it was heavily inspired by LaPlante's lifelong struggles with depression.
© John D. Buchanan /TiVo
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