Dark Below Surges With New Track ‘Make Believe’

There’s an inherent catchiness to Dark Below’s new single “Make Believe” that bolsters the heaviness in the band’s presentation. The three piece of Joshua Campbell, Josh Grove, and Quin Koldan likewise play with a tightness that belies their years. The power trio format has made a resurgence in recent years, particularly in heavy music, and the energy generated by this sort of attack has a long history going back to the heady days of Cream in the 1960’s through to modern day acts like Chevelle. It finds fine expression in the way Dark Below create music. Moreover, there’s a sense of personal experience in the lyrics that sets this band apart from your typical hard rock fare.

The rhythm section sets the tone. Drummer Quin Koldan and bassist/backing vocalist Josh Grove build the song up from the ground floor and give guitarist Joshua Campbell a primo springboard for his massive guitar playing. They have a natural chemistry that is compelling. This means that each instrument knows its purpose and place and how to feed off one another without ever tripping over themselves. Three musicians playing together may seem, on the surface, like an easy configuration to bring off, but it requires greater attention to detail, and you hear that in every minute of this track.

Anyone who loves a wall of guitar sound will appreciate what Joshua Campbell pulls off during this cut. He sounds like he’s everywhere, throwing down riffs one minute, and then incinerating listeners with fiery lines the next. It all hangs together. There’s no real guitar soloing per se, but you won’t miss it. His ability to couple his guitar playing with the vocal work is another awesome part of the song. Campbell’s voice groves into each guitar riff and line with satisfying accuracy and it reinforces the message behind the band’s lyrics.

“Make Believe” goes into the subject of imagination from a personal point of view, but connects with everyone. Dark Below assumes we’ve all been there, using our imagination to conceive of better moments, and also ruing its forcefulness in our lives. It’s a slightly unusual topic for a hard rock song, perhaps, but modern hard rock has moved far past the days where songwriting confines itself to tales of hard living, cars, or women. It’s also ideally suited for the band’s music video.

The video for ‘Make Believe’ was filmed in Columbia, Missouri’s at Rose Music Hall and is a moody, full of shadows live shot that shows the band in full flight. They don’t attempt to pretty it up with any sort of conceptual footage and that’s for the best. It’s a straight performance piece (sans the opening animation) and gives viewers a good idea of what it must be like to see the band in concert. Dark Below is a band that obviously lives to play for audiences and “Make Believe” is the kind of song that will definitely impress concertgoers. Check them out if you have the opportunity because this is a must-see band. 

Gwen Waggoner