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Betoken - Beyond Redemption

Beyond Redemption
by Yngwieviking at 26 October 2014, 12:56 PM

BETOKEN is no stranger to the Italian Underground scene. While the band is composed by seasoned players and has been active since 2000, the main songwriter/Mastermind Ivo Ricci (also Drummer with BLACK DAMA) already has four official albums under his belt. The past or present members have played with many legendary acts that count in the transalpine historic panorama such DRAKKAR/TIME MACHINE/BEJELIT/DAKRUA/DERDIAN/BEHOLDER or RAPID FIRE (their 2004 album, a True Metal Manifesto titled “Scream” is quite recommended for the Headbanging fanatics).

Here is release number five, “Beyond Redemption.”  This album is a fifty three minute disc full of righteous Heavy Metal in a traditional caliber conceived with an epic wake of influences.

One of the interesting facts about this project is the presence of three lead singers. Another thing that sets this album apart is the fact that most of the members are involved in a bunch of other musical adventures. BETOKEN belongs to the choral Metal project category such as AVANTASIA or STAR ONE (in a lower key of course). Since the 2006 album “Dead Soul Insomnia,” the style is more and more old school mixed with some Doomy overtones (“Sparks of Grace Betrayed ”) and some gloomy/theatrical/horror in the early THERION method.

The ambitious direction is somewhat restricted by the weakness of the production, the larger than life concept isn’t fairly orchestrated, even the sound and the performances doesn’t give justice to this high challenging goal!

The bombastic intro stays at the okay level, but quickly the soundscapes, strings and keys sound a little weak, and the interaction between the vocalists are most of the time inefficient or dull .

I have the deepest respect for this kind of artistic project and the musicians involved in such a passionate entreprise, but the songwriting development is in a very soft rate and it will never reach a major difference or a peak in it's formula. Maybe Mr. Ricci should approach the next album with the idea to compose in a more original style or at least under a more imaginative spirit .

I wish i had written a more enthusiastic review but I feel it’s finally rather logical and perhaps my rating could be even regarded as indulgent.

3 Star Rating

1. A Thirst for Knowledge
2. Renounce
3. Quid tu moraris?
4. The Man Who Would Be the Devil
5. Left Hand Choice
6. Sparks of Grace Betrayed
7. Hellward
8. Seven Deadly Sins
9. Ab urbe corrupta
10. Lucifer's Bless
11. Point of No Return
12. Helen of Troy
13. Damned Soul Insomnia
14. Beyond Redemption
Antonio Pecere – Vocals
Ivo Ricci – Guitar
Michele De Ponti – Guitar
Alex Raven – Bass
Giulio Capone – Drums
Eva Rondinelli – Vocals
Francesco Ferreri – Vocals
Record Label: Buil2Kill Records


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