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Beyond Creation - The Aura Award winner

Beyond Creation
The Aura
by Cameron Ervin at 08 April 2013, 6:53 PM

Whether or not an album is perfect is entirely up to the listener. An album I may think is without error another person my dislike with a passion and that is why you must always keep in mind that any review you read is just that person’s opinion. While a review may hold certain facts, most of it is the reviewer’s opinion. I encourage you to listen to any music you might be curious about before you chose to purchase it. With that disclaimer out of the way let’s get into the masterpiece “The Aura” truly is.

If you’ve read any of my past reviews on a band from the Death Metal genre you’ll notice that I said most of those albums lacked variety and every song off the record sounded the same with very few exceptions. Death Metal bands seem to be getting stuck in a rut of being over the top and trying to be overly brutal. It seems that only a few bands in this genre are doing anything to stand apart from the rest of these mediocre bands and those bands are NILE, DECREPIT BIRTH, and now BEYOND CREATION. I’m sure there are plenty of other good bands that can match the prowess of these heavy weights, those being AMON AMARTH, IMMOLATION, and DYING FETUS, but I haven’t listened to enough of their discography to get an accurate well educated opinion of them. Just as I start to lose hope in the modern Death Metal scene I stumble upon this amazing group called BEYOND CREATION. Holy crap! The talent exhibited within this band is astonishing and it really goes to show what can happen if a few ambitions guys push the boundaries of a certain genre. “The Aura” is in fact the monstrous debut from BEYOND CREATION and upon listening to it you’d never guess that because they sound like they’ve been playing together for a very lengthy time. There are a number of things that set this band apart from so many others before them. For one reason, no element of this music is emphasized more than the other; every instrument is played at the same level as all the others. Some albums may be guitar driven albums, some may be vocally driven, others by the percussion section, but this album is equally driven by all elements creating a nice balanced album. I think the reason why this is such a balanced album is for the reason that all the members seem to be masters of their instruments. The two guitarist play 8 strings and aren’t afraid to explore the entire fret board in each track. Just so you are aware there are not traces of “djent” like material at all on this record. If creating pummeling riffs and solos that caused my brain to combust weren’t enough they both preform vocals on this record. Simon Girard and Kévin Chartré are definitely two of the top guitarists in this genre in my opinion. Dominic "Forest" Lapointe, the bassist, plays just as good if not better than the guitarists on his 6 string fretless bass. If you thought Steve Harris’ (IRON MAIDEN) bass was a large part of their sound you need to hear this bass player. On “The Aura” the bass is not only used to create a firm bottom line but it also adds a new element not present in many other bands. The bass seems to compete with the rest of the instruments for the lead and at times it comes pretty close to taking over the whole mix. The sound of the bass has that fretless, eerie, smooth tone that really helps it stand out from all those other bassists that have that blocky plastic sound. Without that unique bass tone BEYOND CREATION wouldn’t be BEYOND CREATION. It’s very satisfying to see a bass player who adds so much character to an element that is often over looked. This bassist is so talented they gave him a solo in “Omnipresent Perception” and that bass solo is just as good as the two guitar solos! Now we come to the drum section, the section where I demand a lot. As good as the other three members of this band are the drummer has a lot to measure up to. I want to hear the entire set being used, I want to hear impressive foot work, and I want to hear a drummer who actually enjoys what he does. Clearly Guyot Begin-Benoit knows what he’s doing and he loves to show it. In every song he is all over the set and uses mind boggling foot work. Technical Death Metal is probably the most demanding genre and this drummer surpasses the requirements adding plenty of fills and extra kicks whenever and wherever he can fit them in. I might even go as far to say that he plays on the same level as Mike Portnoy (ex-DREAM THEATER) and George Kollias (NILE). All these musicians are highly underrated and deserve far more credit than they receive.

If it wasn’t clear already I adore this album. I’ve listened to it in an upwards of 10+ times in its entirety and it hasn’t gotten old, a sign of a timeless album. There is but one gripe I have about this album and it is a very small gripe. The high screeching vocals can be over bearing at times, for instance on the closing ten minute track “The Deported” has a section where the high vocalist screeches for a very long time and it becomes annoying. Other than the occasional annoying vocals this album is near perfect. Albums like this are why I listen to Metal. No other genre could create anything this complex and easily enjoyable. This album is crushing, this album is hard hitting, and this album has the variety so much Death Metal lacks. This album is brutal but is not over bearing because it is done with originality and etiquette. “The Aura” is a tech / Prog masterpiece and one that won’t be easily forgotten. The fact that this year is the third year it’s been re-released on a new label is testament to that I think. It should be clear that BEYOND CREATION is one a select few bands that proudly carry the Death Metal flag. My only concern is how on earth are these guys going to top this with their second release?

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. No Request for the Corrupted
2. Coexistence
3. Chromatic Horizon
4. Omnipresent Perception
5. Injustice Revealed
6. Le Détenteur
7. The Aura
8. Social Disability
9. Elevation Path
10. The Deported
Lineup:
Simon Girard - Vocals, Guitars
Kévin Chartré - Guitars
Dominic "Forest" Lapointe - Bass
Guyot Begin-Benoit – Drums
Record Label: Season of Mist
     


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Edited 27 February 2020
 

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