Personnel: Now and on Earth (background vocals); Marc-André Fillion, Anthony Alain-Rossi (vocals); Charles Pilon (guitar); Phillipe Ferguson (keyboards, synthesizer); Nick Tremblay, Phil Beauchamp (drums); Cory Brunnemann, Tommy Audette Daigle, Jesse Jack Racicot, Francois Ouellette Meloche, David Coté (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Frank Shooflar.
Recording information: Bird Wazo Studio.
Photographers: Maxime Thibodeau; Corentin Hignoul.
Montreal's Now and on Earth are one band unafraid to mix together an eclectic variety of influences -- along with the raw-throated vocals and stutter-step double kick drums that are the calling card of metalcore, they have a clean singer who sounds like he's moonlighting from an R&B-oriented pop group, melodic keyboard accents that could have been pulled from some hip-hop dance hit, guitars that go for '80s hair metal squeal as often as 21st century bark, and production as smooth and slick as an ice rink. The band's debut album, 2015's Blacked Out, is full of harsh sounds and dark imagery, but they're often buffered by the pop influences of the music, with keys and strings taking their place next to the roaring guitars and thunderous drums. Now and on Earth are not backing away from the harsh lyrical messages of Blacked Out, and NaoE guitarist Mathieu Maltais described the album as "really heavy, but also really sad and depressing." But the energy and melodic power of Blacked Out suggests there's more to this band and its music than just feeling bad. ~ Mark Deming