Album Review // Frame and Mantle // Above a Burning World
It's no secret that great art often comes from struggle. It's not a requirement, but it's been demonstrated time and time again. In fact, great art might be one of the only positives to come out of difficult political times or, say, a global pandemic. Fortunately, this is the case for semi-local Pittsburgh quartet, Frame and Mantle. After a promising debut LP in 2019's Lost Under Nighttime Sky, the emo post-rockers are back with a new EP, their most concise and thoughtful release to date. We use the word "promising" for Lost Under Nighttime Sky on purpose; Above a Burning World is the follow-up that delivers on that promise, sounding simultaneously more dynamic and cohesive. Vocalist Connor Freer sounds better than ever, their screams punctuating smooth runs of clean vocals on tracks "At the End of Everything" and "Rift." They are supported by bassist Scott Gergelis, drummer Mark Thompson, and guitarist/songwriter Brian Thompson, who carefully crafts layers of beautiful post-rock (see the end of shockingly bouncy single, "Space Forest") in between muscular guitar riffs. By finding new footing on this three-track EP, the band succeeds at beckoning towards the future. If it sounds anything like Above a Burning World, long term emo and indie-rock fans are in for something special.