Saturday, July 13, 2013

Beyond - Fatal Power Of Death [2013]

Amid a frenzied, and overly prolific eruption of molten death metal lava, I'm sure I'm not the only one in desperate search for good, quality death metal that has its earthen roots buried deep within the unfathomable pit olden masters. There are, thankfully, a handful of record labels that are still able to conduct business with a goodlier bunch of death metal nostalgia seekers every now and then, and especially following their ruinous signings of a great pack of revivalists, Iron Bonehead has proved to be one of the worthiest imprints among the bunch that includes such labels as Hell's Headbangers, Razorback, Hellthrasher, and a few more. Their releases have primarily come to my attention when I started receiving promos from them - something that I'm truly grateful for because I've been acquainted with a deal of excellent bands. Without digressing too much, I'd also like to imply that I can't seem to find a particular reason for so many old school death metal bands being so egregiously bad, besides the fact they are mostly highly generic and because usually, the original corpulence and freshness of their music seems to get relegated and diminished over time as they start to deviate from novel perspectives. Germany's Beyond, however, is one of those bands that neither purists nor more versatile metalheads would scoff at - they're powerful, channeling the dark interiors of archaic rot and ichor, and while they don't necessarily bring anything new to the table they still manage to incorporate and exhibit their influences in a novel fashion, kicking asses right away.

All the influences seem to pinpoint towards your standard, garden variety cavernous death metal culprit, seamlessly burrowing traits from Incantation or from newer acts like Antediluvian and Father Befouled, which is a direct Incantation throwback anyways, but I promise you, the level of excitement and intensity, infused with scintillating, sweltering compositions are good enough to give even Incantation a damn run for their money. First of all, Beyond are despondent, but they are no way as ritualistic as, say, the aforementioned Canadian giant, and the cavernous complex of the record is merely used a fissure to manifest the broader spectrum of riffing. In terms of riffs, ''Fatal Power of Death'' chugs away into black/thrash motifs just as frequently as it harbors interest for Morbid Angel, Death and Angelcorpse, and usually, the ferocity and speed of the guitars will rise to such extreme heights that you'll feel as though you were sucked into nebulous void of war metal, an absolutely devastating feast of Revenge, Conqueror, Diocletian and Blasphemy, and as if they hadn't sufficiently strewn corpses along the patterns of the two most titillating sub-genres of extreme metal, they bludgeon the listener with a further helping of unbridled thrash mayhem; a bevy of cudgels beating the living shit out of you in a pitch-black void of confusion.

While the song titles may seem generic when contrasted to other bands of this field, they certainly do their job well in living up to their names. ''Expressions'', the opener, commences with a seemingly horror-induced intro of synthesizers and sound effects, before unraveling promptly into a sulfurous tempest of black, death and even grindcore redolent of Anaal Nakrath's first few discs, and pretty much each track features a blisteringly spasmodic lead, each one churning effortlessly with the uncircumcised array of tremolos and chord progressions. ''Merciless At Heart'' and ''Whirlwinds'' continue to prolong the weather forecast of cavernous acid rain and unceasing tornadoes in the same fashion as ''Expressions'', but the title track livens up the diversity department by sauntering deeper into moody death metal territory, death/doom interpretations that reek of Autopsy, Fleshcrawl, Asphyx and Cianide. Not only that, but I also got a sort of technical vibe from ''Fatal Power of Death'', something that I really enjoyed. Obviously, this is in no way a primordial way of conveying Suffocation styled riffs into the music, but much like Necrovation' eponymous sophomore, the riffs sound refined with additional technical elements, enriching an already dense and fresh collection of ideas.

Let me make something clear here: Beyond are not your standardized, derivative old school metal revivalists, but they aren't entirely novel purveyors of fear either. Only, the ideas an expressions are allocated so excitingly that a formula previously presented is hacked into innumerable pieces, scattered along with a new order, and when the Germans play that renowned piece of classical abyss and blood, their avidity and success becomes inevitable. This is a record that's just as bloodied and decomposed as any other old school death metal revival album out there, really, but the way it's been careened and depicted makes it an excellent, almost inventive listen. The tracks are swirling and turgid with expositions with just instrumental capability anyway, and when you put the vocals, the crude, gargantuan growls of an aquatic sea giant, into the mix, you've practically got yourself one of the best death metal records of 2013, even with the possiblity of more quality cargo to arrive later in the year, and as if the 7 swelling compositions they penned weren't enough, the quartet finalize their masterpiece with a stimulating, unremitting and absolutely indoctrinating epic, 12 minutes of numbing hypnosis that you won't forgot easily. Beyond's previous EP and demo might have been utterly disgusting, but this is much, much more than disgusting. Listening to this is the musical equivalent of delving into death metal's demented subconscious, and exploring its bleakest, most blackened dens. If you haven't acquired this already and you're still drooling over Antediluvian, Teitanblood, Incantation, Grave Miasma, etc, then you should. Pronto.

Merciless At Heart
Consuming Black Void
Schizopsychotic Eruption

Rating: 90%

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