Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Beyond - Frostbitepanzerfuck [2013]

The Beyond has to be one of the less intriguing, but more frivolous bands a genuine metal audience would expect to come across with, one of the lesser groups out there with an ambition to unite the dynamic, cavorting boast of crust punk with a more speculative perspective on standardized black metal. Needless to say the Pennsylvanians are not bringing a whole pile of fresh meat to the table, but are rather resonating the nostalgic images of fans who both enjoy inundations of piercing, frigid Scandinavian black metal in its purest form; and others who just want to gyrate amid the sweaty mass of people in the mosh pit, to a severe onslaught of jumpy hardcore riffs, something quite delicious but could still be considered a throwback taking into account the number of punk/black hybrids you've listened over the course of time. But your acquaintance with this matters not, for within its restricted parameters The Beyond can still deliver what the cover art promises; a free ride on a frost-encrusted German Tiger through a wall of snow, and zombies.

Rather than fabricating a single formula and then pervading that into the entire set of songs, The Beyond divides every single track, or better yet smaller sequences into specific genres; this lessens their chance of breaking the mould, but the quartet, I'm guessing were never aiming to crush the boundaries anyway. ''Frostbitepanzerfuck'', although tending to stay inside the safe-zone,  is full-speed voracity and blasphemous anger, something that could have well fitted the roster of Hell's Headbangers due to the emergence of velocity and excess of carnal inundations that reek of both the 80's and the 90's, and the band's variations are mostly clean-cut; they manifest the bulk of their riffs through a downtrodden ambiance of crust punk with strong heavy metal inclinations and traditional raucous vocals barking, or a much heavier variety of bulldozing  black metal tremolo floods, and they have an awesome celerity that enables them to shift instantly from hymnal tremolo barrages to more spurious punk and d-beat implications, or vice-versa. It's almost as if they're indulging themselves in a staccato-like procession of style, and they pull the trigger for avid Midnight and Immortal fans alike.

Songs like ''Attack of the Zombie Brigade'' and ''Roto-Cunt'' are stronger homages to the band's older crust punk roots even though it's obvious the overall output sounds a heap heavier and crunchier than what it was meant to be, and ''The Splatterhouse Maniacs'' or the title track, despite the sheer cheese ridden all over their names, are more committed to the early to mid 90's Scandinavian scene; they're pretty accessible considering all the intricacies were formed over the beleaguered genres core tenets, and they're more effulgent than obfuscated in cold and frost really, but hell, they're still pungent enough to evoke a sense of insecurity in the listener, already taken by the velocity of the assault. And out of them all, ''Exterminate Humanity'' probably stands out the most. It's as though a smoldering wall of decompression takes over the atmosphere after such a speed-fest, and as a fervent doom fan myself I honestly loved the track. You'll hear a third timbre of the vocalist as you enter its near 5 minute ballast, a hoarser wave of growls that differ from the previous high-pitched shriek fair, and the vandals set a excellent mid to slow pace to travel at; the guitar exhibits the fundamentals of death/doom, extracting partly from Asphyx and other early Dutch doom extremists, and there's an irresistible slab of wobbly but precisely-hinted groove patterns that isntantly take over. The Beyond have certainly impressed me here, I honestly had much less expectations of them, and they shrewdly surpassed them. Omitting the final track, a devoted offering to our death/doom ancestors of circa 1988-1994, ''Frostbitepanzerfuck'', which has a clever click to it, is guaranteed pleasure for fans of Midnight, Evil Army, Children Of Technology, or such Scandinavian masters as early Enslaved, Immortal and Arckanum. Proof that industriousness on ambition is  not the only way to produce good, fresh music.

Necro Overload
Exterminate Humanity
Cunt-Sucking Cannibal

Rating: 77,5%

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